CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) COMMENT ON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA'S PERFORMANCE IN FRIDAY'S STOCK AR DEBUT CAT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY IN ARCA RACE "As far as I'm concerned it was one solid step toward what we want ...
CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)
COMMENT ON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA'S PERFORMANCE IN FRIDAY'S STOCK AR DEBUT CAT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY IN ARCA RACE "As far as I'm concerned it was one solid step toward what we want to do. Mission Accomplished. We were hoping we were going to get another restart there at the end. I think he understands Cup is going to be more difficult. Everything is a learning curve. I'd give him a 9 (on a scale of 1-10 today)."
"I thought he did great. He led a little bit. He went to the back, got a little crash, had some pit stops. He learned a lot. Another restart might have been a lot of fun, but I thought all-in-all it was a great day. I'll take that. The nice thing was he maintained his composure in the draft. That's a big thing. I'm happy. I would think we'd try to see if there's something on the calendar next weekend."
COMMENT ON SAVE MONTOYA MADE IN THE CRASH "Did you guys expect anything different from him? We had that incident, had to go to the back of the cue -- he called it the cue by the way -- that's line for all you guys in NASCAR. He came up through the thing and that was good.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 4 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 3rd
"It was good. Initially I was a little bit careful. I was staying low just to get comfortable. Then we fell back. We were in the middle of the pack. They said, 'watch out, watch out, watch out.'. They came straight at me, and I was pretty lucky. The car went one way and the other and for some reason the car didn't spin. I was pretty pleased with that.
"I think the Texaco/Havoline Dodge today behaved pretty good. After that the guys fixed the car pretty good. I was in the back of the pack. We moved a little bit. We were running probably 15th or so and Steven (Wallace) and I got together. I said I was going to push him all the way and I did. We pushed and pushed and pushed until we got to the front.
"They were pushing the 46 (Frank Kimmel) and he pretty much cut off and left everyone dry. I was kinda shocked to see that, but that's racing. I told if we get a chance we need to get him back. If it was going green I was pushing.
"In Formula One if you go to the back you stay in the back. You can be two seconds quicker than any other car and you still cannot pass him. It's great to see that whatever happens... I got hit and had to fix the car. I came to the pits four times to fix it and even after that you go out and you're in the back of a 30-car cue or line or whatever you want to call it and you still can get up front, and that's really, really nice."
"It was pretty hard to keep up with him (Steven Wallace), but a couple of times when someone would get behind me I had enough momentum to hit him. Before I hit him a couple of times I thought I was coming too fast, and I clipped the brakes. It was just exciting. It's really nice to see a little push, you can just touch him, and you can go past two cars. It's great.
"You're running three-four abreast. You're running high for a few laps and then you run low. The next five laps you're in the middle. We discussed a little bit whether I would go to the middle. They said it's pretty wild out there. I said I'm just going to go for it and see what happens. You've got to really look the car inside and make sure you give him enough room. At the same time, you don't want to clip off the guy on the outside. It just makes it real exciting.
"I'm here Monday testing the car of tomorrow. On Tuesday I'm testing in Memphis. As we get comfortable we'll see. I think the plan is to go to Iowa and see what happens. Here drafting is important. You need to learn that before you go to Daytona, but I think I need to do longer runs on small ovals. For one lap I can go fast. No big deal. What's going to happen when I have to go 100 laps on the same set of tires? Am I pushing the tires too hard? I'm going to have to learn that before I'm ready for next year. The more miles we do, and the more experience I get, the better it's going to be.
"I haven't have this much fun in a race for a long time. I'm not saying F-1 is bad or anything. I think it's great racing as well. The cars are unbelievable, but I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I passed probably 40 cars today easily. It's outrageous."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE CLOSE TO BEING READY FOR THE 2007 DAYTONA 500? "Yeah, it's nice that Chip got me here because it was definitely necessary to come here. You've got to live it and experience it well. All the Cup guys are here and it's all about getting experience and playing smart. You've got to play smart. It doesn't matter how you push or what you do, but if you don't bring the car home it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you have the fastest car or whatever. You've got to be at the right place at the right time.
-credit: dodge motorsports