Bristol II: Montoya post qualifying interview

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger) I got into the corner too slow and came out sideways. I knew the second lap wasn't going to be faster. All we practiced in the morning was one lap and that was good. It was a little bit...

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger)

I got into the corner too slow and came out sideways. I knew the second lap wasn't going to be faster. All we practiced in the morning was one lap and that was good. It was a little bit on the loose side and some of the guys were tugging the wheel coming out of four. The last time here we started 30-something and we're second right now so it's half-decent, I guess. I've got to be pleased with that. The car is handling pretty good today. We were quick from the get-go today. It's a bit of a shame because we got a little too tight there that last corner."

HOW BIG OF A FACTOR IS JUST GETTING MORE LAPS AT THIS TRACK?

"That's a lot. A lot is me and a lot is the team. The team is just stepping it up every week and we're running stronger and stronger. This is a nice disappointment. Some days you are disappointed when you qualify 35th and now I'm disappointed because I'm second."

DO YOU HAVE ANY STRATEGY FOR THE RACE?

"You know, starting out here is so much easier. You don't have to worry about getting lapped. I think you can just get in your own rhythm and let the laps go by."

DO YOU NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE TRACK?

"Oh yeah. I don't know if you saw my car but I'm running way high and it worked. In race trim I tried the bottom and high and you can run everywhere. Before if you weren't in the bottom you stunk. I think it changed a little bit the way you get into the corner. Where the back starts is a lot nicer for racing."

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JACQUES VILLENEUVE COMING OVER HERE?

"I think it's cool. I think it's nice to see Jacques and hopefully he does well. If I can help in any way I will. He's a nice guy."

DO YOU THINK HE'LL ADJUST TO THIS QUICKLY?

"I don't know. For me, I think he'll adjust pretty quickly. Hopefully he does. He's going to have a bit of a shock his first few races but when he gets used to it he'll like it."

IS EVERTHING COOL BETWEEN YOU GUYS?

"Yeah, the first few years were rough but at the end we had a good relationship."

HAVE YOU OPENED THE DOOR FOR MORE F1 GUYS?

"I think I opened the door for a lot more people, not from Formula One but people that are afraid coming to NASCAR because they thought 'Aw, it's so much different nobody can do it.' Myself being competitive I think people are saying 'Man, this is the sport to be in' and I think in a way it's good for NASCAR because it's going to become the sport to be in and I think it is. I think I was smart enough to come here early enough."

DO YOU THINK VILLENEUVE GOT TIRED OF THE LACK OF PASSING?

"He was a little bit like me. You know, he likes racing and he's an aggressive guy and I think he'll like it. I'm sure he will like it."

YOU GUYS WERE IN THE SAME BOAT WHERE HIS REPUTATION TOOK A HIT UNFAIRLY.

"We both run hard and people don't like that. I guess people here like it. Some do, some don't but I think the fans love it."

IS THERE ANY ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD GIVE HIM?

"Just be patient. You've got to be patient. There's going to be weeks where you're going to run bad and you've got to learn that that's all you can do."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup