CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) NOTE: Ganassi comments on new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya's scheduled test in an ARCA car on Monday at Talladega Superspeedway. "Everything is taken care of now,...
CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)
NOTE: Ganassi comments on new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya's scheduled test in an ARCA car on Monday at Talladega Superspeedway.
"Everything is taken care of now, and he's going to test tomorrow in Talladega. He's excited about it. We want to get him in as many races as we can the rest of the year, and if that's ARCA, Busch or Cup it really doesn't matter. Whatever presents itself at the time we're going to go after it. We're going to take it one step at a time, and if the learning curve is there, yeah if everything goes good I don't see why not (entering a Cup race this season).
"I don't think Talladega is a good place to start, but I think it presents itself tomorrow very quickly, and it gets it out of the way. We're going to get in a testing program. I don't know if it's going to reward him much this season, but I think four or five races into next season he'll be happy we did it.
"We've been working on it hard for a couple of weeks. I would call it a negotiation. It's just a question of a speeded up ABC (ARCA, Busch and Cup) program. I think othyer drivers out there now could use some more time. You can always use more time and more testing. It's just a matter of who makes the best of what he has to work with.
"We've been working on it for about two months, and we found out we were going to do it about two days ago. It came down to if something was going to happen (this year) it needed to happen. Daytona is the first race of 2007, but you have to do a lot of testing in this system to learn other tracks, other procedures and that's what we want to expose him to."
HOW DO YOU SEE MONTOYA FITTING IN WITH YOUR THREE-CAR TEAM IN 2007? "First you've got to understand the totem pole on our team is horizontal. It's not vertical. Everybody is on the same pole at the same time. Everyone is on the same level. Nobody is larger than the team. In terms of the rest of this season, it's going to be whoever we can get him to work with at the time -- whoever isn't busy. Certainly next season it'll be Donnie Wingo."
ARE YOU SURPRISED WITH ALL THE MEDIA INTEREST MONTOYA HAS ATTRACTED? "Yeah, it's good. It's interesting. I'm happy for him. Next year is going to be a lot of fun. I'm sure there will be speed bumps along the way, but it'll be fun. It's a big sense of relief (that everything has been worked out)."