JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 POLAROID IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed tires, the difference of being in the Chase and not being in the Chase, his visit to Walter Reed hospital and more. TELL...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 POLAROID IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed tires, the difference of being in the Chase and not being in the Chase, his visit to Walter Reed hospital and more.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS LOOKING INTO THE SECOND CHASE RACE HERE AT DOVER. "We had a pretty good practice. We'll just have to wait and see how we qualify. It's always a long race here. There's a lot of accidents and a lot of things can happen. Just got to take it as it comes."
WHICH LANE YOU THINK BETTER SUITS THIS TRACK? "I don't know. I think you've got to see as the race goes. Most of the time the outside is a little bit better than the inside. I tried both last week and they were about the same. There was not that much difference. When you're on the inside you run into people when you're on the outside people run into you that's the only difference. I thought we had run good all day it was just more things to think about when we did. Mark (Martin) took the outside on that restart and it worked for him."
IS THERE ONE LESSON THAT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU LEARNED AT LOUDON THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CARRY FORWARD THROUGH THESE OTHER NINE RACES? "Not really. You've got everybody that is fighting for the championship finish out there so you either finish up there or you don't have a chance. The No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) looks really strong here, but they're always strong here. There's a lot of good race tracks coming for them so we've just got to do what we can. If it's good enough great, if it's not well it's not. There's no magic or anything. We're doing the best we can and so far so good."
DID YOU GET ON TOP OF THE TIRE ISSUES DURING THE TEST, AND WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE TIRE THIS TIME? "The biggest thing it's just a different tire. I think whatever happened before it can't really relate to what happens now. So we have to assume it's going to be good. It's seems to be putting a lot of rubber out there. Just gotta wait and see what happens. You've got to bring you're a-game and everybody has to do the best they can and hopefully it's good enough."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT TEAM MORALE WAS LIKE AFTER THE RACE? "The morale of the team is really good right now. It's been good all year to be honest. It hasn't really changed because we run good. We ran good in Atlanta before the Chase as well. So everybody is happy. We're having fun. We're pushing ourselves and we're trying to do the best we can. It seems to be working so far so I can't complain about that."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VISIT TO WALTER REED YESTERDAY? "The hospital was very special. I was really amazed with the attitude of all the guys there. It's incredible how positive everybody is. It's an example. When you struggle and you complain about things and you look at them and you look at their attitude it's a shame. It's a shame on me and everybody who is like me I guess."
LAST YEAR YOU DIDN'T MAKE THE CHASE, THIS YEAR YOU ARE IN IT, CAN YOU COMPARE THE TWO FEELINGS? "The biggest difference is you end up coming to the media center and the other one you don't (laughter). Last year when the crew chief changes started we were never in a position to make the Chase. It's not like its Richmond and we missed the Chase it was probably like 10 races before that we had already missed it. It's okay. We're doing the best we can and it's okay. It's a lot more media time and a lot more stops. It's good for the sponsors I guess."
WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THIS TRACK? IT'S DIFFICULT IF YOU START SPINNING. "I haven't spun and I'm hoping to not spin. I've blown a lot of tires and I've hit the fence a lot of times here so if I can keep it out of the fence that would be good."
DO YOU FIND IT A DIFFICULT TRACK? "No, I'll tell you this has probably been one of the easiest tracks for me because it actually has a lot of grip. So you can actually feel like you are driving the car like what I was used to. This is the closest feeling I get."
EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED LAST THURSDAY WITH THE TV HOOKUP TO CALIFORNIA AND HAS THAT ALL BEEN SETTLED NOW? "Yeah, it was simple. It was a deal we did with NASCAR from four to five and I told them this was the last interview and it was five minutes until five o'clock and I finished the interview and they plugged somebody else without telling them I was done and that was it. NASCAR made an honest mistake and it was a misunderstanding. That was it."
YOU WOUND UP THIRD IN A PHOTO FINISH AT LOUDON, COMING INTO DOVER HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS RACE TO BUILD ON AS OPPOSED TO LAST WEEK? "At the end of the day all ten races give you the same points. It's not like you go to Loudon and they give you 10 points and you come to Dover and they give you 100 or Miami. You've just got to try to run good everywhere and if you don't you try to rescue as many points as you can and move on. It's rough because some weeks you're hoping to run better and you don't and some weeks you surprise yourself running really good. It's what it is."
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE NEW TIRE HERE, DO YOU ANTICIPATE ANY TIRE WEAR, SO YOU THINK YOU WILL SEE TWO-TIRE STOPS OR FOUR-TIRE STOPS? "I've actually been pretty surprised how good the tires have been. I posted my fastest lap in race trim on like lap 12 or something. We were making changes, when I was good I could still post a lap. I was kind of surprised."
DO YOU THINK THE VIDEO THING KIND OF PORTRAYED YOU WRONG BECAUSE YOU'RE VERY GOOD TO THE MEDIA HERE AND THE VIDEOS WERE SENT AROUND THE WORLD OF YOU, DOES THAT BOTHER YOU? "Not really. It really doesn't. NASCAR knows what happened. I know what happened. The team knows what happened. I don't care. If they like me good, if they don't. I can't help that everybody here likes me, can I? Come on. Like they say crap happens I guess."
-credit: gm racing