Fontana: Montoya - Friday media visit

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed the team merger and racing at Auto Club Speedway. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU WILL BE HERE WITHOUT TESTING? "Last time we were here we had a...

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed the team merger and racing at Auto Club Speedway.

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU WILL BE HERE WITHOUT TESTING? "Last time we were here we had a good car. We really had a good car and a good race car. We got a little off at the end of the race with some of the changes, but overall we had a good car. I'm pumped up to be here with the package. We've got a new car for here so I think we made a lot of progress over the winter. Between our information and their information and bundling it all together it is making us such a better team -- its pretty cool."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE CONTRIBUTING TO THIS MERGER MORE AT TRACKS LIKE THIS? "If you look at our restrictor plate program, I remember I finished second at Talladega and I was leading when I crashed in Talladega the second time. I can't really say that our program is bad. I think in a way they gave us a little burst of speed and we gave them a little bit of handling. I think we both helped each other. I think there's going to be race tracks where they're going to run better than us and we're going to have to look at. This is what every team does. If you look at Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, Jimmie (Johnson) runs better and Jeff (Gordon) goes and looks and the other way around. It's pretty much like any other team works."

ARE YOU CONFIDENT COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND?"I'm excited, I've been really pumped up about this merger and being with Target and being with Chevy -- it's been pretty cool. It's been so far a really cool experience. I think everyone on the team has a really positive mind about what we're doing and where we're going. You have to be pumped up about that."

IS IT A GOOD FEELING TO GET TO A 'BREAD-AND-BUTTER' TRACK LIKE CALIFORNIA? "This is a hard track -- this is a really tricky track. It's so wide and the seems are so slick. It's a bit of a handful, but its exciting. It's the same for everybody. Normally our qualifying piece here is not great, but our race piece is really, really good. If we could improve our qualifying performance here it would be big."

ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR THE NEW NORTH CAROLINA-BASED FORMULA 1 TEAM? "I didn't even know there was supposed to be a team here."

IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE MERGER THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU NOW THAT YOU HAVE ONE RACE BEHIND YOU? "I will tell you that the atmosphere at the team is great. I think that people are really pumped up about it. Working with Martin (Truex, Jr.) and Aric (Almirola) has been really cool -- they're really cool guys. It started really good, we get along really well. We want to try to work together and that is huge. A lot of times you go to teammates and they really don't want to help. Its like in the race I saw Martin (Truex, Jr.), I would try to help him. If he saw me he would try to help me. It worked really well and I'm really pumped up about it."

WHAT IS YOUR MOST EXCITING MANUEVER YOU HAVE EVER DONE ON A RACE TRACK? "You would say probably one of the better ones I have done in my career was passing Michael (Schumacher) in Brazil in the Formula 1 car. In NASCAR, probably the way I ran the first time in Atlanta. It was so exciting being right against that wall. Now I am used to it, but the first time you do it. We were running third with 20 laps to go and it was my fifth NASCAR race."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson