JUAN MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) ON HIS FIRST SEASON IN NASCAR "I think we learned a lot. We can qualify good and have good runs but It's hard. Today we had a decent car all day we just couldn't make it better. We tried all ...
JUAN MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
ON HIS FIRST SEASON IN NASCAR "I think we learned a lot. We can qualify good and have good runs but It's hard. Today we had a decent car all day we just couldn't make it better. We tried all kinds of things. That's all we had."
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2008 "I think we are going to start a lot better. I think as a whole team we need to improve a lot of things. The Texaco/Havoline Dodge was a pretty good car all year long. I'm just looking ahead to next season."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR ROOKIE SEASON? "I think it went pretty good. There was a bit of everything -- up and down. I think everybody at Ganassi did an amazing job. It's just one of those deals you know. I think it was more us to lose than win. I think we came out pretty good. I think more important we had a race win. I think for the record books it will look pretty good that I won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year."
CAN YOU COMPARE BEING A ROOKIE IN NEXTEL CUP TO BEING A ROOKIE IN ANOTHER SERIES? "Yeah, I think I've been the rookie before in a lot of series, but being a rookie with the experience that I had was very different. I had no stock car experience, but with my open-wheel background I've raced pretty much about everything. I think it's pretty cool. I think it's good for the team. I think it's something to cheer about as a team. More importantly I think is how the team came up the whole year. Where we started and where we finished is a big difference."
HOW HARD IS DRIVING A CUP CAR COMPARED TO OTHER THINGS THAT YOU'VE DRIVEN? "I think it's very different going from four wheels to two wheels. I think the biggest thing is that I had only probably 10 to 15 races on ovals before I came to NASCAR with the two years that I did in Indy cars. Coming here, getting back into ovals, getting into a big car with big horsepower and very little grip is a handful. It's really a handful. When you're in open wheel and you're good you have a lot of grip and the car does whatever you want and it does it all the time. When you're here and you're good it will only do that for about 10 laps. It keeps you busy."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger)
"We wanted to get up in the pack and race some this weekend more than what we did in Phoenix. That's what we did, but I also wanted to be respectful of the Championship contenders. The Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge was pretty loose in the early going. The changes Shiplett [team director] made helped, but after the wreck we were just making laps and trying different things. I saw the spin in front of us so I let off the throttle, but I didn't expect the No. 83 to check up that late. The guys did a great job of repairing the car to where we could run competitive times and learn the rest of the race. I worked on different lines and ways to drive that conserved the tires more and make the times consistent. On the final stop Shiplett made a change that really got the rear in the track. That helped me pick up .500 sec. a second a lap so I learned something there at the end which made the extra repair effort by the crew worth it."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It's been a long season for everyone and not the kind of season we expected when we went to Daytona in February. We have work to do this winter. We just have to put this year behind us and get to work on 2008. "
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
ON THE PROGRESS OF THE TEAM "We're looking forward to starting over next year. We just had a lot of times where we should of finished average and we ended up wrecked. We need to focus on cutting out the weak spots and we'll be alright.
"It was okay. We were average all night. We weren't very good. I ran about like that car was. We were never really good. That's just how we were all weekend. We didn't do anything wrong today, we just weren't very fast."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It's been a long year. It's been a disappointing year. It's over and now we go to work on 2008, preparing for Daytona and the new season. We only have one car to work with next year. We'll regroup and get started with the off-season testing. We'll be ready for the 2008 season when we get to Daytona in February."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 06 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger)
"Well I have twice as much Cup experience as I had last week. Every time I go out that is that much more. I'm really happy that the team gave me the opportunity to do this, this year and get started. It's going to be a long uphill process but we've got a goal in mind and hopefully we get there.
THOUGHTS ON 2008 "I'm real excited. I know it's going to be tough. I'm excited to see what happens; how we can learn throughout the year and how we progress."
ROBBIE LOOMIS (Executive Vice President of Operations for Petty Enterprises)
ON THE PROGRESS OF THE No. 43 "The 43 has come a long way. I think everyone at Petty Enterprises had dug in deep. Bobby Labonte has done his job in steering us in the right direction with what we need.
"Now we have the Car of Tomorrow. We improved a little bit over last year but not really where we wanted to be. We were really off with the car tonight, handling wise at Homestead. We're looking forward to next year. We have an Atlanta tire test coming up. We have a new crew chief coming over. We have a lot of exciting things happening."
HOW WILL THE MOVE TO MOORESVILLE HELP PUSH THE ORGANIZATION TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE? "You know it's just a building but it's in the right location. I think it will help us continue what we've built on this year."
-credit: dodge motorsports