JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed last year's Brickyard 400, racing at Indianapolis and other topics. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RACING AT INDIANAPOLIS?: "It's...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed last year's Brickyard 400, racing at Indianapolis and other topics.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RACING AT INDIANAPOLIS?: "It's always exciting being here in Indy. Most of the time it seems that I've been here, I run well. In the Cup Series, I run well, in Formula 1 we run well and in the Indy's I did pretty well when I came here. We've been cool. For some reason our cars run really fast here. We tested here, we were pretty good. Conditions are a lot different than when we tested so it's going to be interesting to see how the car handles. I think it's a very good opportunity this weekend to try to get a win."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DESERVE A WIN HERE AFTER LAST YEAR?: "Not really. It's racing. It sucked what happened and in my eyes I still don't think that I did anything wrong. Maybe we were too close to the limit and we blew it as a team and move on. It sucks we didn't take the trophy home, but in my mind I think anybody that is in that team knows that we had the fastest car and we had the pace to win the race that I think it counts for a lot. Sometimes people get wins that they lucked into and they get the trophy and we haven't had one of those, but we've had a lot where we've had the car that could have won it. From one side it's a little frustrating, but do I feel like they owe me one? No, do I want to win it? Yeah, of course I want to win it."
WHAT WOULD WINNING AT INDIANAPOLIS MEAN VERSUS OTHER RACE TRACKS?: "It would be really cool winning here. I've won already the (Indianapolis) 500. They asked me that earlier and to tell you the truth, right now, in a Cup car, I will take a win in Martinsville or Pocono, I don't care. I'll take a win anywhere. I want to win and as a team we're working really hard for it. In a way, being realistic, the Chase is completely out of the equation for us right now. We can really focus on making big gains with the car and taking big risks and understand. You look at our team, we never take two tires. We never do stuff like that because we always lose with it. I think now we can start taking those chances and understanding what we need to do in taking two tires, what do we need to do if we're going to be a little more aggressive on the strategy. I think that should pay off."
HOW HAS THE CAR CHANGED FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR?: "Last year we had the wing and this year we have the spoiler. We came here and tested and the car changed a little bit from what we ran last year and it had a lot of speed. It's hard to know what everybody else had in the test. What kind of car they had in the test. We had a pretty decent car and we had a lot of speed. I'll see. I know our Chevy motor is a new motor this week that the guys at ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) did and I know from what I heard that it has a lot of power so I am pretty happy."
DID YOU CHANGE ANYTHING AT THE END OF LAST YEAR TO TRY TO MAKE THE CHASE VERSUS THIS YEAR?: "No, it's weird because this year we had a faster car so this year was meant to be a lot easier to make the Chase and race two we blew up a motor, race three my teammate wrecks me, race four something happened, race five something happens. It gets to the point where you get to 12 races and you have like 35-place average finish in seven of them. You're not going to make anything like that. We have better results than last year, but we have a lot worse results than last year as well. Here the way the points are, you have to finish good every race. If you have a 15th place car then you have to bring it home 15th. You cannot try to take a 15th place car and try to bring it 10th because you're going to finish 35th."
WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE YOU JACQUES VILLENEUVE?: "When you run Indy cars here, you run wide open and in these things you brake. They drive very different. I haven't seen him, but I'm sure if he comes around I'll try to help him out and tell him what I do a little bit to try to help him. It's big. I don't know, has he driven a Cup car? I don't know much about him."
WHAT DO YOU RACE FOR IF THE CHASE IS OUT OF THE QUESTION?: "We're going to race to try to win races and try to make ourselves better. I think we have a great chance to improve as a team. I think we make a lot of mistakes and I think as a team we have to make sure our pit stops are better, our calls on adjusting the cars are better. You know what I mean. We're always very conservative on making changes. I think in a good way, the average is really good, but it hurts a lot in the long term. I think we have to be careful with that."
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH WHERE YOU ARE FOUR YEARS INTO NASCAR?: "It's hard to say how far ahead we were going to be. I always said I thought it was going to take about four years to be really good. Last year we made the Chase and we were really good. Being realistic, you have to understand that where we started, I didn't start in a Hendrick car. Our company went through a real rough period last year. Right now we are starting to come out of that and as a company and as a team is getting better. I think the challenge has been really exciting from my point of view. Do I want more wins and better results? Of course I do. I think personally it's been really satisfying to work with the people I work with and do the stuff we've done so far."
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN IMPROVE ON TO MAKE THE CHASE?: "We know what it takes because we've done it and it's weird because we have faster cars and then a lot faster cars than we had last year at this point. Both cars made terrible mistakes and both cars went from being a contender and you look at restrictor plate races apart from Daytona, the other two, we actually finished them. We finished them good with both cars. It's rough. It's racing. If you knew what was going to happen, you wouldn't come."
HOW BUSY WAS YOUR WEEK OFF WITH YOUR KIDS?: "It was weird because I did have a lot of down time, but I had a lot of down time with them. Like I went to play golf and I took them to play golf. I went windsurfing and they went with me. Whatever I did, I did with them so it was really cool because I was surprised. Their Grandma was there and they always want to be with Grandma 24-7, I was there and they were more excited about spending time with me and I was really surprised. It was really cool, I was really pumped."
HOW HAVE YOUR KIDS ADAPTED TO HAVING A BABY SISTER?: "It's been really funny because they like it, but you can feel that they want to have attention. I think it's normal. Paulina thinks she's a little doll and wants to play with her all day. Kind of dangerous."
HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO MARK MARTIN?: "It was smooth. He actually sent me a text the day after and we talked about it and that was it -- it was good. Heat of the moment."
-source: gm racing