Sears Point: Winning team interview

Montoya Scores First Victory of the Season for Dodge MIKE ACCAVITTI (Director Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing and Communication) "This is a fantastic day for Dodge and a fantastic day for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. I'm very ...

Montoya Scores First Victory of the Season for Dodge

MIKE ACCAVITTI (Director Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing and Communication)

"This is a fantastic day for Dodge and a fantastic day for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. I'm very excited for his race team and for the Dodge family. I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last 20 laps of the race. Today's win was great exposure for the Dodge brand.

"Victory is sweet. We've been waiting for this win and knew that we'd see Juan Pablo in victory lane before the end of the year. We look forward to building on this success with more successes this season."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger)

"It was a good day. It was tough. You don't know how fast you are. I was patient. We made some changes on the car and that made a difference it was good. We had good restarts and it was hard when we were behind traffic because in turns 7 and 11 you have to get on the gas and it was really hard. It was easy to spin the wheels. I knew I was running third with 10 to go and I didn't want to finish third. I picked up the pace a little bit and at the same time I was trying to roll the car as much as I could. I was just being very patient.

"I'll tell you the truth. I was very surprised by the level of the drivers here. In Mexico I had a very good car and the drivers were very strong, but here, man the top 20 were -- you had to work for your money. At the end we were right behind Kevin and I was saving the tires. I just tried to keep up with him for 15-20 laps and when I started pushing it I everything fell into place. That was huge. I think this will be a big boost for everybody working in the shop."

DONNIE WINGO (Crew Chief No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger)

"We kinda got stuck in a hole after qualifying, so we had to do something today to make up track position. We knew he could get half of it if we could get the other half. We knew we could be in good shape. The caution actually fell one lap earlier than we wanted it to and it put us in a situation where we had to gamble. We didn't have a choice. Juan did a good job. He kept the fenders on and passed what he needed to pass and fuel mileage is what saved us. The motor shop and the guys have been working hard (on fuel mileage) and it paid off for 'em."


"They kept telling me to be patient and I'd be fine. They said don't over do it and try to save fuel. That's why we're here, and that's why we want to keep winning. That's why success is here, and that's why I came to Chip because Chip is like I am. I think the whole team wants to do the same thing. I think I'm more relieved than excited. We worked so hard to get here. Working with Chip is an awesome feeling, someone who works with me and believes in me and makes my life a lot easier."


"The last time I've been to victory lane was here in 1993. It's been awhile. The last time I've been to victory lane was with Geoff Bodine. It's just like I said. I'm glad to be a part of this big group of people, this organization. We've worked hard and we've been close over the past few years. We just haven't been able to close the deal. As far as being able to do that today, I think it's big for Texaco/Havoline. Without their support (we couldn't have done it), but this is big for all our sponsors."

CHIP GANASSI (Team owner Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates)

"We've been close a lot of times and we just didn't quite close the deal. We were concerned about fuel today just like everybody else. We were saving fuel like everybody was. It means a lot for our entire organization. I had to listen to we've had our share of pundits and reasons for those things over the last four or five years. We had a hard time finding the place (victory lane). My hat's off to everybody in the organization. We all knew we had it in us. Everybody in the organization, from top to bottom, the people that are all running things, we've all won races and we all know how to win. We've got a guy who pushes the pedal now and pushes the button. That sure helps. It feels pretty good to be here to tell you the truth.

"You don't get to a position like you're in today without a guy like Juan with going to the ARCA race in Newton, Iowa, and another ARCA race in Talladega. To going and testing in places he's never been -- Lakeland, Fla. Juan's been through a lot of rough and tumble things the last year since that fateful date when we first talked about this. I don't want to say I ever had any doubts, but once in awhile a little doubt does creep in the back of your mind. This guy next to me (Montoya) never flinched, never once. He didn't have anything but winning on his mind, and that's what's great about him. The fire still burns in his belly to be in the front. It's great to sit here today and be a part of this today and tomorrow it's going to be back to work because we've got to get our act together on the ovals now."

"The guy likes the action. A week or so ago or 10 days ago he was in Eldora in a dirt car. How many guys have been on the Eldora dirt and been on the streets of Monte Carlo? That just tells you the guy has the disease. He has the fever. He likes the action and that's what's fun about working with him. It's not about the money. It's about the action and that's what's fun. It's easy to work hard for a guy like that. He came on the radio today and that was the whole thing. One of the nice things about getting to work with him again, he's matured in a way as a race driver that you could not write in a movie. Those of you who didn't know him before, he's changed quite a bit. He's a lot calmer if you can imagine that. He actually came on the radio today and said, 'it's too early to race these guys.' I was looking around thinking I had somebody else's radio or something. He's a changed man, all in a positive way. All kidding aside, it's a pleasure to work with someone who never gave up, got excited or frustrated."


"I tell you. This is as big as any victory. You could say it's as big as winning the Indy 500 or winning Long Beach. For me winning Long Beach was probably cooler than winning the Indy 500 because it was my first ever big race. Winning here is my first ever big race in stock cars. They're all right up there. I kinda think this is my favorite. It's amazing. We worked hard for it and not only me, but the whole team deserves this. I felt pretty good in the car all day. I was a little thirsty, but it's just more mental than anything else. I felt pretty comfortable. It's pretty important to be comfortable. I was shocked when they told me the time in qualifying. I thought he was joking and when I found out he was telling me the truth, it was like 'man, we sucked.'

"I think in a way it's going to be good for the whole NASCAR sport. I think me winning today is going to bring a lot of attention the next few races. It's good for me. It's good for the whole team. I think it's good for the sport. I'm very proud to be part of it. If I can help it's good."


"Like at Atlanta, we ran good, and at a lot of races early in the year we didn't have bad cars. We qualified well at Fontana and Vegas and then we went to Atlanta and finished fifth. The problem we've had is we just haven't had clean races. Talladega is another place we had a good car and we had something go wrong. Part of it is our making and part of it is out of our control. Today we had a good, clean race. Everything went the way it should go and that's what's happened to us. We've just got to continue this on."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing