Talladega: Pole winner interview

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TUM'S DUAL ACTION IMPALA SS -- Pole Winner ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP "I think it was really exciting. I think it really shows where the team is heading. I think this Tums Chevy here has been incredible. And I want to ...

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TUM'S DUAL ACTION IMPALA SS -- Pole Winner

ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP

"I think it was really exciting. I think it really shows where the team is heading. I think this Tums Chevy here has been incredible. And I want to thank as well Target and Sprint for all the support and for everything they do.

"I don't know. It was one of those deals where this is one of those race tracks where you really don't even want to qualify because you never know what's going to happen. But getting the pole at least, is pretty cool. Last year we had one and it got taken away. So it's exciting to be back here. You look at this year for us, and I think we're definitely heading in the right direction. I think there is a lot of potential for us to make the Chase. It's encouraging."

ON THE EMOTION OF POSTING A FAST TIME AND THEN HAVING TO WAIT FOR ALL THE OTHER DRIVERS TO QUALIFY BEFORE BEING ASSURED OF THE POLE

"I went back to the motor home and sat down and had a drink and I had something to eat and I just watched. It takes forever here. It's one of those places that I sat outside for a little bit and then inside. And then you just wait. It's not like you are antsy or anything, but it's like, I'm into can we sit down and have lunch? No. You've got to wait because if you're on the pole, you've got to go and do this and that and this. But it's cool. This is one of those places where you not only the driver, but mainly it's the team and the car performance. There have been two restrictor plate races and for both of them an EGR car has been on the pole. Hopefully we can translate it into a win here."

TALK ABOUT LEARNING HOW TO RACE AT TALLADEGA. HAS IT TAKEN LONGER TO DO WELL THAN YOU EXPECTED?

"This is one of those place where you think oh, you've got a good enough car. But people don't go with you. You've got to push people and make people go. If you want to go somewhere, you're actually going to hit people to make sure you hit them hard enough that they know you're going to go with them. And I think, especially early on, it doesn't matter whether you make the right move or the wrong move or you fall back or your stay in the front, as long as the big one doesn't happen around you when you went to the back, you should be okay. It's just a matter of timing and making sure you can hook with somebody who is fast and you've got to be loyal. If you are loyal to people during the day, at the end of the day you're going to need them if you want to win this."

HAVE YOU TALKED TO CHIP GANASSI YET AND WHAT HIS REACTION IS? HE'S HAD A GOOD COUPLE OF WEEKS LATELY WITH THE INDY CAR PROGRAM AND NOW THE POLE:

"No, I haven't talked to him today. I talked to him yesterday. It's just cool. Dario (Franchitti) win last week in Long Beach and that was big for Dario and big for the team. That program has always been so strong, that Indy Car program. This side has always been a little bit weaker. We're working to make sure this program is at least as good as that one. And we're getting there. It's kind of funny. Like last year, you're running 20th or 25th, and you're like oh, if you run 17th, you're happy. Now we run 15th and we think no, we suck today. The potential is there. Everybody just wants to run so well. Everybody wants to make sure we go the extra mile."

AFTER YOU POSTED YOUR TIME, WHICH DRIVER WERE YOU MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THAT MIGHT BEAT YOU?

"Martin (Truex) my teammate. I thought Martin had a chance of beating us. And a couple of go or go-home cars. If you really remember, we've got race trim in the car. We're maxed out for speed and stuff, but you don't have qualifying oils, you don't have the alternator disconnected, you don't have the power steering disconnected none of that stuff. So you're always thinking you take all that stuff off, you could run two or three tenths faster. So the chance of one of those guys beating you is always pretty high."

WHAT DOES WINNING THE TALLADEGA POLE MEAN? IS IT A CONFIDENCE BUILDER OR DOES IT MAKE YOU JUST THE FIRST TO START?

"First it gives me five points. I'll take the five points trying to make the Chase. Every point counts. In a way, it shows the car has a lot of speed. When it comes down to it, people are going to know you're going to have loads of speed. If I have loads of speed, if I make a move, there is a chance that people are going to go with you because they know your car is going to go. And I think at the beginning of the race being on a clean track and things are a little bit calmer up front, I think it's a good thing. Is it going to make you the favorite to win the race? No. But we always run good here. The goal is to win the race."

I THINK THAT TALLADEGA, ALABAMA WOULD BE THE LAST PLACE SOMEONE WHO RACED ON THE STREETS OF MONTE CARLO AND AROUND THE WORLD WOULD EXPECT TO TAKE SO WELL TOO, YOU MADE YOUR FIRST START HERE, IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PLACE?

"I don't know. I really enjoy the restrictor plate racing. Really get a kick out of it. Having everybody so close together. It is not about who has the fastest car. It is about putting yourself in the right position, getting the right runs, doing the right stuff always goes a long way. I don't know, we always end up normally good here. You can always get involved in the wrecks. When we were leading here in November and right after the top group passed us, they got involved in a wreck and came down and hit and there is nothing you can do. But, with the same token, if you can stay out of trouble, you can get a top-five out of a place like this and a top-five in points is huge."

COULD YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WORKING MORE CLOSELY WITH MARTIN?

"It is huge. I think my car from the beginning of the year, we had pretty decent pace. The No. 1 car has struggled a little bit with speed and we made a lot of changes. I don't know if you guys have been hearing and riding about the common car where we need to achieve where we need to go and we are doing that. We know where we need to go. We know what we need to achieve. I think there is a lot of things in the pipeline that are going to make us a little bit better every week. As long as we keep finding little things, we'll be fine. You gotta keep finding performance. You can not sit and hope you are going to run well. We're doing that. We have good ideas of things we need to do and just a matter of time to see what happens."

DID YOU THINK YOUR TIME WOULD STAND ONCE YOU POSTED IT, WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN BIFFLE MADE THE RUN AND CAME CLOSE.

"I'll tell you the truth. I looked at Truex's lap and I was actually was on the Internet looking at wind surf stuff so when they told me 'oh, that was close' I was like, what was close. I wasn't really paying too much attention. I'll be honest, my crew chief was kind of in denial and said 'I am not sure the car is going to be fast enough to be on pole or anything, there is a couple of things we need to do for the next time we come here.' This was before qualifying so I am thinking 'oh, I was hoping to run well, now we are going to suck.' It is pretty good."

REFRESH MY MEMORY, WHAT POLE WAS IT THAT WAS TAKEN AWAY LAST YEAR?

"Kansas, wasn't it Kansas? 10 pounds too much in one of the shocks or something like that, I think it was. I don't know."

WHAT KIND OF SATISFACTION DOES IT GIVE YOU TO BE ON POLE HERE?

"What it really helps is to build momentum for the team. I think that everybody that works on this team is sitting at home right now, probably having a beer or something and they are enjoying themselves. I think that goes a long way. The people the cars, to marketing, to people that put the stickers on, anybody involved with this team is celebrating and that goes a long way. Because we are working to get to that. We're working to get wins. We're working to get poles, to get noticed, get in to the Chase and be a contender. We're doing that. This is one of those better races that shows true car performance because so little involves the driver. You have to be very fine and make sure you put a certain steering input and leave it there to make sure you don't scrub any speed. You have to be very very smooth with it but apart from that, it is a lot down to the horsepower, aero on the car. How well detailed the car is and it shows where we are."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup