Phoenix, AZ. II. Монтойя в субботу

УвеличитьJuan Pablo Montoya was the top Raybestos Rookie in today’s first NEXTEL Cup practice session at Phoenix, posting the 15th-best overall speed. Montoya leads David Ragan by 20 points (234-214) in the chase for Raybestos Rookie of the Year.

ХПМ: “They say it’s fast but it feels terrible. We changed a lot of stuff in it. It’s hard because the track is slowing down and whatever you do, everything you’ve got, you’re going to run slower. So in your mind you don’t think you did the right changes because you’re running slower, but everybody else is running slower. It’s a pretty hard mind game to really to keep your mind set in what you need to do.”

WHAT MAKES THIS TRACK SO DIFFICULT?
ХПМ: “It’s not an easy racetrack. You know, we qualified half-decent. I thought it was going to be a lot worse but it wasn’t that bad after all, only one lap. It’s two different corners, a lot of sliding around and it just make it tough.”

DOES THE TRACK GET SLICKER AND LOSE GRIP THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND?
ХПМ: “Oh yeah, a lot, a lot of it.”

COMMENT ON THE OPEN WHEEL DRIVERS MAKING THE RACE.
ХПМ: “It was nice to see most of the guys make the field. I think that’s big.”

WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT IN THE RACE?
ХПМ: “A tough race. You can get a lap down here so fast. Once you get a lap down it’s downhill from there [laughs].”

IS THIS A TRACK WHERE YOU CAN UNINTENTIONALLY HOLD SOMEONE UP?
ХПМ: “Yeah, but they can move you pretty easy as well. That’s the problem. I think when you run a lot of open wheel, people are used to holding people off. Here it just doesn’t work. And if you hold off the wrong person they’ll wreck you. It’s pretty hard.”

YOU APPEAR TO BE A MENTOR TO DARIO FRANCHITTI. HAVE YOU BEEN IN THAT ROLE BEFORE?
ХПМ: “No, never. I just want to make sure that he’s up to speed as fast as possible and make him as competitive as possible early when he comes to Cup next year. I just did it because fast as Dario gets up to speed the better it’s going to be for the whole company.”

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