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Homestead, FL. Монтойя и Винго на пресс-конференции после гонки

ХПМ: “It’s hard. Today we had a decent car all day we just couldn’t make it better. We tried all kinds of things and that’s all we had.”

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR NEXT YEAR?
ХПМ: “I think we’re 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 and I’m just looking forward to next season.”

HOW WAS YOUR CAR TONIGHT?
ХПМ: “It was good. It was fast. We just couldn’t balance it. I’ve been tight in all the time and loose off all the time and when we would fix it I would be a little better in the middle and worse in the out. It’d be worse in the middle and good off. We never managed to balance it. We tried.”

YOU WERE VERY GOOD IN THE SUNLIGHT EARLY IN THE RACE.
ХПМ: “It was good. It got dark and it got looser. It was hard. I could never get back to the gas. It was like before when it was daylight I could get it wide-open in the middle of the corner, no problem. It got dark and every time I got to the end the car just stepped out on me. It was just hard.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS STOCK CAR RACING? ARE YOU GETTING THE HANG OF IT AFTER 36 RACES?
ХПМ: “I would think we’re really getting the hang of it. We’re running pretty competitive. I think there is still a ways to go.”

WHAT’S THE MAIN THING THAT YOU’VE LEARNED THIS YEAR?
ХПМ: “Bring the car home every week. Whether it’s 35th or first, bring it home. That’s very important.”

PRESS CONFERENCE

COMMENT ON YOUR RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR SEASON.
ХПМ: “I think it went pretty good. It’s a big of every now, up and down. I think everybody at Ganassi did an amazing job. It’s one of those deals I think it was more us to lose than win so I think it came out pretty good. I think more important we had a race win. I think for the record books and stuff I think it’s 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?
ХПМ: “I think I’ve been the rookie before in a lot of series but being a rookie with the experience I had it’s very different. I had no stock car experience but I think from my open wheel background I raced pretty much about everything you can race. I think it’s pretty cool. I think it’s good for the team. I think it’s something to cheer about in the team. I think more important is how the performance of the team came up through the whole year. Where we started and where we finished is a big difference.”

HOW HARD IS MAKING THE SWITCH TO STOCK CARS COMPARED TO OTHER SERIES?
ХПМ: “I think it’s very difficult going from four wheels to two wheels. I think the bigger thing is I ran 10-15 races on ovals before I came to NASCAR the two years that I did in Indy cars. And coming here, getting back to the ovals, getting into a big car, big horsepower, very little grip, I’ll tell ya it’s a handful. It’s really a handful. In open wheel when you’re good you have a lot of grip. The car does whatever you want it. It does it all the time where here, when you’re good it’ll do that for about 10 laps. It keeps you busy.”

DONNIE WINGO

Винго: “I think we had some ups and downs. Today we kind of struggled. We were good through the sunlight and when it got dark and got cool we just got real loose and just never could get it back. Once we tried to get it back then we’d get too tight in the center. We just kind of struggled with it through the night. We were making small adjustments. We’d gain on it one time and lose on it the next. It was one of those deals where we were kind of chasing the racetrack and we just never could get it where he needed to be. It was too loose off pretty much from the beginning but it was pretty good through the middle to start with and then we just got loose off and tight in the center.”

HOW MUCH HAS JUAN PABLO MONTOYA LEARNED IN THESE CARS OVER THE LAST 36 RACES?
Винго: “I think today being able to run it as loose as he could run it today is a big improvement from where we started. At the beginning of the year we were really, really tight and today we were just too loose. We struggled a little bit with it today but all in all we had a good car and everybody did a good job. And to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year again, it’s pretty much the same group that won it with McMurray so we’re still hanging in there [smiles].”

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON THIS WINTER TO MAKE THIS TEAM BETTER?
Винго: “The COT is going to be the biggest thing. I think we gained some from the beginning of the year to now with the COTs and we’ve just got to continue to gain with that because that’s what we’re going to be running. Everybody is pretty much fighting the same thing. We just have to get out of the gate to a good start.”

HOW MUCH TESTING CAN YOU DO THIS WINTER?
Винго: “We won’t do that much in December but when January rolls around we’ll hit it pretty hard. We’ve got the Daytona test and then the test at Vegas and California at the end of the month.”

HOW MUCH CAN YOU LEARN TESTING AT KENTUCKY ON A COLD DAY?
Винго: “Really not that much. It’s just different scenarios you try to go through, certain situations and what it’s like and that’s basically what we work on.”

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