JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS – QUALIFIED 3RD: ON HIS LAP:
«I think the lap was pretty good. We were actually one of the last few cars on the track, so I think it helped a little. But everybody around us seemed to still slow down. So I think I was one of the few cars to actually pick up from practice. So I was pretty happy with that. The car felt better than practice, performance-wise. So it was good. I think everybody at the team seems to be doing a very good job week-in and week-out and we’ve just got to keep doing the same thing every week and see what happens.»
DID THE OVERCAST/SUNNY WEATHER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR LAP? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PIT ROAD?
«I did only like two race runs in the morning and the car felt pretty good. I think the sun does make the track a little bit slicker. You could see a lot of the guys sliding around. I think what Kasey Kahne said about going early probably hurt him a little bit, but I think 2nd was still good for him. For us, I think the pit entrance is going to be a little bit harder to get in and stop. Do you want to stay on the track and park the car on the track before you come down, or, you know what I mean, or are you going to come off the banking before Turn 3? It’s always going to be a question and it’s going to be quite a challenge I think.»
ON THE TOWN HALL MEETING, IS THERE ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN F-1 AND DO YOU SEE A VALUE IN DRIVERS HAVING A VOICE IN A RACING SERIES?
«In Formula One you have what’s called the GPDA. My opinion, at least when I was there, they really didn’t listen to us too much. I think that hasn’t changed. But, it’s nice. It’s nice to know that what you think, they care. They are always open for opinions. They always care what the drivers think. And it’s always nice to see that. I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to please everybody in the group. Everybody is going to like one idea or the other, so we’ll see. There were a lot of discussions about double-side restarts and some people say it’s great and some people say it’s bad. It’s what it is and if it happens, it happens. In my opinion, I think when it comes down to five laps to go, I don’t think if you led the day all day long, you don’t want to be side-by-side with somebody with five laps to go on the restart. But it is what it is.»
ON ENGINE PERFORMANCE PACKAGE, WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE ABOUT GOING FROM DODGE TO CHEVY?
«For me, I think to be honest, it’s hard to go and say they’re better here or there. I think all the engines in the series are just so close, I think the characteristic of the engine is very different. We’re very pleased with it. For us, we took a lot of weight off our shoulders because we were building our own engines last year and with the ECR engines, it’s a lot nicer. It’s one less thing you need to worry about and it seems to make everybody a little bit happier in the company so it’s really good.»
WHAT HAS BEEN THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE TRANSITION FOR YOU FROM F-1 TO STOCK CAR RACING? DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE NOW THAN YOU DID WHEN YOU MADE THE SWITCH?
«I think the harder thing is just driving the cars. They are so different to drive than anything else I’ve driven before. I think time in the car has really helped and seeing what other people do and learning from them has been huge. People are really nice here. They are very open. You can go to anybody here and ask a question and most of the time, or all the time for me, they’ll give you an honest answer and it’s nice to see. It’s just very different. The racing is different. When you run Open-Wheel, you’re not used to the give-and-take or anything. You just want to take and not give. So it’s hard to learn that give-and-take sometimes, to be honest.»