Richmond, VA. Montoya — Friday media visit (+video)

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed his thoughts on tomorrow’s race, wanting to get a win this season, throwing a race for a teammate and more.

CERTAINLY MAKING THE CHASE HAS BEEN A SEASON-LONG GOAL FOR YOU AND YOUR RACE TEAM AND ON THE EVE OF THAT BEING ABLE TO HAPPEN YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT TOMORROW NIGHT’S RACE HERE AT RICHMOND. «I think everybody on the team has done a really good job this year. We sit right now eighth in points. Anything can still happen but I think that we’ve done a good enough job all year that as long as we have a nice, quiet evening everything should go well but you still have the chance that things can go terribly wrong. You can still miss it even from where we are in the points, we’re eighth and it can still happen so we’re realistic about that. We’re just here like every other week. We’re just out there to do the best we can and hope that what we do it good enough to make it.»

YOU’VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THE BIG PRIZE BUT HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO WIN A RACE THIS SEASON? «Our first goal this year was really making the Chase. I think the wins will come. I think the way we’ve been running, we’ve been there. We’ve been so close probably three or four times this year we’ve had the chance to win the race and it hasn’t happened, I think it’s just a matter of time. Before you can get wins you have to compete for them. You’ve got to be there and you have to give yourself chances. We’re doing that. As long as we’re giving ourselves chances things will happen. Sooner than later things will go our way. Right now our goal this year was really making the Chase and we’re looking pretty decent to making it but we’ll see.»

ASSUMING YOU GET (THE CHASE) NEXT WEEK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE WHEN YOU GUYS CAN JUST GO FOR IT AND DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HITTING A MARK EVERY WEEK, HOW REFRESHING IS THAT GOING TO BE FOR YOU AND HOW GOOD DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS CAN BE WITH NO RESTRICTIONS? «If you look at a championship, it’s still numbers. It’s just the average number needs to be a lot better than what it was to making the Chase. We’ve got to run as good as we can every week. I think you can take more chances because now you’re not going to fall out of the Chase or anything. The chances you are going to take are people going for the championship as well. I think you don’t have to be as conservative as I’ve been all year and see what happens.»

REGARDING THROWING A RACE TO HELP OUT A TEAMMATE. «What’s wrong with that? (laughter). I think you’re going to an extreme there. The same thing they are talking about in Formula One. I don’t know. There’s always a line where I think a teammate can help but one thing is helping the other is hurting somebody trying to help. I think that’s crossing the line. I’ll give an example, if Kyle Busch needs to go by (Denny) Hamlin and Hamlin is winning the race and if Kyle needs to win the race and get into the Chase you would think they are going to tell Denny to get out of the gas to help his teammate wouldn’t you? I guarantee you that’s been talked in the team. It would be crazy if they haven’t. Maybe I just gave them an idea.»

DO YOU THINK DENNY WOULD NOT WIN TO LET KYLE GET INTO THE CHASE? «If you’re a team player you would, wouldn’t you?»

I DON’T THINK DENNY WOULD DO IT HERE AT RICHMOND. «We’ll see. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that.»

WHEN YOU WERE IN FORMULA ONE WERE YOU EVER ASKED TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO BUT THE TEAM SAID YOU HAD TO? «I don’t think they put it that way. I think they just go for the benefit of the team we need your help. It’s not an order but at the end of the day it’s supposed to be at your discretion but if you like doing what you’re doing you better obey. (laughter).»


YOU LOOK AT HOW JIMMIE (JOHNSON) HAS WON THE CHASE THE LAST COUPLE OF YEAR, THEY WON MULTIPLE RACES ONCE THEY HAVE GOTTEN IN, DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS ARE CAPABLE OF THAT? «You know right now I’ll take one. We’re so close and we’re running so good. We’ve got to be there every week to make the Chase and I think if we be there every week we’re probably going to end up winning a couple of races hopefully. That’s the hope. I can’t come here and say I’m going to win five races this year when there’s 11 to go. I haven’t won in 26.»

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