Loudon, NH. Montoya — Friday media visit

????: nascar.com
????: nascar.com

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed his thoughts on racing in New Hampshire, the state of his team’s competitiveness and more.

YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING HERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE UPCOMING CHASE. «I don’t know. It should be okay I guess (laughing). It’s kind of weird I talk to all of you guys. I don’t know. It should be okay. I think we’ve got a good car here. We’ll do what we do every week and move on to the next one I guess.»

THE RECENT WEEKS YOU’VE BEEN PRETTY OPENLY POINTS RACING JUST TRYING TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IN THE CHASE, DO YOU CONTINUE THAT METHOD OF RACING INTO THE CHASE OR NOW DO YOU START GOING FOR WINS? «I think the first five races you definitely have to try to get a top-10 every week. Ideally a top-five but I think if you can get the first four or five races a pretty good average with good finishes and if you get a chance to win you’ve got to take them now. You always try but you always try being smart. I think here you can go a little bit more out of control.»

WHEN YOU WERE TRYING TO GET IN THE CHASE YOU KEPT YOUR SAME PERSONALITY, LOTS OF FUN, THE PRESSURE NEVER SEEMED TO GET TO YOU, IF THAT DOESN’T CHANGE IN THE CHASE ITSELF AND YOU STAY THE SAME JUAN PABLO MONTOYA IT SEEMS TO ME ITS NOT BOTHERING YOU AT ALL ON THE INSIDE. «You can’t change what’s going to happen, can you? You just go out there and do your best and hopefully your best is good enough. I think as long as you go home thinking and knowing you did all you could, that’s what you can do. You’ve got to look back and say okay was it good enough and if it wasn’t why and learn from it and make ourselves better every week. Hopefully by the end of the 10 races you’ve still got a shot at it.»

ARE YOU HAVING FUN? «Oh, yeah. I’m loving it. It’s kind of nice having like zero pressure right now. It’s cool.»

IS THIS GOOD TIME YOU’RE HAVING MAYBE IN A WAY A PRODUCT OF EXPERIENCE IN FORMULA ONE WHERE EVERYTHING WAS SO INTENSE ALL THE TIME AND WINNING WAS MORE HEAVILY WEIGHTED THAN JUST FINISHING WELL? «In Formula One when you’ve got the best car you’ve got win when you don’t have the best car you don’t win. It’s that simple. Here every week you’ve got a shot at winning and you’ve got to try to do the best to take it. It’s hard. It’s hard because any given Sunday out there there are four or five cars that can win the race that can actually win the race. It comes down to pit stops and strategy and stuff like that.»

YOU WERE OUTSIDE THE CHASE LAST YEAR KNOWING YOU WANTED TO GET IN, WHAT IS IT LIKE NOW TO BE ON THE STAGE AND BE ONE OF THE 12? «Last year we were like 20th in points at this point or 18th or something like that. We were in contention and after 10 races we were 12th in points last year and then we did all the crew chief changes and by the time everything settled I was like 18th and there was not even a realistic chance of making it. So we knew what we needed to do next year and we sat down and we talked about it and we did. This year we achieved what we wanted to do and this is like a little bonus for us. It’s a plus.»

NOW YOU’VE GOT YOURSELF COMPETITIVE WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE STATE OF THE TEAM’S COMPETITIVENESS NOW? «I think we’re pretty close. All the a-game is there as good as anybody we’ve just got to keep that a-game more continuously. I think that is what we need sometimes when making changes, sometime with pit stops, sometimes with myself. You still make stupid mistakes. You’ve got to stay away from stuff and I think the least mistakes you do the better you’re going to be.»

PEOPLE KIND OF LOOK AT THE FACT THAT YOU’VE ARRIVED IN NASCAR, YOU’VE GOT THE RESPECT OF PEOPLE, IS THAT THE WAY IT IS FROM YOUR PROSPECTIVE? «I’ve been very welcome here from day one from everybody in the garage, to drivers, to fans. I can say it’s good that we are competitive now. It sucks when you’re not but when you’re not it doesn’t mean you are not trying. You know last year when you finished 16th or 15th that was an awesome day. We finish 15th now, we suck. Nature of the sport I guess.»

TO A LOT OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE SPORT THEY LOOK AT MARK MARTIN BEING 50 YEARS OLD AND AMAZED THAT HE CAN DO WHAT HE CAN DO, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE AS A RACER IS IT REALLY THAT AMAZING WHAT HE’S ABLE TO DO AT THAT AGE? «I think mentally he’s in great shape. I think physically he’s in great shape. He knows what he needs to do. It’s one of those deals where he’s been here long enough that he understands how the cars are run. He understands what it takes to do everything. Right now he’s got a chance at winning the championship. It’s one of his last few chances and I don’t think he’s going to give it away too easy.»


CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TREATMENT YOU GOT FROM FANS IN FORMULA ONE AND HOW FANS TREAT YOU HERE PARTICULARLY NOW AFTER BEING IN THE CHASE? «In Formula One you don’t have a lot of relationship with fans. You do like a parade with all the drivers early in the morning when the stands are half full. You don’t get to see them close up or anything. Here I found the booing really cool to tell you the truth. I don’t mind at all. For me when they boo more it means I’m doing better. So it’s good.»

WHAT IS THE MOOD LIKE FOR THE TEAM WITH THEIR FIRST TIME IN THE CHASE AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE THEY ARE READY TO STEP IT UP A NOTCH EQUIPMENT WISE? «We’re going to be bringing our best cars every week to make sure that we don’t leave anything on the table. In Richmond we took the same car we ran there in the spring everywhere else we’ve been bringing new cars and new things. I think here we’re supposed to have a really good car. We think we are bringing our best equipment and everybody else will as well. I don’t think you are going to see much more of a difference. The team is incredible. They’re pumped up, they’re excited and they can see that we can do it. We’re competitive and they see that so it’s nice.»


BUT NOT BEING THE FIRST FOREIGN CHAMPION? «No, that’s not a big deal for me. I don’t get any special treatment or anything. I wouldn’t mind getting some but I don’t.»


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