JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed green-white-checkered scenario, driver-crew chief relationships and racing at Martinsville.
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR A DRIVER UNDER A GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED SCENARIO? «Sometimes it is crazier. Now with a couple of them, it’s not as crazy. It is still really out of control because it is your last chance. You have to keep in mind that you might have to restart again, so you have to be a little bit smarter, at least that is my thought. I think it is exciting. It is exciting for the fans. You just go and see what happens. If the car is good-good. If the car is bad-bad. It is what it is. You can’t change it. It is like any other restart, you just go and hope.»
YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH A DRIVER/CREW CHIEF CHANGE, WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE? «Every driver drives a little bit different and every crew chief sets up the car a little bit different and have different ideas so it is hard to pair it up. One thing is what the crew chief thinks he needs to run, the other thing is what the driver thinks he needs out of the car to be comfortable and to be able to go fast. Not always the fastest setup for the crew chief is something the driver can drive. If you can’t drive it, it doesn’t matter how fast the car is.»
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE KEY IS TO YOUR SUCCESS HERE AT MARTINSVILLE? «You have a lot of braking that I was used to doing. I think that helps. It has been a race track where I never thought we were that good but we were a 10th, 12th place car always. Last time we came here, we had a really good finish, we had a really good car. This year it seems the car has a little more pace than last year, it is pretty exciting.»
WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY IN THE PRACTICE SESSIONS? «Things you need to know are the tendency of the car, what is it going to do on a longer run. You want to make sure that the forward bit and the traction stays there with you all the time. That the car turns and is stable. That the brakes are good.»
DOES THIS TRACK CHANGE THAT MUCH? «The rubber in the corners. You start getting rubber on the green, you get lines of rubber. You really have to find a way to drive around that. You get there and it doesn’t turn. It moves the car or it steps out. It depends on which tire hits it. It is a challenge but it is exciting.»
YOU HAVE A STRONG CAR BUT THERE WAS NO QUALIFYING SO WHAT DOES THAT DO TO YOUR STRATEGY FOR THE RACE? «I think in this race there really isn’t any planned strategy. You want to finish, you want to score points. You look at Bristol, we didn’t do anything wrong, they wrecked in front of us and took us with them. It is part of racing. Out of five races, we have had three wrecks. It makes it really hard. Hard for the points. The bright side out of it is that we have a really fast car and we have led four out of five races. I think that is really exciting and I think here we can lead again, hopefully we lead the right light.»