Texas (Fort Worth, TX). Montoya — Saturday media visit

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET met with media and discussed how rain affects practice, the season to date, how close he thinks he is to winning, and more.

IT’S RAINING. HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO PRACTICE? «I was hoping for rain. To be 100 percent honest with you, 80 percent of the practice for us yesterday was race. All we did was race. We moved the car to qualifying trim. We did one run and didn’t feel that comfortable in the car. Did a small change and went out again. And that was better. Quick, another change. We didn’t really; you normally put the car in the plate and make sure every adjustment is exactly where you want to be. The way we did it yesterday was rushing. And we were okay. And our draw was terrible. So, we were kind of expecting that. But for today, I was hoping for rain; a lot of rain. And it’s good because we think we’ve got a decent race car. We actually started way off from where we needed to be. We made some good changes and seemed to gain on the car really fast and I was pretty happy about that.»

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A JUMP ON OTHERS THAT DIDN’T DO THAT? «I hope so. That’s our hope. Our goal as today is we’ve got to finish the race but we’ve got to finish good. We’re behind on points from where we need to be, but we’ve got a car capable of the win. So, that playing into account, that helps us. Where you look at last year, we needed to finish the races because a good week was a 10th place. A bad week was a 15th place. Where now a good week is a top five. So, allows you to get away with mistakes and crashes and things, but we’re still behind where we need to be. We still need to finish the races. And we still need to score pretty big.»

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
HOW MUCH CLOSER ARE YOU TO WINNING NOW THAN MAYBE YOU WERE EVEN IN THE CHASE LAST YEAR? «I don’t know. Last week there were three cars to win the race, the No. 18 (Kyle Busch), the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) or the 42 (Montoya) and none of the three won the race. So, somebody told me that, it’s kinda weird but, the last few races that there have been cautions, never the car that’s been leading has won the race.»

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND YOUR SATURDAY IF IT RAINS? «I was well prepared. I told my bus driver to go out and buy some movies. So I’ve got a ton of movies to watch. And I’m kind of happy that it rained today. We did a lot of work yesterday as I said before on the race car and hopefully it pays off for tomorrow.»

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU HAVE PLANNED TO WATCH? «I have Criminal Minds, the TV series and I picked like three or four different movies. So I’ll be entertained, believe me.»

LAST YEAR YOU WERE VERY DETERMINED ABOUT BEING IN THE TOP 12 ALL THE TIME AND ABOUT NUMBERS TO MAKE THE CHASE. ARE YOU A BIT MORE FREE THIS YEAR AND FEEL LIKE YOU CAN GO FOR IT A LITTLE MORE? «At this point, we can’t. We don’t need top 12’s, we need top five’s to be able to come back to where we need to be. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen. But it’s kind of weird because we’re behind in points from last year, but we’re not that far off and we’ve had three DNF’s. Where last year we didn’t and we were probably like 60 points away from where we were last year.»

YOU ARE EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE BUT YOU ROLL WITH THE FLOW LIKE THE RAIN TODAY. «Yeah, I’m intensive competitive, but I’m a realistic guy. You’ve got to learn to be realistic because when the things are not going your way it’s just not going your way and there’s nothing you can do about it. So we run really hard. We run really smart and I think both cars on the team have a really good chance of making the Chase; we’ve just got to be smart about it.»


JUST THOUGHT I’D ASK «Yeah, but it’s crazy because if you go there; last time we went to a Talladega test we tried like five different combinations and things with the wing. And by the time the race came they came with something different. So, what do you gain?»

WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THE NEWS ABOUT KASEY KAHNE JOINING HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS? YOUR SITUATION IS VERY STABLE «Yeah, at the moment it’s very stable. My contract still has a couple more years. It’s good for him I guess. He’s been in that thing forever as he started his career and everything. It’s probably a good change for him and it’s nice to see him in a Chevy.»

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