NASCAR Media Conference
Juan Pablo Montoya
October 28, 2006
Q. Tell us about your first race in the NASCAR Busch Series.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It was pretty wild to be honest. I spun around a couple of guys, but I thought with the spotters and at least with the way my spotter works, when somebody is going or outside inside, inside, inside, inside, I don't know whether the guy was playing dumb and wasn't listening or the spotter wasn't telling him. But both of them, my front bumper was on their door and they just kept turning into me.
And after the two of them, I thought, you know, I need to either way to stop doing that because I'm damaging my car. But you know, you're trying to move forward at the same time.
Generally I think Dodge builds a great car, we have a Top-5 car. I made a mistake on the back straight. We were passing a back marker and I had a spot, went through a bit more, when the car got straight, I floored it just to try to get a run on the guy and as soon as I floored it, just shoot me to the guy and I just hit him a little bit, I kept the car in the racetrack and I thought punch her or something, be a little bit careful and somebody ran in the back of me and spun me.
Q. Brad, what's your thoughts on Juan's run today?
BRAD PARROTT: I think it was great. We had a Top-5 car, our pit stops were not stellar today. The last one was, we gained four spots on the last one, but we had a Jacques stop on the right side, a brand new car, so we'll fix that problem, first stop.
We had a lug nut come off the left run and we kept our own today in the pits. But you've got to gain positions, you know. What happens is -- and the car got really tight on the second stint when we ran and we took a half pound of air pressure on the left sides to help me go through centre -- you're not lining up sixth any more, you're 12th. If we would have stayed there all day, we definitely feel like we could have had a Top-5 finish.
So for his first outing, he did a great job, we adjusted on the car four times, got spun out, come back kind of like Talladega a couple of months ago when we come from the back to the front but we just can't go as far this time. I think we learned a lot, we did a great job.
Q. Is it more frustrating in NASCAR -- inaudible?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You've got to be patient. A car -- there can be five cars in front of and you it can take you 20 laps to get to the guys, just driving. You're not going to catch them in two laps. I learned that today. You've just got to pace yourself. Like skip, he run a 50, I run a 12, so I try to push a little more do a flat and just start to gaining time, gaining time and that was the key. If I can do that, by the end, we're just there passing people.
And it's really good, because you can race, you can foul people through the corner and stuff like that. It's all about learning how far -- you know, I'm still really close to hitting that wall but I give myself a bit of margin. It still works. Even when the race opened, we didn't go all the way to the wall and shoot straight to the corners, and it seemed to work here today as well.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I think we had a great car. Yeah, I think it was good, you know, it's something that they told me, somebody's faster than you, for example, let them through. And I did that at the beginning of the race. At the second stint when the car went back, I lost four spots in five laps. They were shooting inside of me and not even, I could see them coming, I saw Carl, it's all yours. It was so much faster, I was just trying to kill the tires, just trying to keep ahead of him, let him through and you're better off. Next time when it's the other way around, it will work. There are some guys out there that they will race like it was the last lap. You know, he can't really run like that and even one of the guys, you're behind the safety car and they came by and give you the finger, it's like what are you doing, it feels like kindergarten.
BRAD PARROTT: I think it's real strange we are not sitting in victory lane right now more to it. You know, it's his first race, you know what I mean. Talladega was his first race. Iowa was his first race. Today was his first race. Hopefully we ran good enough today that Chip maybe let's us go to Texas next weekend, I'm not sure. We haven't decided that yet. We'll talk about that later.
But it's always good to learn, okay. You had teachers from the first through the 12th grade, and today you had teachers all around. You had 42 guys on the racetrack either trying to teach him or didn't want to teach him. He learned a lot. I told ESPN awhile ago that you'll see this guy as the Nextel champion in the next two years.
If Chip Ganassi Racing, if we can step our program more so with him than we are our other drivers and we can do that and working around with read and David and get our organization better, this guy can win races, there's to doubt in my mind. I told him during the race that his mom and dad did right when he was born because they connected his brain and his hands to both feet, and that's what it takes to be a race car driver.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Talladega, you know, I knew not a lot of people were going to work with me so I decided, I just got with Steven, I just pushed Steven all day, when I run the back, I just said, I'm just going to stay with you and I'm going to drive forward, and it worked here it runs by itself. You need to run below people and get a run on all that.
It's so new. It's easier, especially when you're like 30th or something to pass the cars around you is pretty easy, you just get underneath them and drive, or you get a little bit wide and you put the nose in. I'm not used to the guy knowing I'm there. In open-wheel, you put a nose in, the guy turns and you break your front wing.
There's no spotters or anything. You put your nose in and the guy tells you on the inside. In my mind, I doubted sometimes to put the nose in because I'm not sure the guy saw me but he's not the guy that needs to see me, he's the spotter. So all of that is a little bit new.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I turned around a couple of guys, but as I told you, I was on the inside of them and they still turn into me. I got to a point, you know, the second time I thought Jesus Christ, is it me doing something wrong. I thought if you were on the inside of somebody, you're on the race line.
Like what happened to me with Steven in the last race in Iowa in the Iroq race, he didn't tell me he was on the outside on the bumper and he put me on the wall and he was okay. Especially with the second one, with the 18, half a car inside and he's still just came in like I wasn't there. Everybody, they have that tendency here, they move to the inside but they don't brake late.
It's like, in the research, a couple of times, I could have had a couple of times but they all shoot for the inside and they brake early. I didn't want to spin people around today but I could have passed ten more cars today if I would have been more aggressive. I don't want to make any miss, but if you out break somebody -- it's up to the spotter here and the driver to give yourself a bit of room and you always see the guy when he's on the inside.
BRAD PARROTT: As he learns more, he's going to help me more. Right now my hand are full right now with just trying to figure out what he wants. I can't say do you want more right front swing, I can't say do you needless air pressure. I'm telling you what the car is doing, I'm reading my air pressure, the tire sheet, my engineer notes, my car sheet notes and I'm reading it all and I'm taking a lot in. The more and more we do that, the more information we're going to get back. If it goes back to me, two years ago, I had Greg Biffle, without Greg telling me what to do. He didn't tell me watt car was doing and we did the came thing on Carl Edwards.
I'm used to it and I've learned that experience with the drivers because they have been cutting drivers and won't give me any time. Next year he's not going to give me any time and I'm going to have to did it again. That's okay, because as long as I can keep making it better for him, we can keep doing our jobs. If we're making it worse, we're not doing our job.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's good. He knows what I can do, he worked with me before, he knows what I can do on the car. And he wants me to go forward, you know, don't be conservative, you're not racing for points or anything. Go forward and go hard. I did that but at the same time I tried to do that as peaceful as possible. I could take more spots but it was going to be too aggressive.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I think for --
Q. Inaudible --
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: If I'm Top-10, yes, it's like a victory. For me, I want to win. As I told you, we have the learning process and everything, but at the end of the day, we're here to win. We're not here to, oh, we finished 10th, he was great, we came back, and we showed we had a car to be further up.
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