Sunday, August 8, 2010

Montoya wins

AUGUST 8, 2010
BRIAN PATTIE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: WHAT DOES THIS WIN MEAN TO YOU?:  “It’s huge.  It’s big for our sponsor and Target’s first time in victory lane.  I still want to win on an oval to prove this point, but we’ve been fast every week.  The Brickyard two weeks ago was my fault and hopefully this makes up a little bit.”
WHAT DOES THIS WIN DO TO MEND SOME FENCES WITH THIS TEAM?:  “Yeah.  Trophies mean a lot.  My Truck and my Busch victories I have both had here so it’s pretty neat to have the triple at the same race track, which is my favorite.  It means a lot.  This is pretty cool.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, FINISHED RACE WINNER: WHAT IS BEING BACK IN VICTORY LANE LIKE?:  “It’s great.  We lost a lot of them and gave away a lot of them.  It’s gets frustrating and everybody gets fighting and everything, but this Target team does an amazing job.  I want to thank Sprint for supporting this series -- it’s an amazing series.  I love it and it’s about time to get another one.”
WHAT DOES THIS WIN DO FOR THE RELATIONSHIP WITH BRIAN PATTIE?:  “We have a great relationship.  We really understand each other.  It’s difficult because we’re very competitive and we both want to win.  Yesterday we had a really good talk with Chip (Ganassi, team owner) and all the boys.  Now this -- it’s awesome.”
YOU WERE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD TODAY, TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN: “It was awesome. We had a great car. We worked really hard all day. When (Marcos) Ambrose passed me, I was ok. I was really saving the brakes. Last two years here, never had a shot at winning because I was always out of brakes. This time, played it really smart and when it was time to go, we had the car.”
WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE ON THAT LAST RUN? “Just pushing. Not looking after the brakes or the car, you know. Just 10 tenths all the time and it showed the potential of this car. It is nice.”
YOU SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT STRONGER CAR ON THE RESTARTS: “I was just diving 95%. A little bit here, a little bit there, making sure I had a car for the end. I was surprised. I said I am going to push really hard and see if I can open the gap. It was good.”
SO YOU DROVE 100% THERE AT THE END, BUT 95% THE REST OF THE RACE? “Yes. We just raced really smart all day. We definitely needed this and it is awesome.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: "Really proud to be apart of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing today, and really just happy for Juan and those guys over on the 42. We've shown all year that both cars are more than capable of winning, and then just further cements that. As for our day, we had a good day, ran top five nearly all day, but just couldn't hang on to that top five spot there at the end. Really wanted the top five for McDonald's, Bono and the guys. This was a big weekend for McDonald's and let's face it we've had a lot of success with the Golden Arches on the hood of our No. 1 Chevrolet. But, proud of my guys and proud of everyone at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Another Top 10 for the No.1 Team and hopefully some momentum heading into Michigan."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: WHAT WAS THE RACE LIKE TODAY?:  “It wasn’t too bad I didn’t think.  For the most part, there were a couple guys that were real big on the blocking thing, but for the most part I thought everybody that I was around was pretty clean for the most part.”
WHAT HAPPENED WITH BORIS SAID?:  “The 29 (Kevin Harvick) got underneath him off of six or whatever they want to call it.  I got to the left of him and I got through seven just fine, we got through one just fine and he just moved a little to the left there.  I have to stay on the road.  I gave him room through two corners and never pinched him down.  I don’t know if he didn’t know we were still there or if he thought he had more room.  I can’t go any further left than what I already was.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: HOW WAS YOUR RACE TODAY?:  “We ran well, we just got in trouble there.  Qualifying hurt us.  Statistically, I’ve never been very good here.  Now that I have this race behind me, it’s time to go race.”
TODD BERRIER, CREW CHIEF, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH:  ON LAP 71 INCIDENT: “We were racing with the 48 and the 18 came in and made it three wide. The 11 (was there). All of us kind of went up the track together. The 11 was just a victim of circumstances. No significant damage. For the 48 and the 11 obviously. For us, no, not really. Just a little fender damage but that was it. Nothing major. We came out on the good end of it, I guess. You hate for that to happen.

“Considering where we qualified, we’re pleased. We had a lot better car than that in qualifying, a lot better car than that in the race. I feel like we should have finished in the top five today. But the last race here he knocked the engine out of it, so I guess it could be worse. We could have been like some of these other guys. At the end of the day, it’s acceptable but that doesn’t make it any better.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: HOW WAS YOUR RACE TODAY?:  “We had a good day.  Got a flat tire there with like three laps to go and just had to kind of hang on to finish.  That kind of stinks, but all in all it was a pretty good day and the car was fast.  That was it.”
WHAT WAS THE RACING LIKE TODAY, DENNY HAMLIN SAID IT WAS REAL AGGRESSIVE?:  “I didn’t see that.  Obviously, he (Denny Hamlin) wrecked so maybe he saw something that I didn’t.  My day was really calm.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: ON GAINING IN THE POINTS:  “We gained in the big picture.  We’re still out.  The guys did a great job with the U.S. Army Chevrolet to fight back.  We used a little bit of pit strategy to get ourselves in a little better position.  Big improvements on the race car between yesterday and today.  That’s something that we needed.  In the big picture, it was better, still not where we want to be.  We’ll keep going.”
IS THE 12TH POSITION FOR THE CHASE STILL UP FOR GRABS WITH FOUR RACES REMAINING?:  “It’s still a great race for that position.  There’s a lot that we’re racing for.  Everybody is racing hard.  There’s a lot of pressure on us.  We’re just doing the best job we can for the U.S. Army and Tornados and Haas Automation Chevrolet.”
ON THE ROAD RACING SPECIALISTS:  “We’re here to race.  You can points race all day long, but we’re here to race.  If you have a problem with a racer, you talk to them about it after the race.  That’s enough said.”
 “Wild! That is how I would sum it up. It may only be 18th in some people’s eyes, but for me it was one of the coolest, wildest races I have ever driven.  We had brake issues from lap one.  I think it was a set of glazed pads on the front.  I just couldn’t drive the car deep into the braking zone and make aggressive moves.  We will see what we can to avoid that in the future.  The guys did a great job making the calls and keeping me on the lead lap, which paid off with a good finish. I had no real drama with the car.  A couple of guys used me as brakes when they were losing them and I did the same.  For the most part we kept it clean, I didn’t shove anyone off and I didn’t get shoved off.  I had some light contact, but no real car damage.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: HOW WAS YOUR RACE TODAY?:  Alan Gustafson (crew chief) was just a rock today.  All weekend we were way off on speed and we worked so hard throughout the practice.  We made some improvements, we started the race, we were pretty far off and every time we stopped they improved the car, which is hard to do on a road course.  I know these guys were digging in hard, we’re really pulling hard and I’m proud of them.  We’re making progress, we’re not where we need to be, but the last three weeks before we got to the road course we’re improving each week so we hope to be strong at Michigan.  We’re battling as hard as we can go.
“We did a great team effort all weekend, with realistic goals, understanding the speed that we had in our race car. I couldn’t be more proud of the rock that Alan Gustafson is providing this team and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stay solid, keep fighting hard, work on our stuff and see if we can get in this thing.

“I was not aware of it (Bowyer’s issues). I didn’t know about it. We’re not really focused on that. We really have got to continue to get better. We fell back some. We were better at Chicago, better at Indy, better at Pocono. We knew this one would be a challenge and we got through this one. We need to be better at Michigan. We’re working, we’re trying … we’re digging as hard as we can go.

“Because we ran like junk last year. We were terrible last year and we were a little better this year. We were terrible at Sonoma last year, and a little better this year. But we still have a long way to go to be competitive at a road course.
HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR CHASE CHANCES?:  “We’ve got to pick it up.  We’ve got to keep getting better.  We got better at Chicago, Indy and Pocono.  Now we need to get better yet at Michigan.  If we can do that, keep gaining momentum in these last four then we’ve got a shot at it.  But if we trip and stumble anywhere, it will be curtains.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 28TH: DO YOU AGREE WITH DENNY HAMLIN THAT THE RACING TODAY WAS TOO AGGRESSIVE?:  “I just got there and had just arrived on the scene.  I had just been working my way up through there and had the contact from behind.  I wasn’t there long enough to really see.  I had so many troubles -- that flat tire, lost track position trying to overcome that, that I just got back in that part of the field.
WAS TODAY’S RACE SIMILAR TO SONOMA?:  “With the lower speed corners at Sonoma, I think people are more brave.  Here, your brakes go away and you really don’t have the ability to charge the turn and make opportunities happen.  I think everybody after a certain point kind of gives up on the braking zones where at Sonoma, you can’t wear the brakes out.  You can continue to be aggressive and charge and create situations there.” 
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE ACCIDENT YOU WERE INVOLVED IN?:  “We just recovered from a flat tire that we had and worked out way up there into the top-10 finally.  Then had some contact from behind.  I’m really not sure what all took place, but getting into turn 11, I got hit from behind and turned around.  We already overcame the tire early in the race and just didn’t have any time to come back from that.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WEEKEND OVERALL?:  “I think we overcame a lot throughout the weekend.  I know the result doesn’t show it, but we unloaded and had a lot of troubles.  We got the car turned around and qualified ninth.  Then I had an early flat tire and rebounded from that and drove all the way through the field back to ninth again and had that contact in turn 11.  Jeff (Gordon) was just here and it sounds like maybe the 18 (Kyle Busch) was racing with him and they got in a situation getting into turn 11 and they were bouncing off of one another. I was up ahead of them and I was the next guy in line for the contact.  One of those racing deals.  Hate that it happened, but what do you do?”
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 28TH: “It was a tough day. We came back strong and were in the top 10 and then had that accident over there. It happens. We had a flat tire on lap 10, came back from that, passed everybody on the race track all the way up to ninth. I thought we had a solid top 10. Unfortunately we had a little accident there …”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: DID YOU FINISH WHERE YOU EXPECTED TODAY?:  “I thought we had a top-10 car.  I think there at the end, we were a little bit better than that.  The restarts, we struggled a little bit trying to stay out of trouble too because everybody was getting knocked around.  I think we had a really solid day and came home in the top-10 when our weekend started out pretty rough on Friday.  All in all, a good day, no baby and get home and see what kind of week we have.”
HOW DO YOU POSITION THIS RACE IN POINTS WITH IT NOT BEING A WIN?:  “The only thing that is relevant for us is to learn how we can come back here and have a more competitive car next year.  If we had started the weekend closer or more like we were in the race then I think we would have had something to compete with for the weekend.”
HOW CRAZY WAS THE DRIVING TODAY, ESPECIALLY THE RESTARTS WITH THE ROAD RACERS?:  “It goes both ways because in Sonoma, it seems like we use those guys up pretty hard and those restarts are wild and crazy here.  You only have a couple corners that you have an opportunity to take advantage of another car and try to get those positions.  The road racers, where they’re good is getting aggressive into the braking zones.  I really, I wasn’t around a whole lot of it.  I saw (Greg) Biffle get shot off there one time and a little bit of what happened with Boris (Said).  I was pretty happy the way things went for us, other than there were times I didn’t have the right position and I lost some positions on the restarts.  Other than that, I didn’t get knocked around a whole lot.”
IS YOUR REACTION TO GREG BIFFLE AND BORIS SAID’S INCIDENT BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T INVOLVED IN IT?:  “Definitely.  I didn’t know who got into him really.  I just saw he got shot off there.  I really couldn’t tell you.”
WAS THIS RACE TAME FOR WATKINS GLEN?:  “Ever since we started going double-file restarts none of them are tame.  It’s just that I wasn’t involved in a whole lot of the may lay.  I avoided it, I saw it in front of me and around me, but it never really got to me.  When that’s the case, you come out of here feeling okay about things.  When you get caught up in it, then you’re not too happy, you say it’s crazy and guys are bumping and banging and that’s just how it goes.”
ON HENDRICK TEAMMATES:  “Usually during the week I’ll pay attention somewhere online or through some of our debriefs and stuff.  We want to see all four of our guys in the Chase.  We’re always pulling for everybody.  Mark (Martin) is just one of those guys who is just solid at so many places that you have confidence that he’s going to find his way in there.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, FINISHED 32ND: HOW FRUSTRATING WAS TODAY?:  “It’s just frustrating.  We’ve broke a piece of the car, I mean the frame broke both road courses.  I don’t know if we’re making them too light or what.  Disappointing for everybody.”
HOW STRONG WAS YOUR RACE CAR?:  “I was able to drive back up through them.  I knew I would be able to.  I can’t every qualify very good here, but I can always get back up through them in a race.  It’s disappointing.”
WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM TO GET BACK OUT?:  “The guys did a good job getting it welded up and getting back out there.  As far as I’m concerned, it is catastrophic, for now.”
DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD GET BACK ON THE LEAD LAP?:  “I did and I had no idea, then when I saw the white flag I was like, ‘oh man, I thought I had a lot more time.’  Just run out of time.”
WAS THE CAR AS GOOD AFTER THE TEAM FIXED IT?:  “Not quite as good.  It broke the truck arm mount and when they welded it, they pulled it back a little bit so it cocked the rear end a little bit sideways.  Made it a little bit looser in the rights than in the left, but we didn’t have anything to gain right there.  We just had to ride and hope the caution came out.  It did a couple times and helped, but we needed it to come out one more time.”
DID YOU ALMOST CRASH WHEN IT BROKE?:  “Oh, it was all over the place.  It was pretty wild.”

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