Juan Pablo Montoya will lead the field to the green in Sunday’s Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Watkins Glen International. Behind the wheel of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, Montoya posted a new track record of 127.020 mph, collected his second consecutive pole position of the season, and earned his ninth Cup career pole. Montoya’s time beat the second place qualifier, Kyle Busch (Toyota) by five one-hundredths of a second.
Kyle Busch will start 2nd for Toyota followed by Jimmie Johnson in his Hendrick Chevy. Brad Keselowski (Dodge) and Marcos Ambrose (Ford) round out the top-5.
Sam Hornish, who won the pole for the Nationwide race, could only manage 17th fastest in Cup qualifying.
||Lowe's Cortez Silver
||Office Depot / Mobil 1
||Martin Truex Jr.
||NAPA Auto Parts
||Drive to End Hunger
||Furniture Row / Farm American
||The Home Depot
||Dale Earnhardt Jr.
||National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
||Sam Hornish Jr.
||Shell / Pennzoil
||Menards / Rheem
||Miller Welders / Freightliner
||Phoenix Construction Services
||Tommy Baldwin Racing
||Scorpion Coatings / Al's Liners
||My Classic Garage
||Burger King / Dr Pepper
||Genny Light / AM-FM Energy
||Tommy Baldwin Racing
||Little Joes Autos.com
||America Israel Racing
||Burger King / Dr Pepper
+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
BACK-TO-BACK POLES FOR YOU AND A NEW TRACK RECORD. TALK ABOUT THE LAP AND EXPECTATIONS TOMORROW AS WELL:
“I think the lap was a really good lap. You always make mistakes here and there. It’s never perfect. You always think I went too far here, I went too little there, I lost it there, but I think everybody does. It’s about how well you can put it all together. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. I think everybody on the Target Chevy organization has been working really well even with the No. 1 car we are working really well together. I think it’s paying off. I think tomorrow’s race I think we are going to have a decent car. I think we are looking for a lot more consistency than ultimate speed. I will tell you the truth I was kind of shocked at how quick, we had an oil leak this morning and we lost like a half-hour of practice just changing the radiators and everything. We put it in qualifying trim right at the end just to get an idea what the car was going to do and it was quick. I was kind of happy.”
LAST WEEK YOU SAID THE POLE WAS A PLEASANT SURPRISE WOULD IT BE CORRECT TO ASSUME THAT THIS ONE WAS NOT A SURPRISE?
“No this one, I will tell you the truth, when I’m going to Sonoma it was my best qualifying there and it wasn’t a great lap we were really loose through the esses and we struggled all day through the esses. I felt that we made a lot of gains on the car and we did only one test. We did a one-day test at VIR (Virginia International Raceway). I felt we gained a lot on the understanding of the car and what we needed to do. Here we made a few changes from what we had before and made it a lot better. I was pretty pleased. It seems lately I can push the car a lot more. It’s like I’m not just driving it around the last couple of weeks it feels I can actually push the car and use it and get more out of the car. It’s nice.”
CAN YOU COMPARE YOUR OUTLOOK TO THIS RACE COMPARED TO LAST WEEK WHEN YOU SAT ON THE POLE AS WELL?
“Last week I knew we were going to struggle. Our race pace in practice was horrible. When we went out and put it on pole it was like ‘yes, how does that happen’ (laughs). This week we generally have been good all weekend. I think like we did the Michigan test and I felt we gained a lot on the car. We put some more in it in Pocono and we ran better. We missed the race set-up completely and we knew we did. From when I went into turn one the first lap I knew it was going to be a long day. We work on it we make it… work as hard as we can to make it better and see what it brings. I think this week; I think we can contend you know what I mean. A few guys are really strong and you really have to as Kyle (Busch) said you’ve got to run your own race, save the brakes. Having track position is a good thing because you just do it smart and see what it brings you and you go from there.”
DO YOU THINK YOUR STRATEGY WILL JUST INCLUDE TWO STOPS TOMORROW?
“It depends. We haven’t talked about it yet, but I assume so. Last year we did three, I don’t know why we did three, but if it’s three and we’ve got to pass half of the field, we will pass half of the field. It is what it is. If you’ve got a good car and the sacrifice of having a good car is making three stops we will do three stops. You know you’ve got cautions and we will have better tires and see what happens.”
LAST WEEK JEFF GORDON WON AT POCONO AND WENT FROM BASICALLY NOWHERE TO THE SECOND WILD CARD SPOT. IF YOU WERE TO WIN THIS RACE TOMORROW WOULD IT BE TOO FAR FETCHED TO PUT YOU IN THAT POSITION?
“No, we were talking about it. I mean even if we don’t win tomorrow we believe that with the things that we have found lately maybe we still don’t have the fastest car there but if you play the strategy right you know might come on fuel or something you might go into Richmond with a chance of making the Chase. It would be shocking, but it would be awesome.”
WE ALWAYS SAY THIS IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR THAT YOU ARE GOING TO WIN ON AN OVAL.
“I know it’s hard with our cars the way they run this year. It’s like I think today we have a good car were going to win and when we don’t we don’t. Same thing we come to a road course everybody expects you to win, yeah I have an advantage because of my background, but the good cars run here as well as they run on the ovals. The cars run as well here as in ovals. I don’t think about it. We go out there every week to do the best we can and the best is winning we are going to be winning. If it’s finishing 20th we are going to finish 20th, it sucks to finish 20th. I’m a guy that likes winning and I’m a guy that my whole life I raced to win. The last couple of years have been really frustrating, but the only thing you can do is make sure you work the hardest you can and if the work with the right people like we have been doing this year I think we are going to get a good direction on the team and we will be fine.”
IS THERE AN OVAL YOU FEEL PERHAPS MORE COMFORTABLE ON THAN OTHERS?
“I’ll tell you the truth, when the car works well you look like a hero anywhere. You do, when the car sucks you are going to look as bad as anybody and when the car is great you are going to look as good as anybody.”
A QUICK UPDATE ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ‘SHINE’ (CHRIS HEROY, CREW CHIEF):
“It’s great. It’s always been really good. We have our up and downs, but I told him from day one there are days I’m going to be mad at you and I’m going to tell you what I think and I’m probably not even going to mean it. We understand each other really well. He gets mad as well. He’s very passionate and I think that is a really good thing.”
IT COULD BE HIS BIRTHDAY PRESENT:
“I know it’s a good start for his birthday weekend.”