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Jun 29, 2014 - 06:29 AM
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2014 Houston: Juan Pablo Montoya IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 29, 2014 - 06:28 AM
IndyCar News
2014 Houston: Juan Pablo Montoya IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's post‑race press conference. We're please to be joined by Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya who finished second in today's race. We are very pleased to have three Colombians on the podium so they will be accepting questions in both Spanish and English. Juan, a second‑place finish here. This is Juan's best finish since returning to the Verizon IndyCar Series. His previous best finish this season was third at Texas. So, Juan, the state of Texas has been very good to you. How excited are you to get another podium finish here?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's exciting. Our Verizon Chevy was very good. Yesterday was a difficult practice. We really struggled in the morning. I had a lot of braking issues, and we fixed them. In the afternoon I felt like we made good gains. Qualifying was good, and I was kind of mad we put black tires on the dump truck. I was going on the radio going what are we doing, what are we thinking? Everybody was passing us, so that wasn't the best. But it is what it is.

I was kind of amazed nobody took that caution. When it's a timed race, you look at it, I mean, why? Why wouldn't you? You know what I mean? You could make it to the end, and I passed Tony ‑‑ I really felt I was going to be racing with Tony for the win, and I passed Tony when I needed to pass him, and with Huertas, a couple of times I could have passed him, but I just don't risk the car. It's pointless, and then we're here and he won the race.

Q. Juan, did you think that you were in the position for the win I guess before the caution, and then under caution what was your plan going to be if you had one lap was green?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I was going for it.

 

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Q. How do you go for it?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I felt like I had a hell of a restart. Like oh, I'm there, I'm there, and caution came out, and I'm like, oh. I thought the caution came out because he jumped the start a little bit, but it seems you can jump the start here.

Q. Did you have any ‑‑ did you not know what Huertas had?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: No, I never thought he could make it to the end. On the radio it was like ‑‑ I mean, those two haven't pitted, they're not going to make it, we're good. You've only got to protect from behind, and then they said, oh, I think you might want to try to pass Huertas, and I said, I think I'm out of tires.

It's good. We got another good finish. It's something we can build on. I thought we had a pretty good car at the beginning of the rain and I was very cautious. Here you've end of losing your place and taking your time than stuffing it in the wall or spinning or anything. When we went to black tires I was running sixth or seventh or something and they went on like an anchor. When it was completely dry, it was okay, but whenever it was damp it was like oil on the track, and everybody else was like beautiful. It was kind of frustrating.

Q. Juan, you had some complaints about restarts over at Texas and possibly here with Huertas jumping the restart like you just said, but you had a pretty good start on him. Do you feel like there's an inconsistency there with restarts?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: The line is in the middle of the corner, and when we passed the entrance we were wide open. He wasn't as fast ‑‑ he jumped it by 50 yards or something like that. I don't mind that. In Texas it was like 300 yards and he was already wide open, I'm like, you know ‑‑ I talked to IndyCar, you were a little bit behind. I said, look, if you think I'm trying to tag him, then penalize me, too, but two wrongs doesn't make one right.

Q. This is for both of you. Juan, the winner and the third‑place finisher all say that you were their idol when they were coming up racing. How do you feel ‑‑

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: They should have respected me and let me win.

Q. How do you feel to know that you've kind of had this type of influence on a lot of the guys that are getting to the point where they can win races here in IndyCar?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: When I grew up, I had Guerrero, he was the only guy racing. He made Formula 1, he made it in IndyCar. He was on the pole in the Indy 500. He was really good. So for me, apart from Senna, I looked up to him. So when I went up, karting and racing in Colombia was there, a couple people tried it but nobody ever thought you could make a career out of this. I've been racing for so long at a top level, you know what I mean, I've been lucky enough to have a great career, great teams, people start realizing, I want my kids to do ‑‑ the same thing with golf. Here Tiger Woods, everybody thinks they've got to practice when they're five years old every day, 20 hours a day to hit golf balls and one day the kid turns 14, looks at a girl and throws away the golf club. It's definitely that kind of deal.

Q. Colombia won their World Cup match right before this race ended. Are we making too much of it?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Oh, it's going to be a huge day. Three Colombians, I think the first time in the history of motor racing in the world that three Colombians are on a podium top at the IndyCar level, a top motorsport level, it's unbelievable. It's really exciting. On my team, I think they've got a good shot at the World Cup, as well. They're playing really well, and yeah, next match is against Brazil, so that's going to be fun, having Helio as a teammate and kicking his ass.

CARLOS MUÑOZ: I think right now we're really lucky to be here in America, not in Colombia. I think right now Colombia should be really crazy to go out in the streets and celebrate. It's been a big deal for us this year. Today was a big day for Colombia, for the first time 1‑2‑3 on the podium in IndyCar in a motorsport race, and the first time we go to quarterfinals. So should be a really fantastic day. We show what Colombians are made of. I think we show the bad image people have, because they don't know about Colombians, they only know about one thing. You know what I mean? Finally we showed that we have plenty of talent in Colombia, not only in motor racing but there's a lot of Colombians in other sports.

Q. Carlos, did you ever think you'd be on a podium with Juan Pablo, and Juan, do you feel like an old guy?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I am old. I don't have to feel like. Compared with them, yeah.

Q. All these kids grew up idolizing you are now beating you.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I'm OK. If I don't do a good job I deserve to be beaten. If I do a good job, I'm going to kick your ass. It's normal. That's what we're here to do. It's about getting the job done, and I feel I've come up and proven that I can get the job done here, and every week it gets better and better. We have really good days. We keep building on it. We keep getting better. It's just a matter of time, you know what I mean? I think the wins are coming, and I think once it clicks, it's going to click pretty well. Finally starting to get the overtaking. I felt I made a really good move on Kanaan today. I was smiling in the car when I passed him. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

Q. Could both of you talk about how sloppy the race ended up being? It seemed that obviously when you go to the slicks you're going to have some sloppiness, but the driving today had a lot of moments that could have been avoided.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don't know, it's just racing. It's hard because only the race line dries. It's very hard to make any moves because every time you get to somebody you've got to stay in line. You can't get into the damp and say, oh, here I go because you're probably not going to make it. I think every time somebody tried it, that's what happened.

Q. Juan, the last time that you raced in Houston you finished second. Would you say that it's a lot different now emotionally considering you've been away from IndyCar so long that it's a lot better today?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I'll tell you, the last time I finished second here, Jimmy Vasser was the guy who beat me and it really sucked and finishing second place really sucked.

Am I happy? Yeah, I'm happy I finished second and I've shown that I can get the job done and everything, but it still sucks. And I think that's why I can get the job done. I really want to win. It's all about performing, and I'll tell you, this year right now in the IndyCar Series is really tough. Our Verizon Chevy is really good, and even having such a good car, you're off a little bit and you're 15th. You know what I mean? It doesn't take much to be nowhere.

It's great racing, but you've got to be on your game every day.

Q. Speaking about every day, what about coming back tomorrow? Do you think each of you can get back on the podium, maybe you'll get your win, and just how you feel physically going into tomorrow?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think the rain really helped everybody. The only thing was like I have leather gloves, and they were all wet, but my hands are fine. I'm sure tomorrow when we get in the car, you're going to go, oh, that hurt. Like your elbows ‑‑ like the elbows, the only thing you can feel all the time here from racing when you're turning is your arms are bouncing, like hitting against the chassis. Really, can we stop bouncing, please?

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