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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH


April 19, 2015


Helio Castroneves

Juan Pablo Montoya


LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, who finished third in today's race, our points leader by three over Helio Castroneves.テつ Talk about the race today, warm conditions, and another very strong race for you today as a points leader.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It was okay.テつ I had a really good start.テつ I had a bit of a jump on Helio.テつ I tried to get a run there outside of the start/finish line to get inside of Turn 1 and he kind of blocked me so I went to the left and Dixon got the momentum and passed us there.テつ But after that it was good.テつ The tires started going off.テつ The red tires for me were going off, and I started losing a bit of pace, Simon passed me, and on blacks I was really good, I started to back off, and it seemed like my car was really good at the beginning of the stint, not so good at the end.テつ It was tough.テつ In the last run we had a really good pit stop and a good out lap on cold reds and I got to Simon and passed him on cold tires, and I drove away, got to Helio and I backed off thinking, oh, it's good, just wait and see if he makes a mistake, and the tires went off again and I was kind of surprised, because normally at the beginning of the race, the tires will go off and at the end they don't and for me they went off again.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Also joined by Helio Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Automobile Club of California Chevrolet for Team Penske, finished second in today's race.テつ This is his 37th career second‑place finish which ties him for second with Bobby Rahal.テつ Mario Andretti holds the record with 56.テつ He's also the only driver to also lead a lap in all three races this season.テつ It was a really warm, hot race out there with very few yellows.テつ Talk about the physicality of the race and how it worked out for you.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ It was actually nice.テつ The weather obviously in California is always very nice.テつ Certainly the track was constantly changing.テつ For those not understanding, every time it gets more new tires, red versus black, and things like that, it's about two hours of racing, the track changes quite a lot for us and constantly changes a little bit of the driving style because sometimes one lap is good and another one was different.テつ The Firestone tires were actually pretty good for me.テつ My AAA car was awesome.テつ We were pretty good all the way, but to see lap times, it's so cool.テつ Very difficult.テつ So obviously it's a chess game, and those circumstances that happened for us, it was a little bit of a‑‑ the guys did a great job in the pits, and especially the incident between me and Ganassi.テつ It was just me.テつ Better to be safe than sorry.テつ But it was a great job overall for Team Penske.

Q.テつ Helio, you talked about the track changing.テつ As the tires are going off and as the track is changing, are you changing your turning points and things like that because the tires are sliding more?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Depends.テつ For me it's just my car was actually consistent, but sometimes it's just the braking points, when you're thinking you can brake a little differently, try and take a chance and the tires start going off and those things, but you play a little more conservative instead of trying to push it.テつ For me personally I was pushing really hard and trying to get Dixon, but the guy with his experience was really hard.テつ I knew it would be really hard for him to make a mistake, and today second place is not bad.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ For me the tires had gone off pretty bad and lost a lot of pace there at the end, but we did it in the first run and the last run.テつ That's what it is.テつ You've got to adapt to what you have.

Q.テつ From the monitors in the media center, it seemed at the end of the race Simon was attempting to make a pass but never got close enough at any time.テつ Did it really worry you that you might get close enough to make a pass?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ He had a little less rear wing.テつ So I was actually ‑‑ to be honest with you, I was surprised my tires were going off and not his.テつ But mine went off, and I mean, I saw him coming, and it's still about not making mistakes and make sure I come out of that last corner and he was a little quicker down the straight.テつ So just pay attention how close he was when he was in the bus and stuff like that.テつ He was never really that close, you know what I mean?テつ He got close, maybe his nose to my rear tires but that was about it.テつ He never got next to me or anything.テつ I thought it was the move I made on him was crucial.テつ I was pretty happy with that.

Q.テつ Juan, I know you're thinking this year more in terms of the championship than you were last year.テつ Was today a good championship today, third place?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ That's why I didn't let Simon run by.テつ Third or fourth place, yeah, great, we got a podium, but it's more points, you know what I mean?テつ It's about being consistent and being smart, and as long as I don't have to risk the car to protect third place, it'll be fine, and it worked well.

Q.テつ Just so we're clear, when they held you in the pits, was that because other traffic coming right behind you and you didn't want to run into them?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yeah.テつ It was close.テつ It was definitely close.テつ But yeah.

Q.テつ Helio, if that hadn't have happened in the pits, if there was no one in front of you and you were able to go when you were ready, do you think Dixon would have had enough to get by you because I assume you would have been out in front of him?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Again, he was so close.テつ All three cars, four cars actually, but he was much better being in front.テつ I don't think he would be able to get by.テつ After the race was over, we were just talking between ourselves and we can see that he was very consistent, but I have moments of very good and maybe some moments, some laps maybe would be terrible.テつ But in the end of the day, it was‑‑ it would be very difficult for him to pass.

Q.テつ For either of you, were you surprised by the lack of yellows and did you think everyone raced differently today knowing we were coming off of two caution‑strewn races?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ No, we all raced hard, and it is what it is.テつ It showed the level of drivers that are on the grid to be honest with you.テつ The conditions were ideal, and even being a street course, I think the experience of the guys allowed not too many mistakes or anything.テつ It was pretty good.

Q.テつ For both of you guys, obviously you were very strong here the first three races, the whole team.テつ We haven't had any speedway races yet so we can't make any judgments, but could both of you talk about the strength you have of the team and your hopes for the championship and the Indy 500?テつ At this point you guys are the favorites, but could you talk about how the chemistry is working, what the strength is and what your hopes are for the 500 and the season?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ We have no chemistry here.テつ It's terrible.テつ (Laughter.)テつ Listen, a French, a Colombian, a Brazilian, and where is the other one from, Australia?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ I think that's why we have the chemistry because we don't understand each other.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ One of the amazing things about having the four of us being so competitive is you do a great lap in practice, you finish practicing, you look at the data and they're still kicking your butt somewhere.テつ They are.テつ There's always corners where they're better than you so you always find ways to better yourself, and I think that's more than the cars running better or whatever it is, I think the group of the four drivers is making a big difference.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yeah, it's like I said yesterday, the level that we have in our team, it's not only as competitors but as people, as well, it's just awesome.テつ It's great to have that kind of data because when you go back, and he just said it, we go look and it's like, man, how does he do this.テつ You try and work together.テつ With that, the biggest benefit is the team, and when you have the team winning, you have Roger happy, and that's when we all feel like we want to win for the team.

Q.テつ (No microphone.).
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ We don't know yet.テつ We did only one test I did in Texas.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ He's got an advantage over everybody.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ I hope so.テつ I hope I have an advantage on everyone.テつ But again, we don't know yet, and when was the first test?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Why did we give you an advantage?テつ You needed it?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ You guys gave me a head start and I'm going for it.テつ I'll take any opportunity.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, we all do, don't worry about it.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ I feel that hopefully we're going to work as hard as we work in the street and road course, and we're going to show as well at ovals, but we don't know yet.

Q.テつ Juan, when you got out of the car, I think you and Simon talked, you put on a great show.テつ Can you tell us a little bit about what you guys said to each other?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Just said great race.テつ It's cool being teammates, and we run really well together, so that makes it fun.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Why are you guys looking at me?テつ What happened?テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ I want to follow up a little bit more.テつ You are four very different people, different race car drivers.テつ How does that dynamic work in making it easier to get along with each other because you're both South American but you're not even close to being similar.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ No, I mean, he dances.テつ I can't dance.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Thank God.テつ I actually want to see you dance, man.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ No.テつ Put it this way, I haven't seen myself dance.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ That's right.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ To tell you the truth, we're all mature enough, we've done this long enough that I think it makes it easier.テつ Because when you're young, you're really gritty and you don't want to help anybody.テつ And something at Team Penske, the No. 1 thing is the team and the benefit of the team, and we understand that and we all help each other.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yeah, it was for me or for him?テつ I agree with Juan Pablo.テつ We've been here for long enough in this business, and yes, we want to win, we're still young inside that we want to win everywhere‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Inside and outside.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yes, but the point is we want to go for it, but at the end of the day, we understand that some days are not our days, and we have maturity enough to understand, and being on this team for such a long time, it's about team, and you know that even sometimes you don't win, you contribute with a good performance, and you feel proud of it.

Q.テつ For either one of you, the trucks ran 40 laps ahead of yours.テつ I know you mentioned your tires going off.テつ Did their type of rubber affect the performance of the first laps at all?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ No.テつ No.

Q.テつ I don't think Will Power had a very good race today.テつ Can you do anything to kind of cheer him up?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ To be honest with you, I was asking somebody on the way here what happened to Will, and I have no idea.テつ I saw the car parked on pit entrance.テつ Did you notice that?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ I saw him in the pit entrance.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, he was in front of you for a while.
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yes, I know that very well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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