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March 7, 2010

Matt Kenseth

Juan Pablo Montoya



THE MODERATOR: We're with Juan Pablo Montoya. Juan, you had a good day today. Tell us about your run.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It was good. Never really had the fastest car except at the end before the last pit stop. We were coming. I thought we had a chance to get to the 2. Once you moved up the bottom in three and four, I thought, Here we go, I think we got him. I could stay on the bottom. It was good. I was pretty happy.
Came in, put tires on. First restart was pretty good. Second one spun the hell out of the tires. Kind of surprised me. We had those two lines. Went a little bit before the first line.

Q. Juan, you worked on the car all day today. Was this a good day for you in terms of being able to keep up with it?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: We kind of got lost in the middle of the race a little bit, made some changes. Didn't make a lot of ground on the car, then we kind of understood where we needed to go. And it worked out pretty well.

Q. Were you disappointed that it had to go to a 'green-white-checkered'? You thought you might be able to catch him. Did you think you had a realistic shot?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I was within three car lengths just coming two to go. I was, you know, taking 3 or 4/10ths a lap. So definitely I thought if I got anywhere close to him, I'm sure I could make a move.
It's one of those deals. It's okay. It is what's. I told the guys anyway at the end, We need to finish, we need the points. It's a good points day for us.

Q. Juan, tires weren't an issue for your team, but how did you feel about the tires on the track?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think when you have a good balance, I think you can look after the tires a little bit better. I struggled. I'm one of the cars that used to blow tires here always. To be on the other side is actually kind of nice.
It's a very hard racetrack. The pace is really hard. You know, Goodyear improved the hell out of the tire from what we had last year. It's still going to drop away and you're still going to be sideways.
It's fun. For me this is probably one of the better races if I would choose to go to one. It's so much fun seeing everybody. If you get a ticket out of turn four, you're going to see a lot of sideways racecars going very fast, so it's fun.

Q. Juan, at the end of last season you told the 12 crew chief to bring a couple of old cars to the racetrack because Keselowski needed to watch his rear-end. Is there something that was involved with having a bit of honor today on the racetrack?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I tell you the truth, I was ahead of it, so I have no idea what you're talking about. I said that last year because he wrecked a lot of people. I'm sure a lot of people wanted to pay him back. Looking at the TV, somebody did.

Q. Juan, you indicated on the radio after at race that you thought Kurt went a little bit too early on the last restart. Could you comment on that.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: We have those two lines we're supposed to he restart on. To be honest, the lines are very short between them. I don't know. I need to ask NASCAR exactly how the rule is. If you're within three car lengths of it or four car lengths of it, can you go? Do you got to really cross the first line, how they're going to police it.
I'm not saying he doesn't deserve the win because he did. I was on the outside. I was probably destined to finish second there. When you have the bottom, you can hold it wide open between one and two, you have the bottom in three, you're done.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Juan.
Joining us also is Matt Kenseth, No. 17. Second today. Matt, tell us about your run.
MATT KENSETH: Our day was really good. It was a really good, solid day for us. I thought most of the day, a couple times we got off and didn't have a very good car, made good adjustments, got it where -- I don't know, one run where maybe it was a second- or third-place car. Most of the time we were a third- to a fifth-place car.
We really good pit stops, good adjustments. Got lucky. Got a couple good restarts at the end, and slid into second. Overall I thought we had a good car, top-five car. The guys had a lot of fun. We were real competitive, so it was a good time.

Q. Matt, obviously there was a situation on the track where Carl and Keselowski got together. In your mind, is there an actual line you can draw and say there's a time when driver aggression goes too far? Does NASCAR need to dial back on the statement that 'gloves are off'?
MATT KENSETH: Well, I mean, for my disclaimer, I don't really know what happened today except for my own car. I think every situation is different. I think you're going to -- there's a lot of -- all the rules are pretty well-defined, but there's still going to be balls and strikes calls.
I'm not commenting on the situation just in general. You can't just have people, you know, go nuts, get people hurt, all that kind of stuff at 200 miles an hour.
I don't know what all went on. But I think NASCAR usually is pretty objective when they look at that.

Q. Matt, I'm aware of how much y'all want to put on a great show for the fans. This 'green-white-checkered' to the Nth degree, I mean, it just seems kind of ridiculous. Looks like the best drivers in the world can't drive a lap. Don't you think this is a bit much?
MATT KENSETH: You're not going to get me on this one. Maybe the next guy that comes in (laughter).
It's definitely crazy at the end. Every track is a little different. Here with the big discrepancy in tires, even two tires, the car is a lot different than it is on four tires. You know, obviously it's really slick.
I would have bet just about everything we were going to have a wreck on the first 'green-white-checkered'. You know, I was just hoping that we weren't going to be in it. Sure enough, there was. When you have cars leading all day like Kurt, guys running in the top four or five all day, they're going to restart 10th, five of the guys in front of them are disadvantaged on tires by a second, you got a really wide racetrack with a lot of grooves, they're giving you two laps to get your spot back, I raced 498 miles to get up to third, then I'm restarting 10th, you know, what do you think is going to happen? Everybody is just going to go crazy and try to get their spot.
You could kind of see it coming.

Q. Matt, three strong outings with your new crew chief Todd Parrott. Your thoughts on how that is going?
MATT KENSETH: Honestly, the season couldn't have started any better for us. I said that last week, too. It sounds silly since we won the first couple races last year. It's been really good. The last three weeks have been a lot of fun. We've been learning a lot. Our cars have been faster. We've been able to make some adjustments. The pit crew has been on the money.
It's been fun. Cool get to get off to this good of a start, be as competitive as we were last week. This is as competitive as we've been at Atlanta in quite a while, probably since they went to this car at Atlanta. We haven't ran particularly well with it. So this is by as far the best we ran.
We got out there and finished second, but we had a good top-five car all day. Feels good to go to four different racetracks and be pretty competitive at all of them. It feels good.
THE MODERATOR: Matt, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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