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June 2, 2013

Jeff Gordon

Juan Pablo Montoya


THE MODERATOR:テつ Talk about that race out there today.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつテつ I thought it was pretty good to be honest with you.テつ Our car was okay.テつ We came here, did a test before the race and it was a lot cooler, so when we unloaded we had to do quite a bit of work on the car.テつ We struggled with loose all day and the longer we run, the worse it got.
I don't know, it was a bit of a hit and miss.テつ One of the runs on the green, we decided to‑‑ we made a couple of big changes on the car, and the car just took off, came to life, and it came to life at the right time.テつ It's a shame, you know, there at the end, it was way too loose and I just couldn't hold Tony off.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the last restart?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Jimmie was laying off about just nearly a car length from me, and I knew he was trying to jump the start.テつ And I backed off a little bit for us to line up, and he didn't want to do it.
.when we got to the line, I think he wanted to time it and he timed it too well, and he just‑‑ you know, he wanted to get the jump on me and he just jump it too much.テつ I would have tried to have done the same.テつ It's one of those deals that when you time it too good, it actually hurts you.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the overall finish?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ We got two top fives in about a month, near misses, wins and I think they are coming.テつ I've said this before:テつ You have got to start running in Top‑5s, Top‑10s to be able to get wins, to give yourself a shot.
Today we gave ourselves a good chance.テつ Just the car was a little bit too much of a handful there at the end.テつ We tried and I think it was too hot on the tires the run before, and our left tires were completely gone I think.テつ Taking two really hurt us, but we had to for the track position.テつ It's one of those deals.

Q.テつ Can you talk about how your relationship has evolved with (ph) over the last year and a half?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, when we started, it was hard because he had a certain mentality the way the car had to be set up and I was like, you don't get it, if you set it up like that and I can't drive it, it doesn't matter how good of a base set up it is.テつ You've got to give me something that I can drive and be comfortable and hustle the car.
It took a little bit of time, but now I think we are clicking really well and you know, we have been getting good results every week that it's awesome.

Q.テつ You were testing here a couple of weeks ago and you were not very happy with the car‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Still wasn't today.

Q.テつ But where did it click for you guys to be able to run Top‑5, Top‑10 today?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ The problem is us being pissed off with a car when we are not happy, it's about a 15th place care.テつ When it was our best, we couldn't run 20.テつ It's all relative.テつ We unloaded really well and we did everything right.テつ You know, we had good strategy, good calls, made the car better and we were patient.
But you know, right there at the end, I was out of tires, and even, you know, I thought Jeff had me there at the end.

Q.テつ Just wanted to follow up, can you speak about the laps, fighting with Kurt, he seemed to be a little annoyed?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It's weird, I got to his bumper‑‑ I don't think I touched him, got him loose got into turn three, and he gave me a tap and I'm like, I don't think I hit you‑‑ I didn't think I had.テつ But it's okay.テつ It's racing hard.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Jeff, great race out there today, talk a little about your run.
JEFF GORDON:テつ Yeah, it was a fantastic finish for us.テつ We battled hard all day long, hovering 13th, 14th, I think we got to maybe 10th at one time.
But I mean, it's frustrating, you know, when you think you have a better car than that, but you're trying to make adjustments on the pit stops and play the right tire strategy but you're just not making any ground and you know, we just got fortunate there where we only had a few laps on the tires and we decided to stay out.
Right away on the restart, I knew that clean air was making a huge difference and we were able to stay up there and we went third, fourth, whatever it was, for that entire run, and you know, we knew we needed the caution to come out.テつ You hate to see it happen the way that it did but it certainly paid off for us to be able to come in and get four tires and have a good restart there to get third.

Q.テつ Overall do you think this is a turning point to get the season started?
JEFF GORDON:テつ It's certainly a great feeling.テつ We have been running good.テつ We just, you know, have had some things happen to us, kind of like last year, some self‑inflicted and some things out of our hands.テつ We have just got to fight.テつ We fought hard today, very hard, and this is a tough place.テつ It's hot, slick.テつ It was not an easy race and this team just never gave up.テつ That's what got us in the Chase last year and that's what is going to get us in there this year.
It's so hard.テつ Every time that we have a finish like we had at Darlington or a finish like we had today, or like Charlotte, it's never over until it's over.テつ We just never seem to get into a rhythm of momentum.
All I can tell you is our pit crew has definitely improved.テつ We made a little change there and it's paying off for us.テつ Our cars have improved, so that always makes life a little easier, and now I just have to make sure I don't make any mistakes.テつ I think Alan would probably second that; we just got to be really solid and get the results that we are capable of getting.
Today was a great race for us, just because we were sitting there 12th, 13th, 14th, and we stay out and all of a sudden, here we are third.テつ So that's a great lesson for us to learn when we go to other tracks, as well.テつ

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