NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
March 25, 2011
Juan Pablo Montoya Wins the Pole at Auto Club Speedway; Team Chevy Drivers Grab Six of Top-10 Starting Positions for the Auto Club 400
Fontana, Calif (March 25, 2011) – Juan Pablo Montoya put his No. 42 Target Chevrolet on the pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. It is Montoya’s sixth career pole and his first at the Fontana, California track.
Team Chevy drivers captured six of the top-10 starting postions for the 200-lap/400-mile race set to start at Noon PT on Sunday.
Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, continued his streak of excellent qualifying efforts this season by locking in the fourth starting spot for the fifth race of the 2011 season.
Tony Stewart, will start his No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, in the fifth position of the 43-car field.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, was the seventh fastest qualifier. Ryan Newman qualified the No. 39 US Army Chevrolet in ninth place and Mark Martin, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, will roll off 10th.
A total of 17 Chevrolet drivers will take the green flag on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (Toyota) and Joey Logano (Toyota) complete the top-five qualifiers.
FOX TV, MRN Radio and Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128 will provide live broadcast coverage of the Auto Club 400.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER PRESS CONFERENCE:
WHEN YOU CAME FROM F-1 TO NASCAR, WHAT WAS YOUR HARDEST ADJUSTMENT?
“Just the cars themselves. Racing is racing and anything you do, you just race. It’s not a big difference. It’s just getting used to the size of the car and how much movement there is on the cars. One car the platform is really stiff and it’s very predictable. With this you just turn the wheel and you get movement and things.”
SO IT’S STILL A LEARNING CURVE?
“Yeah, that’s a good thing.”
FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS, YOU GOT IT WRONG IN TURN 4. HOW DIFFERENT WAS IT THIS TIME?
“I still got it wrong (laughter).”
“I didn’t screw-up the exit quite as much because I normally get on the gas too early and I end up washing up to the wall. So I got in the gas and as soon as I felt the rear come around, I lifted. It could have been a little bit faster, but I nailed (Turns) 1 and 2 and that paid off.”
HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU FOR SUNDAY?
“I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s just what the car will give us, you know? It’s hard to say what the car is going to do. I think we’ve got a decent car. We always run good here. But the main thing is we’re in really good position in the points and we’ve got to take advantage of that.”
ON HIS PRACTICE SESSION
‘We went out and we found two ways to screw-up the car and put it back (laughter).”
WHAT TURNED YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT AROUND TODAY?
“I would love to know. I really don’t know. As long as we have the race pace we’ve been having this year, I’ll tell you the truth I don’t mind qualifying in the back. Brian has been making really good calls all year and if you have a good car you can always come back. But always it will make pit selection better and there’s a lot of things that are better by qualifying good. I think you can look after the car more than the race. I think that always helps. What a change? I don’t know. There was a lot less grip in qualifying than there was at the beginning of practice. So I don’t know. He told me everybody was running about the same, so I thought it should be a little bit more for us because my lap in practice at the beginning really sucked.”
ON RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
“I think it’s really cool. It’s really technical and it’s really hard because it’s so wide and there are so many different grooves. It makes life really interesting. You’re going to have people run below the white line and make it work so people are against the fence like myself that make it work. So it’s very technical. If you get it right, it’s really, really fast.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4th:
YOU SAID YOU MISSED YOUR LINE IN TURN ONE, WHAT HAPPENED? “I just didn’t get to the bottom, that is all there was to it. I thought the lap was horrible. I am honestly really surprised right now. We’ll take it. There are a lot of good cars to go at the end. We struggled a little bit through practice today for a lot of different reasons. The guys did a good job on finding us some speed on this Furniture Row Chevy and for me to miss my marks and still go quicker than practice, I guess that is good.”
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