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Juan Pablo Montoya takes Indycar victory at St. Petersburg

Posted On Monday, 30 March 2015 20:00 Written by
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Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske Racing driver in the Indycar series, and a former NASCAR competitor, took the checkered flag Sunday in Indycar's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Here are some of his thoughts after the win, from the post race press conference, as well as thoughts from his team owner Roger Penske and other competitors.

YOU SAID ONE YEAR AGO YOU HAD TO BE SO PATIENT, BUT NOT TODAY. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN: “Today was a good day to be honest with you. The car was really good on black tires and that was the key. The tires were not falling off and right there at the end I was just running slow to look after them. When I needed to push I could push. Everybody with Verizon and Team Penske did an amazing job – Chevy as well. This aero kit is amazing to drive.”

DID YOU SEE WILL POWER TRYING TO MAKE THE MOVE UNDER YOU IN THE MIRRORS? “I saw him make the move but he was way too far and I wasn’t going to give him the position. If he was beside me I would have said, ‘okay, go ahead’. When I got to the turning point he wasn’t even close. It is a shame we touched, but it’s all good, it’s racing.”

ROGER PENSKE, OWNER, TEAM PENSKE: YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE BY TEAM PENSKE THIS WEEKEND: “Well, I will tell you it was a fight between our two guys in front there. It was just an amazing weekend. The guys worked hard in the offseason on the aero kits and thanks for Chevrolet and Verizon for the support. But to come back this year with the fast times in qualifying and win this race 1-2, and four drivers in the top-six – wow, what a day.”
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU SEE TWO OF YOUR GUYS BATTLING AND THEY HAVE CONTACT LIKE THAT? “Well, we said at the beginning let’s take care of ourselves but at the end we have to go racing. Will was trying to get by, and Juan didn’t want him by. So I am sure they understand that and we will move on to the next race. But what a great day for all the people at Team Penske.”

"If I hadn't damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. It is hard to close with these cars, it really is. But it is a great day for the Verizon car, it really is going to be a battle between teammates for the championship. It was my only chance. He was very strong on the front straight and my exits weren't very good. That was really my only chance. I thought maybe I would catch him off guard there. You don't expect someone to pass there, so, yeah, I gave it a shot. It was tight there, no doubt. I was surprised at how aggressively he turned, but he wanted to win the race and so did I.

I CAN’T SAY YOU DID NOT GIVE IT YOUR BEST EFFORT TO MAKE THAT PASS ON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: “Yeah that was the only place I could kind of get a run on him. He was very good in the last corner so the only chance I had was to try and get a run on him there. I think he kind of saw me and then…….it was kind of optimistic because if he had given me some, I would have taken it. He did what anyone would have done. So yeah, he was phenomenally fast and I couldn’t drop him on that stint before and he was very quick on the reds there.”
WAS THAT AN ALL OR NOTHING MOVE? “Yeah, it was kind of my only chance. If I had not damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. He had to save a bit more fuel too, so I was counting on that but it’s hard to get close with these cars, it really is. But it’s a great day for the Verizon Chevy team. It was like we thought it would be with a battle between teammates and a battle for the championship I am sure.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: Chip told me to bring the NTT Data car back in one piece, he didn't want to see a scratch apart from the marbles. We tried to stay out of trouble. The Penske guys were definitely tough today. On that last stint there, we had to save a little bit more fuel, and not having the pace, I had to drop back. But we will take third, It's good points, and we have to work from here. "

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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