Colombian Driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, 1999 CART Champion, 2000 Indy 500 winner, 7 Time F1 GP Winner (between 2001-2006), 3 time Rolex 24 winner (2007, 2008 and 2012) actually racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, his future still in doubt after the announcement of Juan Pablo leaving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (This interview was made a day before the official announcement).
With 3 wins in his NASCAR career all of them in Road Courses, more than 200 races in Sprint Cup, 56 top tens, 22 top fives.
Juan is looking for a team with a competitive car (according to his own words) even return to his Racing roots, Open-Wheel Racing.
Preview to his race at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” well known as Bristol Motor Speedway this Saturday night.
In this interview Juan talks about his Racing career so far and answer some fan questions.
Well Juan first to all thanks for accepted this interview for “From The Other Side Of Racing”, it’s a huge honor for us to having you as a interviewed.
1) Describe your Racing career in one word?
2) How began your love for Racing?
“My dad use to race go-karts when I was a kid so I wanted to try it. I was around five-years-old when I first drove a go-kart. I loved it immediately and knew that’s what I wanted to do for a living.”
3) Your favorite Race track?
“I don’t really have a favorite race track. Obviously I like Monaco because that was the race I had always dreamed of winning as a kid. I like road course racing at Malaysia, have a great time racing at the smaller tracks like Bristol or Martinsville. To be honest with you, it’s whatever track we’re racing well at, I like.”
4) What is your opinion about the Gen-6 Car?
“I like the Gen-6 car. It handles great and it looks more like a race car. I’ve been very happy with the move to the Gen-6 car. It’s much better.”
5) Do you follow other types of Racing?
“I watch all types of racing when I have time. My schedule is crazy so I can only catch glimpses of races here and there. I try to keep up on what my INDYCAR and GRAND-AM teammates are doing as much as possible.”
6) Why you decided to move to NASCAR?
“Chip (Ganassi) was looking to fill a seat and reached out to me jokingly about it. I thought, “why not?”. I was wasn’t signed in any other series’ and I knew NASCAR was about as competitive as it gets when it comes to racing so Chip and I talked about it some more and decided to put me in the car.”
7) How is the physical preparation to be a NASCAR Driver, is demanding?
“Of course it’s demanding. You’re sitting in a car that can get up to 200 degrees for up to five hours during a race. You have to be somewhat physically fit to endure that. Plus there’s a lot of movement going on inside of that race car. You’re constantly in motion.”
8) Every NASCAR fan wonder this, but how is driving a NASCAR?
“I’ve always said NASCAR is like driving a big pick-up truck compared to open-wheel. The ride is a lot rougher and a lot more demanding. The weight of the car is three times the size of an open-wheel car. They are not easy to maneuver. Plus all the cars out on the track are pretty much even so you’re constantly working your way through traffic at 150+ mph.”
9) Pack Racing or Tandem Racing?
“Without a doubt, pack racing”
10) Your toughest rival in NASCAR?
“All of them. We’re all after one thing. A win.”
11) Funniest Driver in the NASCAR field?
“Not sure. I don’t spend a lot of time with drivers outside of the race track.”
12) Your favourite highlight during your F1 career?
Fan Questions, During two days i asked on Twitter if anyone had a question for Juan Pablo, here’s some.
Santiago from Argentina, asks:
This season you had good cars, more competitive than last season. Two victories slipped away and many good results due mechanicals failures and crashes, ¿Do you think that you can win this season?
“Of course I think we can win. Everything just needs to line-up right for us. We have everything we need to win it’s just pulling it all together and making it happen.”
You take NASCAR more as a hobby because is less demanding than F1?
“NASCAR is actually more demanding than F1. The travel is nonstop and when we’re not racing over the 38 weekends, we’re usually testing somewhere. This is a full time commitment.”
What plans you have for the future?
“Not sure. I know that I want to be in a winning car and I’m exploring my options.”
Indy or Monaco?
Specials thanks to Shawna Keller from the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for her help in this interview.
You can follow Juan on Twitter as @jpmontoya
Check out Juan and Connie (Juan Pablo’s wife) foundation Formula Smiles *Disclaimer*
As I wrote at the beginning this interview was made before the announcement of Juan leaving EGR. That’s why there’s no question related to his future in NASCAR.
As a editor’s suggestion check this interview with AutoWeek Racing where talks about his future and other stuffs
Link of the Interview: http://t.co/zyptZtnRql