Juan Pablo Montoya said he was happy with his race performance, despite retiring from the lead of the second Gatorade Duel qualifying race at Daytona because of mechanical problems.
The Ganassi driver led 18 out of the first 25 laps of the race, having started from third and taken the lead on lap six. A right front hub failure lost him the lead and caused him to retire later after brushing the wall.
"Two laps before that, the car started getting really tight (understeer) and coming out of the corners slower," said Montoya, who will provisionally start the Daytona 500 from 38th on the grid.
"I think the bearing was just going until it finally went. I simply turned in on [Turn] 3 and went into the wall. It's just one of those things.
"The car was fast, but now we have to start from the back. They'll probably work on it, and it will be fine. It's a fast race car."
Making only his second Nextel Cup series start, Montoya was impressed by how comfortable he felt running in the draft and also at the front of the leading group of seven cars, which broke away from the field by lap 20.
"I was really comfortable, the car was handling really good," the Colombian said. "I've been twice here (at Daytona) and the last time I led the 24 Hours and now we led the 150 (Gatorade Duel)."
"It's early days still, but it's nice to see the car is competitive. [Ganassi teammate David] Stremme was also out there running up front, so it's good. Let's see what happens on Sunday when it counts."