Juan Pablo Montoya is convinced that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will start the NASCAR Sprint Cup season in far better shape than it began 2012.
The Indy 500 winner and ex-Formula 1 front-runner endured one of his worst Cup seasons last year, finishing 22nd overall and only registering two top-10 results in 36 races. Teammate Jamie McMurray also struggled, ending the year in 21st.
Montoya believes the team has learned from its plight and is sure it will be a more competitive force over the coming campaign.
"Honestly it's hard to put in words, but we're so much further ahead," he said. "We're on the same page now.
"It took us a long time last year to get there. One week I couldn't get up to speed because the car was so loose, then the next week we were so tight I wouldn't even make the corner. We were so far apart in thoughts and work that it took us a long time to get together, but as time went on I think we put ourselves on the same page and I think it really paid off."
Montoya also predicted that NASCAR's new Gen-6 car regulations, and a switch to engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick Motorsports will play into the hands of EGR.
"I think the Gen-6 car helped a little bit, "he explained. "I think it took away a lot of things people had and put us on a more level playing field. It made us catch up a lot more. Going to the Hendrick motor also helps, so I think there are a lot of things going for us."