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“It’s a completely different environment than what it was a year ago, and it’s all for the better. And Chip is still out hiring people and looking for more engineers and more people to make it better than what it is right now. My guess is somewhere around the last 10 races we’re going to see a lot of the progress. It takes time.”

Still, both think they’ll be competitive Sunday at the road course in scenic Sonoma. Montoya will start 12th; McMurray goes off 25th.

Montoya earned his first career victory at Sonoma and has four-top 10 finishes in five starts; McMurray’s career-best second-place finish at Sonoma came when he was driving a Ganassi car.

The duo also announced Friday they’ll team together to run the inaugural Grand-Am race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. They’ve been teammates the last two years with Dixon and Franchitti for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race, but will be a two-driver tandem at the Brickyard.

“I think it’s good for our racing relationship to get to go do things like this,” McMurray said. “It seems like every year after the Rolex race, we’re closer. I think that’s really important for the NASCAR side, for us to be closer and want to help each other more. When we go do that race, it seems like it does that automatically.

So, I’m looking forward to getting to go up and do the test and then the race.”