Darlington: Dodge drivers pre-race quotes

DODGE DRIVERS READY TO RACE AT DODGE AVENGER 500 KASEY KAHNE "Darlington is one of the toughest tracks we race on and we're going there with the COT which, like most teams, we're still trying to figure out. Despite the success we've had there...

DODGE DRIVERS READY TO RACE AT DODGE AVENGER 500

KASEY KAHNE

"Darlington is one of the toughest tracks we race on and we're going there with the COT which, like most teams, we're still trying to figure out. Despite the success we've had there in the past, this will be a new experience. We're close on getting the handling issues resolved with the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger. I like the challenge the track presents and it is a challenge even with a racecar that's working well. With the issues teams are having with the COT, it will be an even bigger challenge to stay out of trouble. Every one of the 367 laps will be a challenge. Getting away with just a Darlington stripe will probably signal a good day.

"It's the Dodge Avenger 500. We would like nothing better than to win the event for Dodge and all the Dodge Dealers."

"Darlington will be the first bigger track we have with the Avenger. It's going to be an eye-opening weekend. It's going to be tough to make that car work there. It's going to be much different than what it's been in the past, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Darlington will be a big change for the COT, and that's when all 43 drivers and teams will figure out the cars are a lot different than what we've been racing."

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ELLIOTT SADLER

"Darlington has been referred to as the track "too tough to tame' over the years. Well, Darlington just got tougher. The Car of Tomorrow (COT) has been added to the mix. We've talked about racing the track in the past. There's no question we'll be racing the track Saturday night with our No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger. The task will be keeping our Avenger COT off the wall. Combine the track and the COT--Darlington just got tougher.

"I think we're all a little frustrated that we didn't start off the season like we wanted to. We didn't have the COT down like we thought we should, but I tell you, I'm so proud of my race team. There's no finger pointing, no blaming anybody. We just pretty much got together in a room a couple of weeks ago and decided nobody was going to fix it but us. I think it's made us all a little stronger and made us pull together a little more. We know we've got some more work to do.

"There are a couple of things I can say about Ray (Evernham) and everybody at Evernham Motorsports. One, there's no egos here, and two, there's no finger pointing. We know we've got a problem to fix and we're going to fix it. Kasey, Scott and I are going to do our jobs as drivers not only to help ourselves but to help each other."

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KURT BUSCH, NO. 2 MILLER LITE DODGE AVENGER

"It's nice to have a few races under our belts and know what to expect with the Avenger and to see its general trend in setup start to develop with rear springs and swaybars and things. We actually took the Avenger down to Rockingham this past week and got it shook down and had a few questions answered getting ready for Darlington. That's going to be a long Dodge Avenger 500 race down there. That's going to be incredible how long that race is going to be. We hope we're in the groove and running up front and running for the full 500 miles. I'd say this is going to be the ultimate test so far for NASCAR's COT and The Dodge Avenger."

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PAUL ANDREWS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 43 CHEERIOS/BETTY CROCKER DODGE AVENGER

"We had a big learning experience with the Dodge Avenger at Phoenix and ended up with an eighth-place finish. With just a little more time we can make it better. I'd like to see NASCAR make some changes, but I'm optimistic about it. We can work with it and make it better. Darlington is going to be an interesting race. It'll be an exciting race. It always is. It'll take everything we've learned at the first four COT races to contend with the Avenger at Darlington, but Bobby (Labonte) is a great driver and we've been working hard developing the Avenger at Petty Enterprises."

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KYLE PETTY, NO 45 PETTY ENTERPRISES DODGE AVENGER

"I know some drivers don't like the COT races, but Petty Enterprises supports trying to make the cars safer. Darlington will be the first COT race at a superspeedway, so who knows what's going to happen? I don't call it the COT anymore anyway. I drive a Dodge Avenger, and it would be great to see a Dodge win the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup