MIKE WALLACE (No. 09 Miccosukee Resort Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Wallace finished ninth. He had the second highest finishing Dodge and was the highest finishing Wallace brother. "You've got the best 43 teams in the world here and the best 43 ...
MIKE WALLACE (No. 09 Miccosukee Resort Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Wallace finished ninth. He had the second highest finishing Dodge and was the highest finishing Wallace brother.
"You've got the best 43 teams in the world here and the best 43 drivers in the world, and we finished ahead of 34 of them. I'm real excited about it. I had a great incentive from James Finch (car owner) to win this race. I wish I had a shot to play that out. It was a huge one. This week has been one of the few times I've ever been to Speedweeks when everything went right. I haven't torned up anything I drove. Schrader's truck is perfect, my Busch car is perfect, this car is perfect. I made myself a dollar or two. These guys have been great to work with. They're all serious racers. We had some internal incentives that were pretty cool. James told me if I won the Daytona 500 he wanted the trophy and I could have all the money. We were going to share it amongst the guys.
"Tony got a little slow and Jeremy got by me right at the flag. If I was the top Wallace, we'll use that as bragging rights for a little bit. Second best Dodge, I hope the folks from Dodge appreciate that and use it to the fullest in their campaign. Maybe they can apply a little more support to this race team. The plan at the start of the year was five races, the four restrictor plate races and Homestead. The Miccosukee tribe is near Homestead. They were here this morning and talked as though they might help fund a few more races.
"I think we ran respectable today. We were up toward the front most of the day. I think all in all when you put an effort like this together, this is a good race team, but it's not a big race team. They finished fifth with their Busch car yesterday, and I finished fourth with mine. I'm real happy. It was a good showing for Dodge. It was a whole new Dodge program for this race team. Hopefully the Dodge camp is happy with that.
"I just told my wife that I wanted to finish the race. She said, 'you ought to be really happy with what you've got because when you bust your butt about 50 laps from now you'll wish it had stayed rained out.' I think why I wanted to race so bad is that we had a little bit better car to finish with. That's about where I ran all day, but when somebody throws a big carrot out at you, I wanted to live up with my end and go after it and complete the task.
"When we first put this program together I told Marc Reno that if he built me a car that would win the Daytona 500 I'd buy him a new Viper. He laughed and said he'd take me up on that. I told James what was going on, and he said if I won the Daytona 500 I could have all the winnings and he wanted the trophy. I told him I wanted a copy of the trophy. He said I'd have to buy it out of the money I won. That was a big incentive. It was a lot of money, but that isn't why I race. I race because I enjoy it, but that was a big perk. It would have been neat to share some things with the guys on this team."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Stacker2 Dodge Intrepid)
"I wish we could have raced some more. Here's the way I look at it. We were running 16th, and the guy who was running 30th would probably say he'd like to see it go back green. Sixteenth is a good finish to a weird day. I have to accept it, so I'm happy about it."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid)
"We had a good run going. We got up to about 17th after starting last. I felt good about the car, and then we had a little overheating problem. We had to pit and get some air under the hood and cool off the engine a little bit. I made a mistake on a restart, got out of the draft and lost the draft. Terry Labonte had an ignition problem and dropped back. He switched over and about that time I picked him up. It kept us in the hunt. It was hectic. After each rain delay everybody was wanting to go a little faster. It got crazy out there at time, but I was wanting to finish it bad. I wanted to get all the miles under my belt and get all the experience I could. I was a little disappointed in that. Other than that I'm real happy with the job the guys did."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid)
"That wasn't good enough, but I can't complain. We started off a little bit tight and then got a little bit loose. Steven Lane made a couple of good calls and then the car got right. At the end of the first rain delay we were 35th. At the end of the second rain delay, we were 13th. We passed a few cars on pit road and everything worked. Once you knew the weather was coming the first time, you said, 'OK, we're not going to make it all the way.' Everybody was pretty calm. After that you thought you might could get to the halfway point, so everybody raced real hard. It was like the 125s. Everybody was scrambling and jockeying for position. It was a lot tougher to pass and a lot harder to race.
RICHARD PETTY (Car owner Petty Enterprises Dodge Intrepids)
"It's a real disappointment for everybody to come and run a race and really not get to run the race. No matter who wins, they always feel a little slighted. The guys that run last feel real slighted. It's a no win deal for everybody - fans, TV, sponsors. There's nothing you can do about it."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Mayfield finished eighth and was the highest finishing Dodge.
"I'm really happy with the way this Dodge Dealers team came together during Speedweeks. We had a good test down here in January and we came back and backed it up. I'm just so happy that the breaks went our way for a change. The communication and chemistry was there today. We're all getting along. When something went wrong today, the team knew exactly where to go to fix it. I was loose at the start and we came in during the rain delay and fixed it. We were a lot better when we got back on the track. It's all about chemistry and communication. To leave Daytona with a top 10 is great. We want to win, but we're happy with that. This is a new team, and the way Josh (Browne, team engineer) and Kenny (Francis, team manager) communicated and worked well together, I couldn't be happier. They made some good calls and good decisions today. I'm real excited about the future of this team right now."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid)
"I'm not sure what the deal is on the yellow line. I was trying to not get in a wreck and I get penalized for it. They need to make up their mind on what we can do and can't do. Then we'll follow the rule."