KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) WHAT DOES DAYTONA MEAN TO YOU? "This is our 'Grand Daddy of them All'. It's the most prestigious race. The history here and the legacy. You know stock cars started in the Carolinas, but racing started...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
WHAT DOES DAYTONA MEAN TO YOU? "This is our 'Grand Daddy of them All'. It's the most prestigious race. The history here and the legacy. You know stock cars started in the Carolinas, but racing started here on the beach. It's a very special place to come and race and be apart of it. I remember my first (Daytona) 500 like it was the other day, and each year it gets more exciting for me, and more challenging to try to win as well because not every driver gets to win this great prestigious race."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THE 50TH RUNNING OF THE DAYTONA 500? "This one is more special than some of the years past, just because it is the 50th year and the trophy has got gold trim all over it. That gets your eyes focused right away that this is something special. You know it's like any other year at Daytona. You can't get caught up in the hype too much, you do have to feel the emotions of Daytona but yet you've got to treat it like it's a regular race because you can get lost in it pretty quick."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PENSKE TEAMS CHANCES THIS YEAR? "We feel good. We've run well in this off-season. Building more horsepower is key because this car is heavier and it doesn't have the down force, and so you have to make your speed up on the straight-aways. I think our team is well balanced. Our team has adjusted well to their changes with some of the pit road chances. It's just a matter of getting out there and going and doing it. It feels good that I've got Pat Tryson to start the season."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger)
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE DAYTONA 500? "I'd say it's definitely good. We performed well last year. We had duct work fail which failed the engine, but I ran with the Car of Tomorrow car at Talladega last year was strong. I look forward to working with both Kurt (Busch) and Sam (Hornish Jr.) and trying to get Penske it's first Daytona 500 win."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE POISED TO BE THE TOP DODGE TEAM IN 2008? "I hope so. We were strong last year at times and it's just a matter of getting the job done this year."
HAVE YOU MADE STRIDES WITH THE CAR OF TOMORROW FROM LAST YEAR? "I thought we were very competitive towards the end of the year in the last seven races when we had all of our top-5s there. That's something to build on and hopefully get the Alltel Dodge into victory lane multiple times this year."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 77 MOBIL 1 Dodge Charger)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH BOTH THE DAYTONA 500 AND THE INDIANAPOLIS 500? "I think it's great. I've won the Indianapolis 500 and now I get a chance to come here and race and hopefully someday win the Daytona 500. I'm looking forward to that for sure. I think that it's been great getting to know all of the people over here on the Sprint Cup scene. Hopefully, eventually, it may not be this year or next year, but hopefully sometime I'll get an opportunity to win this race and be able to put my name as guys that have won the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500. Only two guys have done that so I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to do that."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU TO BE LOCKED INTO THE FIRST FIVE RACES OF THE YEAR? "I think that, that's awesome. Especially with the way that Daytona plays out and having the duels set. So many things can take you and keep you from running the 500, but whether it's a flat tire or break the radiator or some engine problem, you get crashed out -- so many things can happen that are none of your own fault to keep you from running it. When you have the Super Bowl of the year as the first thing out, it really gives you a good felling knowing that you're going to start it."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE DAYTONA 500? "It's going to be real similar to how it's been in the past as far as the race. The way the cars handle. The way you see a lot of racing after cautions and then it'll spread out and you won't see a whole bunch of racing until late in the race when everybody gets after it again. I think it's going to be fun."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ROBBY GORDON SWITCHING TO DODGE? "I think it's good. They do a good job as far as a one-car team. I mean they do a really good job. I think they can help us some by bringing some things that can help our teams out and also we can help them. That's going to be good for all of us. I've never worked with Robby, but we've always got along fine, so I think it'll be just fine."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DAYTONA? "I'm looking forward to it. The 50th running of the Daytona 500 and I've been coming here for a long time as a fan and as a driver it's my 10th one. We feel like we're as prepared as we can be for this race, so we're going to go out there and get the car handling as much as we can. There's a lot put into it. I mean, these guys have been working the last six months for this one race. We want to come out here and be competitive and put on a good show and hopefully we've crossed all our T's and dotted all our I's and do the best we can."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THIS RACE? "Oh man, I can't put that into words. I mean to be a fan of this sport my whole life and racing this thing. I've been close a few times and had some great top-5s and top-10s here, but never won. I don't know how to put it into words what it would mean to win this thing but it's definitely the biggest race of the year. Growing up in Southern Virginia and being able to win a race like this would definitely be a dream comes true. We are going to try and make it happen next Sunday."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline Dodge Charger)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DAYTONA 500? "I love it. I'm pretty happy. I'm pumped up about it. I've got to qualify that car. If I can qualify that car it will be like a small victory, so that's what we've got to do. Just for me to be here, you know I was digging wholes on my farm a couple years ago and that's how it came about. We put a sponsorship together for Montreal and now I'm here waiving to all these guys and I'm going to be racing with them, so it's fantastic for me. It's amazing opportunity for me. I try to see the bright side of it. I think it's worth it. I want to live it and enjoy it."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE DAYTONA 500? "It's really hard to say that we're going to have a great Daytona 500 or we're going to suck at it. Hopefully we have a really good one and hopefully everything goes really smooth and well. At the same time it's always completely out of your hands what happens."
HOW DOES THE DAYTONA 500 RANK AMOUNG THE OTHER RACES IN YOUR CAREER? "It's way up there. It's always a big race. There are maybe three or four races in the world and you always want to be in them. I've always run pretty well in those ones and I think I can make something happen here."
WHAT DOES DAYTONA MEAN TO YOU? "I think it's a really cool race. I think the fans make it what it is more than we make it what it is."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DAYTONA 500? "Obviously this year it's a big deal with the 50th anniversary. It's pretty cool to be part of that for sure. It's pretty much the biggest race on the schedule and it's the first one which makes it even more of a deal, so it'd be good to get off on the right foot and get a good start to the year and build momentum from that point on."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE YEAR WITH CHIP GANASSI RACING? "I think so. Everybody at the shop is. We just got back from (Las) Vegas and California. It went alright at Vegas and we were pretty good at California. We're looking forward to getting going and starting off here with the Budweiser Shootout this weekend and then running the 500 next weekend. If we can do well in those two races it'll really get some stuff going for the year."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN YOUR FIRST CUP SERIES RACE IN THE 50TH RUNNING OF THE DAYTONA 500? "It'd be perfect. I'd love it."
-credit: dodge motorsports