CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 43rd) "I saw Mr. Green get turned around there in the Best Buy car and I just have to apologize to Petty Enterprises and everybody on the 45 car. I thought Green flipped over or...
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 43rd)
"I saw Mr. Green get turned around there in the Best Buy car and I just have to apologize to Petty Enterprises and everybody on the 45 car. I thought Green flipped over or something because we went in the smoke, so I just dove to the bottom and Kyle came down. I should have been more worried about stopping my car than people from behind running into me and I ended up being the guy that got Kyle. It's a terrible day. I hope the rest of the show is good. I just feel bad for my whole crew and Kyle's crew."
WHAT HAPPENED? "I saw the 66 car get sideways and go flying up the race track and I thought I could do a good job of going underneath him and I ended up running into the back of Kyle Petty. It's just a tough call. I was worried about guys running over me and I ended up running over somebody. I'm very frustrated and feel bad for those guys, too."
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON ANOTHER CAR BEFORE? "No, I hadn't been in that position before. I was hoping Kyle is OK. I still hope he's alright, I haven't seen him yet."
HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT? "It's extremely disappointing. It's not how we wanted to start our season, but we'll just have to work harder."
HERMIE SADLER -- No. 00 Aaron's Ford Fusion (Finished 40th)
"We were a little bit tight. We didn't have the car driving as good as we needed to be as competitive as we wanted to be, but we had a pretty good day going. We were still on the lead lap and still adjusting on it. We were looking forward to the last couple of laps, but something happened to the engine. If it weren't for Robert and Doug Yates, and Jack Roush, we wouldn't be here in the first place, so everybody chipped in and we had a great effort. Thanks to Aaron's and everybody involved and even though we didn't finish the race, it was a good momentum builder for us and we'll go to California and try to keep getting better."
YOU FINALLY MADE THIS RACE. HOW HAS THIS DAY BEEN OVERALL? "It's been like a dream come true. Everybody who has ever raced, starting in go-karts like I did all the way up to this level, always dreamed of being in the Daytona 500 so we got that experience. Once the flag dropped we wanted to be competitive and we were getting it better, but we just weren't where we wanted to be. All in all it was a great day. We can go back and work on this car and take it to Talladega and make it even better. I also got a good day of working with my new guys. Everybody on the team is brand new. I don't even know half of their names yet, so we got a good day under our belt and we'll go to California and try them again."
MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 12th)
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR DAY? "No. We had a great car. That's a shame. We kind of wasted it there, but you have problems and unfortunately we just couldn't get back through the pack that good. There was just a lot of traffic out there. We had a killer car. I probably couldn't have won the race, but certainly could have contended easily for a top five finish. We got back to 12th or 13th anyway, but certainly had a lot better stuff than that. We ran around the top five until we had our little problem, but you'll have that. This is my last Daytona 500. I plan to be on the couch with a remote control watching it next year."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PIT STOP? "I don't know. You'll have to ask the team. It was something about the gas wouldn't go in."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 15th)
WAS THE NEW RULE APPLIED CORRECTLY TODAY? "Well, Tony took me out intentionally. There's no two ways about that. He was mad because earlier in the race when I passed him he got loose, which I didn't think I did anything wrong. I thought I left him plenty of room. That's the same way he raced. I actually learned that from him racing here close to people, so he wrecked me intentionally and got put to the end of the longest line. I don't think that's too big of a penalty at a drafting track, but that's just the way it is. I thought Mike Helton did a great job this week explaining it in the driver's meeting that it was about aggressive driving and not necessarily bump drafting. I'm just really disappointed. Tony went out and said all that stuff earlier in the week. If he's worried about people's lives and everything, and then he's gonna wreck you on purpose at 190, I wasn't too happy with that. We'll just go on and try to do a good job next week and be happy with where we finished. We'll go on to California and start over."
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 37th)
"First off, I need to apologize to Kurt. I got into him. That was 100 percent my fault. I feel really bad because he had a car capable of winning today and I kind of screwed that up for him. We had a good car. I tried to make a move on the outside and I got hung out, and then the 31, I don't think he could help it. He just got tight and there wasn't a whole lot you could do from there."
DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 10th)
"In parts of the race we were pretty good, but I needed more green flag racing. We weren't as good and probably as aggressive as some of them on the new tires, but there at the end I got my car pretty good and was able to go and make up a few spots. But it was just about surviving. There was a lot of running into each other and things like that."
HOW WAS THE RACE IN GENERAL? "It was typical racing out there, but I saw a lot of giving and taking. When you put cars that close together and everybody is running the same speed you're gonna see a lot of that. It seemed like everybody was doing a good job. At the end of the race you expect everything to kind of break loose and people just start getting as much as they can."
JEFF GREEN BLAMED YOU FOR THAT ACCIDENT EARLY IN THE RACE. "I don't know how he's blaming me because I was on the bumper of the car in front of me and just hit him. Jeff was coming up. I don't know if he was trying to get air on that or what and he touched the left-front of my car. He's got to know that somebody else is there, too."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion (Finished 31st)
"I just blew a right-rear tire. It's kind of unfortunate, but I'm kind of happy because we still got a decent finish out of it. After I spun everybody stopped and I got going again and beat everybody to the start-finish line. It worked out for me. We had a good car until the 09 started driving in the middle. He'd drive in the middle and would go nowhere and get passed back. Finally he ran somebody into the wall and they slammed in the side of me and my car wouldn't run after that. It just bent the steering."
HOW WAS THE RACING TODAY? "I think it was calmer than it could have been. I was pretty happy with what I saw."
ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 38 M&M's Fusion (Finished 4th)
"Man, this is a great finish. It's a great way to get the season started off. You know what? We wanted to win, but to come back from all the adversity today and finish fourth, it's a great day for us. My guys never gave up, awesome pit stops all day, they're the ones that kept me pumped up, kept me in the ballgame and Tommy made some great calls. Good, good finish for us. This is great."
GREAT WEEK FOR YOU... "Yeah, we got a win on Thursday and got a top-five here this weekend. This is a good shot in the arm that we need as a race team. We got a great leader now, we got a great bunch of guys, I got the best pit crew on pit road and I'm going to have a lot of fun driving this car this year."
WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU SAW THE 8 CAR IN YOUR REARVIEW MIRROR TOWARD THE END AND AGAIN FOR THAT GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FINISH? "Me and the 8 wanted to work together, but his car worked better on the top and mine worked better on the bottom, so it was hard for us to work together. But, you know, he's always going to have a good push going to the front, we just weren't able to help each other today. I do got to thank Clint Bowyer, he helped me a tremendous amount today. And I had a lot of fun. It was a great Daytona 500."
YOU WIN A DUEL AND FINISH FOURTH TODAY. THAT'S A GOOD WEEK FOR ANYBODY. "I think there's about 40 teams out here that would want to trade this week with us. It's been a great week. We qualified good, we finished good, the car's in one piece, we've got a good car for Talladega. It was a great weekend."
YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK FOR MOST OF THE RACE. WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END THAT COULD GET YOU NEAR THE FRONT? "We just made the right decisions and Tommy made some great adjustments on the car and got it where I could run on the bottom or run up high. Everything went well. Just being in the right place at the right time. This is a 200-mile-per-hour chess game, and for once I made all the right decisions."
AND YOUR TEAMMATE, DALE JARRETT, JUST MISSED A TOP 10. "Oh, did he? That's great. I hadn't seen him the whole race, so it's good that he came out and finished 11th, so that's a great start for him, and a great start for the whole Yates team to come here and run as good as it did, it was fun."
KEVIN LEPAGE -- No. 61 AMP Energy Drink Ford (Finished 25th)
"It's a finish. You know, we have AMP Energy Drink that came aboard this weekend and what we wanted to do was finish the 500 for them. We led a few laps there, got some bonus points. We're in the top 25 in points right now going into California and that's what we've got to do, we've got to try and keep in the top 25, so we don't have to race our way in every week."
CAN YOU USE THIS RACE AS A SPRINGBOARD FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON? "Yeah. It's an old car. We knew we were going to be behind the 8 ball coming here but Greg Conner and all the guys got it in the show and now we're just getting ready for California."
KEN SCHRADER -- No. 21 Little Debbie/Motorcraft/USAF Fusion (Finished 9th)
NOT A BAD WAY TO START THE SEASON, IS IT? "No, we'll take it, for sure. A top 10 at Daytona."
HOW DID THE RACE GO FOR YOU? "Well, I hovered toward the back, but not intentionally. Then I messed up the nose of the car, and how the motor held together, I don't know. Then they fixed it. Then those 10 guys peeled in and I said, 'I'll take 10 spots here and see what happens later.' Earlier, when we were the highest up we were today on a set of six- or seven-lappers we stayed out. Then, we just got in the right lane. We had to make a lot of adjustments, the weather change got us pretty severely. It's a good way to start '06."
ON THE NEAR-MISS ON PIT ROAD. "Listen, I'll go to the back any time, before I tear my fenders off. I knew I had to turn to keep from tearing my fenders off but then I saw the pit right there, so I thought I'd still hook a left. Just kind of slung it around, put on four tires, backed up, took off."