MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd: TAKE US THROUGH THAT LAST LAP. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD THE NO. 5 (KYLE BUSCH) COVERED AND THEN OUT OF NOWHERE COMES THE NO. 29 (HARVICK) "Well, we saw him up there. We were just doing...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd:
TAKE US THROUGH THAT LAST LAP. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD THE NO. 5 (KYLE BUSCH) COVERED AND THEN OUT OF NOWHERE COMES THE NO. 29 (HARVICK) "Well, we saw him up there. We were just doing everything we could, you know. It was the Daytona 500 man. I just want to thank Bobby Ginn and especially the U. S. Army team. I'm so proud to be a part of this team. They gave me a chance at the Daytona 500 and that's all I ever asked. I really hate that I let them down. I gave it what I would, but I didn't get it done. I really thought they were going to throw the caution. I was still ahead; then they were wrecking behind. If they would have thrown the yellow, it was in our fingers. But they waited and waited and they waited and I didn't have any pusher there at the end and he was in the preferred for second back forward. But I just want to thank everybody for all their support. I wanted to win that thing and they were going to have to pry it out of my fingers, man. I was looking back to see if we had any help, but I didn't see any back there. It was just short."
DO YOU THINK MAYBE THIS IS THE YEAR? "Hey, this is a green-white-checkered at the Daytona 500. I knew the race was on. And man we got so far down the line. I saw him (Harvick) get that run. I tried to block it. And then I got back down and you know, minus the wreck and everybody coming through there good with a good pusher, we would have still had it done. I really still thought, as we entered Turn 3, that we were going to get it done. And then they started wrecking and we were still ahead of him. But it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't get the job done."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 1st:
WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HEAD OF STEAM AT THE END OF THE RACE TO WIN THE DAYTONA 500? "I had Jeff Burton behind Matt Kenseth and Kenseth just pushed the hell out of me there. This Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet got a little hot. We had to come in and take some tape off. We had a hole in the nose. Man, my go-kart experience over the winter paid off. We were just bouncing off everything. But man, this is the Daytona 500."
CAN YOU BELIVE IT? "I can't believe it. We were 30-something there with 15 laps to go and we came up through there. I've just got to thank Richard and everybody for an awesome race car."
MIKE WALLACE, NO. 09 MICCOSUKEE RESORTS MONTE CARLO SS - FINISHED 4th:
"I am incredibly thrilled. I want to thank Kyle Petty first of all; he kept me in the race early on. We were so far behind, he backed up and helped us draft. With two to go, they told me do not get off the bottom. Everybody always ends up getting beat if they go to the top. Harvick went in there, he beat on me. I have never seen so many cars run into each other on a restart in my life. I can't say enough great things for the whole Miccosukee Resorts Monte Carlo SS; it was great. Great job for our team. Great day for Kevin Harvick, disappointed for Mark Martin. Fourth place in the Daytona 500 is pretty cool for our race team. I can tell you that. I just like this race track. I pay attention to what the cars do, what the air does around cars, where I can put myself. I only put myself where I know my car can go somewhere. We were horrible for the first part of the race. I drove around so long not seeing any other cars, I was bored."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 18th:
ON THE RACE: "We had a good car but I just kept making mistakes. I made a mistake on pit road and got us a lap down but hey how about Harvick your teammate winning the race."
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WERE UPSIDE DOWN? "Just a lot of mud coming in." (laughs)
HAVE YOU SEEN THE REPLAY YET? "No."
WHAT HAPPENED THERE AT THE END? "We were just racing hard. Everybody was going for it. It's the Daytona 500. I really thought there's a lot of cars up on the board right there that we were ahead of but we need to get to looking into that because when the caution came out I felt like I was ahead of quite a few of them. It sucks that everybody was going for it and I saw them all wreck and I thought I was clear and then somebody clipped me and turned us over but oh well."
DID THE FIRE START WHEN YOU WERE UPSIDE DOWN? "I think so. It was fairly uneventful other than the mud coming in."
ON THE ROLLOVER: "It was quick. You know I flipped over and then here comes the mud. I tell you much more mud would have came in and I wouldn't have got out."
WERE YOU MAD AT SOMEBODY? "I was mad that I wrecked my race car. It's pretty much junk."
IS IT DISAPPOINTING TO NOT COME OUT OF DAYTONA UNSCATHED? "Oh yeah. It's disappointing knowing your 18. I think we were a lot better than that but we need to get to looking into that."
ON MARK MARTIN'S RUN: "That would have been bummer for Jack Roush if he would have been with him all that time and then win that race. But man, how about that teammate of ours? That's unbelievable. That's cool."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 25 NATIONAL GUARD / GMAC MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 21st:
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE? "It looked like we were going to have a top 10. There at the end it would have been nice. I couldn't really see what happened. I don't know what started it but everybody kind of started getting crazy there at the end. I noticed the 38 got shuffled to the middle. I think he didn't like that and then he got bounced into somebody and I don't know how it all ended up from there. We just got caught up in it."
J.J. YELEY, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 11th:
"It was chaos is what it was. Just from the get go we had a really good car. I think we only had one run where we got really, really tight. Steve (Addington) got the car tuned back in. It's all about having a dancing partner here and I couldn't find anyone that wanted to draft with me. I could always be the pusher; I just couldn't get enough people lined up behind me to where we could take the car to the front. It was a really good race car. There at the end I just got sick of not having any help and decided that I was going to be selfish to do what I could for myself and got a good run at the end, got passed a bunch of cars and then coming off turn four they all started wrecking. Without the wreck we'd still probably finish about 14th but I picked up a bunch of positions and the car doesn't have a scratch on it. We can take it and run it in July."
JEFF GORDON #24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 12th:
"It was pretty uneventful out there tonight other than bad handling for most of the race for the DuPont Chevrolet. We were fast, we had a good race car but we couldn't show it because the handling wasn't that good at the start of the race and we could never get to the front. But then the green lights came on and it went crazy. We had short runs and everybody was handling good and with that green-white-checker you knew it was going to get wild. I couldn't see exactly what happened in front of me. I saw three cars in front of me - I was trying to push, I think, the #38 car through there - but they closed the gap and all of a sudden there were cars going everywhere."
WE HEARD 'TIRES, TIRES, TIRES' FROM EVERYBODY. HOW MUCH DID TIRES AFFECT THIS RACE TONIGHT? "Obviously you saw the race get strung out right until the end. Had we had gone long runs at the end, I think we would have seen the same thing. Tires are really hurting us all from putting on a good race but all we need tires that will drive a whole green run. Handling was a big issue today and there at the end it was all about getting a big push. I was quite happy - I had a good push going. I know that I helped Harvick win - he should attribute it to the three or four guys that were stacked up pushing him, all hoping that we could get the best push and end up with a top five or six. Even with the wreck I think we didn't end up too bad. We didn't have a great race but I'll take it as that's the best we were all night."
YOU GOT INTO THE WALL EARLY IN THE RACE. DID THAT AFFECTED YOUR HANDLING TO GET YOU BACK UP FRONT? "No, not at all. It didn't affect the car. The car was still fast and we made the car handle well at the end there. The trouble was that we didn't have any long runs then to show for it."
YOU STARTED AT THE BACK, MADE IT ALMOST ALL THE WAY TO THE FRONT AND THEN DROPPED BACK. WHY? "I was pushing really hard to get the best track position I could. Actually what happened was that it was handling badly. We had a really bad push. We had to adjust and jump on the car big time. We got the handling decent enough where we were back in the top ten, but then it was short run after short run after short run and then, of course, the green-white-checker at the end.
HOW ABOUT THE RACE STARTING IN BRIGHT SUN AND ENDING UP UNDER LIGHTS. HOW WAS THAT? "I like it. The wind was a factor but as far as the nighttime conditions - I liked that part.
WERE YOU CONCERNED WHEN THE RED-FLAGGED IT? "No not at all. I had a teammate behind me. We had a great lineup, I had a great restart and got a big push from behind, go to the outside, my teammate went with me and I saw Harvick and others jump up there too. We were driving to the front and I was pretty happy. I knew that we weren't going to win as that line that got stacked up in front of us I was banging off their bumpers and couldn't get that line to go. I was going to go but no-one else was. And everyone was going so crazy. It's typical of what's going to happen with a green-white-checker here at Daytona."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO HOLD OFF GUYS WHEN YOU'RE AT THE FRONT LIKE MARK MARTIN? "It's very difficult. You really have to watch your mirror more than what's in front of you. You've got to have a really great spotter that can help you with the momentum of which line's moving and which car's coming forward. And you've got to block every move you can. And you can't get out there too far in front. You can't let them push you where you get away from them. I hate to see Martin not win but obviously Harvick did a great job. I'm a great Mark Martin fan - it would be awesome to see him win his first Daytona 500.
WAS IT A MATTER OF SURVIVAL AT THE END? "It was very disappointing. It was about survival because it was so wild and crazy out there. I couldn't even see out of my windshield as I had oil all over it. Just being able to see was something good. Although I'm not sure I did want to see what was in front of me on that last lap."
WHAT DID YOU SEE? "I saw them crashing. I saw them going every which way. By then, when you see the start-finish line, or you know the start-finish line's up there, you're never letting off. Everybody's trying to get there."
STERLING MARLIN- NO. 14 WASTE MANAGEMENT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 16th:
"We had a heck of a day. I have to give a lot of credit to my spotter (T.J. Majors) because he did a great job saving me from every single accident-- and there were some big ones. We narrowly escaped them all, including the last one, but then the 25 car (Casey Mears) hit the wall and shot back down the track into us and there was nothing we could do. I just took my foot off the brake and slid across the finish line.
"The Waste Management Chevrolet was super tight early in the race. But as the sun set, the car came to us and we were able to drive our way through the field. Slugger (crew chief Slugger Labbe) did a great job calling the race, we had some speedy pit stops, and again, the spotter did an incredible job.
"With the car being so tight early and with the number of big accidents, I'm not too disappointed with our finish."
JOE NEMECHEK- NO. 13 CERTAINTEED MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 9th:
"Once we took care of our problems, the CertainTeed Chevrolet was actually pretty good today. I started feeling something wrong with the car and the problem turned out to be a faulty power steering pump. We were struggling with poor track position. It was all I could do to drive the car without power steering -- every time I hit a bump it would pull the wheel out of my hand. We just got way behind from that problem and by the time we figured it out and fixed the power steering we started to be competitive. This team showed plenty of pride and spirit today. We hung in there and pulled off a pretty good finish. I'll take a top-10 after all we've been through during Speedweeks. This was a good way to start the year. And it was also a good day for Ginn Racing with Mark (Martin) coming so close to winning and Sterling (Marlin) hanging in there with a good finish (17th)."
-credit: gm racing