Jeff Gordon Wins Second Gatorade Duel at Daytona Win is Fourth Duel Victory and 13th Career Daytona International Speedway Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, captured his fourth victory in the Gatorade Duel at Daytona with a dramatic run...
Jeff Gordon Wins Second Gatorade Duel at Daytona
Win is Fourth Duel Victory and 13th Career Daytona International Speedway
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, captured his fourth victory in the Gatorade Duel at Daytona with a dramatic run in the final two laps of the second of today's 150-lap races to set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500.
The win is the 13th career win for Gordon at Daytona International Speedway. He will be going for his fourth victory in the Great American Race when he takes the green flag from the outside of row two.
Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/Carquest Monte Carlo SS, finished fourth after leading 30 laps of the 50-lap sprint. J.J. Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo SS, brought home a sixth-place finish.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS - Winner:
"We had some great guys back there helping us push. J.J. Yeley was one of them. Having those two tires played a big role. I was able to get up there on the outside and it was real maneuverable with the DuPont Chevrolet. It really is just circumstances in situations like that in the closing laps. You pick a lane and a hole and you go with it and if somebody goes with you, you know you've got momentum. Right there at the end between Stremme and J.J. Yeley, we just had some huge pushes. Those guys up front saw me coming and they were just trying to figure out which way to go. I got pretty nervous there going into (turn) three on that last lap because the No. 2 car (Kurt Busch) moved up to block me. He did a great job with it. I knew my only option was to go low and I didn't know if I was going to spin out and wreck both of us or make it back around. But when I got clear of him, it was a great feeling. I've got to thank all my sponsors and all the people that make this thing happen. It's a great feeling to get back here into victory lane at Daytona."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY THAT YOU CAN APPLY TO SUNDAY'S RACE? "I know we've got to get our car handling a little bit better. We were pretty good. We've got to get out front. Winning this race gets us closer to the front, which helps a lot. And we've got to try not to overshoot the pits. I'll tell you what, it's about the easiest I've ever seen it to overshoot your pits by locking up tires. It's just going to take a real clean race all day."
WAS THERE A LOT OF BUMPING AND BANGING OUT THERE? "No, there really wasn't. It seemed like when the tires are fresh at the beginning of the race there was some shuffling going on. I thought Juan Pablo did a great job early on. I hated to see him have problems. Kyle Busch looked strong and Kurt Busch looked strong and I think it really was pretty calm until late there of after a restart. That's when the tires are cool and guys can make some maneuvers it seems like they try to. Other than that, everybody seemed to pretty much stay calm and stay in line. It was pretty uneventful until the closing laps."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 29th
"We broke a pinion. It just won't go without all the pieces connected. The Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet drove good. Better (this happened) today than Sunday. We felt good in the draft so I think we will be solid on Sunday."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 13 CERTAIN TEED / GINN RESORTS MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 9th
TALK ABOUT THOSE LAST FEW LAPS: "It was exciting. I just kind of watched there in that last one. When that caution came out, I knew a lot of the guys behind me were going to come in and get tires. I decided, I made a call on my own, Peter told me to watch the line and I made that decision and came in and got two tires. And that was awesome. I've got to thank my teammates Mark Martin, Regan Smith, and Sterling Marlin. They all helped me a lot throughout the day. It makes a big difference when you've got great treammates and a great owner with Bobby Ginn. There are so many things going on right now, and we're in the Daytona 500. Wow!"
DID YOU SEE SCOTT RIGGS GET SIDEWAYS BESIDE YOU? "I knew it was big because I saw him and then he disappeared. Normally in the corner that car will pull up a little bit. There were a lot of hairy things going on. I made some pretty bold moves there and it worked out for us. I'm really proud of this team."
MIKE WALLACE, NO. 09 MICCOSUKEE RESORT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 11th
YOU MADE IT IN THE DAYTONA 500: "I'd like to thank my team and everyone. This is just an incredibly awesome experience making the Daytona 500. We've had to race our way in for the last few years. We got it done. You couldn't get any more dramatic than that. I heard guys talking this morning how it comes down to the last lap and the last corner. I saw Sterling up there and knew that Nemechek was his teammate and I kinda knew what they were thinking. Fortunately we were able to come in and we were able to put right sides on with 10 (laps) to go. I questioned it but (crew chief) Fred Wanke did a great job in calling that. He said we needed track position so hey, we're in the Daytona 500."
ON THE RACE "I think it was a good race. There were no weird predicaments with nobody really running right into anybody or anything like that. I enjoyed it a lot. My car went right up the center with Kenseth early in the run and then the front end gave up on it and I fell all the way to the back. The cautions came exactly when we needed them. We're going to qualify our truck here pretty quick and we've got our Geico Chevrolet in the Busch race so we're in all three races now."
TONY RAINES, NO. 96 DLP HDTV MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 10th
ON HIS RUN: "It was fair. We weren't real good at the start. We were really, really tight and then we got the car a little better each pit stop. I think we were up to eighth there and then that last caution we came in and took tires. Some guys didn't. The car was pretty good, just some guys were blocking really hard and you get some momentum built up and then they block that and it takes you a while to get it back. We won't be that nice Sunday I guess."
STERLING MARLIN, NO. 14 WASTE MANAGEMENT MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 12th
ON HIS CAR: "It's pretty good. It was a little too tight the first run. Got too loose the second run. A lot of guys got tires. We didn't. Somebody got against me, jacked me up going into one and two and got me crossed up and four or five cars got by. The car drove pretty good, just a little bit too free the last run."
DID THE WEATHER TIGHTEN THINGS UP? "I don't know. I thought it was really good yesterday. The car really drove good. It was good yesterday and it wasn't as good today so I don't know what's going on with it."
ARE YOU GOOD FOR SUNDAY? "Yeah, just some more steam."
J.J. YELEY, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 6th
ON THE FINISH: "It was exciting. I was trying to follow Jeff (Gordon) through there. I know I have a lot to learn about restrictor-plate racing and he is one of the best at it. Following him I guess was a good plan because I had guys following me for a change. That little help was enough to push our Interstate Batteries Chevrolet to the front. What an awesome race car. I got by Kyle Busch there with two to go, and he give me a little draft there in three and got me a little to free and got me up the race track. To come back and run sixth after being shoved back to the mid 20s mid-race, it was getting a little frustrating cause I have an awesome race car, just couldn't get any help.
ON HOW CAR WAS IN THE DRAFT: "We still have a little ways to go and with the cooler conditions today really changed the race car because this car drove awesome when it was hot and slick. We got a little too tight in today's race. All-in-all, with as little restrictor-plate racing as I have, to come away sixth in front of some really good cars and gives me encouragement for Sunday's Daytona 500."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 4th
YOU LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD A STRONG CAR: "It doesn't matter. We didn't win. It's kind of heart-breaking that your own brother won't go with you. We've just got to do what we've got to do and try to win on Sunday. We've given up two of them but we're going to take home the important one."
HOW DID YOUR CAR FEEL IN THE DRAFT? "Well, leading it is going to feel the best than any other position so we've got some work to do. We were definitely a little bit out of the race track, more than what we wanted to be so we've got some stuff that we need work on the next couple of days at practice to see if we can get that better."
DID THE COOLER WEATHER AFFECT YOU TODAY? "Yeah, practice yesterday was absolutely terrible. Today was better but we have to see what the weather is going to be like Sunday."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 14th
I'm ready for the (Daytona) 500. That was a frustrating race for us. We were really worried about Joe (Nemechek) making the race and he did a spectacular job and I'm very proud of him getting in there. I sure wouldn't want to do what Joe had to do today and he just did an outstanding job. Now we are all getting primed up for the 500. Our car is pretty good. It wasn't as good today as it was in the Bud Shootout, but we have a couple of days to work on it and get it better. We are looking forward the 500 and that's what it's all about here."
-credit: gm racing