Daytona Duels: Ford teams race two quotes

MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Fusion "I messed up right there at the end. I waited a little bit too long. I didn't want to pull out. I had a chance to get on the outside and the 43 was up to me yet, so I was waiting for him to catch, and he caught me...

MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Fusion

"I messed up right there at the end. I waited a little bit too long. I didn't want to pull out. I had a chance to get on the outside and the 43 was up to me yet, so I was waiting for him to catch, and he caught me so quick that when I made my move to pull out in front of him, he was already there. We were looking good. We've got a good race car; where we start doesn't matter, so I wanted to protect it. It was a great run. We had a shot to challenge for it. Then the caution came out and everything went different, and then we were actually looking good again. That green-white-checkered, that's always crazy. I didn't time it right. I messed that one up."

HOW WAS THE CAR? "Spectacular. I love my Ford Fusion. And AAA, first race for the AAA car and looking good. I didn't need the roadside assistant, I'm glad of that."

ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW WELL THE FUSION HAS COME OUT OF THE BOX? "I'm proud of the guys that work on it, too. Don't sell them short. I'm proud of my guys and I'm proud of my team and I'm proud of my car."

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JAMIE McMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Fusion

"Our car is not as good as what the Shootout car was, but Jimmy keeps telling me we're going to work on it and I have a lot of faith in right now. So, we're going to have to wait and see what we can figure out tomorrow. The car's getting a little tight. It seems like everybody's tight, a lot tighter than in the past. We'll just keep working on it."

IT SEEMS LIKE THE THREE ROUSH DRIVERS COULD DRAFT WELL TOGETHER AFTER THE PIT STOP. "The Roush-Yates engines are pretty amazing. That's been a great surprise moving over here and when you get three teammates together they tend to work well. I pulled off, so I know the 16's mad at me right now, but it came down to two to go and you have to do what's best for you and try to win."

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU ABOUT THIS TEAM AFTER THE LAST TWO RACES, KNOWING THAT SUNDAY YOU'LL HAVE A SHOT? "Well, the Shootout, I thought we had the dominant car. So, I'm a little bit disappointed right now with this one. We just have to keep working on it. It doesn't have the speed, but it doesn't drive as well either, so we're just going to try and get it to drive a little bit better, and we'll wait and see what happens on Sunday. We'll have a good starting spot at least."

IT WASA LITTLE CALMER TODAY. "Yeah. The last three or four laps is like the Shootout was every lap, but you expect that, I think, in the Shootout, that's why it gets its name. It's wild and that's what people pay to see."

OBVIOUSLY, MIKE HELTON CAME IN AND TOLD THE DRIVERS TO BE MORE RESPECTFUL. "I think the way he put it was, it wasn't just the bump drafting, it was the guys running into the sides of the cars. There's something about his voice that when he speaks just have to listen. He's a very powerful man and I think everyone in the garage area respects him. So, you listen, and everyone did a really good job in the 150s."

WHAT ABOUT THE FORD FUSION? ARE YOU PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH IT? "Yeah. The Fusion was really good off the truck. We tested Vegas, and I think it's better on the downforce than what it is on the speedway, so there's a lot in store for Ford this year."

JACK ROUSH SAID A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT HE'S USUALLY NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT DAYTONA, BUT, THIS YEAR, WITH A FEW BREAKS... "He feels like Roush Racing is better than it's ever been, and when you look at the history the last few years it's hard to believe it can be any better than what it has in the past, but it's a great time to be a part of it."

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GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion

"You've got to have partners out on the race track to get things done. Man, when you're got new tires on a race car it's like Superman -- you can drive anywhere you want to drive and everybody wants to drive across the bottom. We could have finished 1-2-3, but I don't know what happened. They jumped out of line and everybody just went crazy with five to go. Even there at the end I guess Mark didn't want to get to the top and just wanted to finish behind the 5 and 24. He must have got loose or something there at the end, but shot way up the track and I had to get out of the gas to save from wrecking him. Then I tried to push him the best I could to get the best finish we could, but, man, we could have finished 1-2-3 if we would have stayed in line. We had them beat -- easy. You could see the speed we had on everybody that didn't have new tires. The guys in front of us had old tires, but it's every man for himself out there today."

WHAT IMPACT DID NASCAR'S RULE HAVE TODAY? "I was a little nervous about how hard I was pushing Mark. Mark wasn't just straight out of the tri-oval and I was on his bumper and pushing him really good all the way down into one and Jeff Gordon was blocking him trying to keep the lead, but I was pretty aggressive there at the end. I wanted to push Mark Martin to the last 150 win and we were just one man short on doing that. It's unfortunate."

WAS IT CALM? "It really was calm. It was intense for me because I was looking in my mirror and we needed the three Fords to line up and we would have blown their doors off. We all had new tires and they were sitting ducks, but not everybody could get together."

WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? "I expect the same thing. It's a 500-mile race and things are gonna be pretty calm until 20 to go and then everybody is gonna be racing for that million and a half dollars. It'll be pretty calm until the end just like it was here. It was a pretty calm race until it got shook up at the end."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin