Daytona Preseason Thunder - Dodge teams notes 2008-01-08

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) "The test is going OK. We're finding a little speed here and there. We ran the old car a long time, so it's good to revisit old ideas. Some of those ideas have sparked some speed for us. Yesterday,...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

"The test is going OK. We're finding a little speed here and there. We ran the old car a long time, so it's good to revisit old ideas. Some of those ideas have sparked some speed for us. Yesterday, the two cars performed a little differently, but there were little quirks on one that we applied to the other and it picked up speed like it needed to. I would still like some more single-car runs, but it's time to move into the drafting. Now, the focus turns to handling, making the car work in traffic, in the draft."

PAT TRYSON (Crew Chief -- No. 2 Miller Light Dodge)

"We need to be a little better. It's been a struggle to find speed, but we need to be a little faster compared to those Hendrick cars. Even though handling is such a big issue with these cars, it's nice to run fast. If you're fast by yourself, it helps in the draft. The 500 is normally a handling race, so drafting will be more important, but we need to find a little more speed."

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)

"The test has been going pretty good. Rodney (Childers, the team director) and I are working on our communication as well as focusing on getting our car to handle--drive good. That's what it's going to take to be competitive in the Daytona 500, a car that handles in traffic. I've had some pretty good 500s here in the past. Right now, our goal is to get this car to handle the best we can during this test, see what our teammates learn next week and then come back here next month with a good setup, race competitively and get our season started off on the right foot. We're learning all we can about each other and these race cars."

RODNEY CHILDERS (Team Director -- No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)

"We're going through the list we made for the test, so we haven't really tried to run a fast lap. At the end of the day Monday, we did tape the car up more and tried to get a decent lap, but that hasn't been a priority. We're going through stuff, trying to learn more about these COT cars at superspeedways and get our feet under us. The biggest thing here is getting the car to handle. That's the primary reason we're here, to work on the handling. The car that's handling the best in the Daytona 500 is going to win the race. We don't feel like we have a shot at the pole the way it looks right now. So, we just have to step back and focus on what is most important -- to race good in the 150 and the 500. Where we qualify is where we qualify. If we race well enough in the 150, we'll get a good pit stall. It doesn't matter that much where you start."

REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)

" We've spent time on motor and radiator issues while Juan (Pablo Montoya) and his team were doing more stuff to the car. Each team had different lists of things to work on get done so by the end of the test, we can put it all together. So far, everything has gone OK. This car is different than the old car, so it's a challenge for the teams to get them to handle. We have more motors in the trailer, so both teams will be looking for more speed as the test progresses. At times, when you come down here for a test, you don't find anything that helps. If you can just find two or three little things that help and put them all together, that will help you some at the end."

JIMMY ELLEDGE (Crew Chief -- No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)

"On the speed chart, we weren't very good, but we really weren't working on speed. We learned a lot yesterday. That was the most important thing, to get accurate data. The two Ganassi teams have a different agenda for testing. We're working on engine stuff and they (the No. 42 team) are working on suspension stuff. We will go back and share the information and put together a package to come back with for the Daytona 500."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)

"We've made good progress, tried a lot of things and found a couple of good things, so up to this point, it's been a good test for us. Running by yourself is very different than running in the draft, so we don't know exactly where we're at on the handling. That's what we'll be working on the rest of the day today and tomorrow."

DONNIE WINGO (Crew Chief -- No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)

"We've tried most of the things we wanted to try. We still have a couple of things we want to take a look at. The biggest thing now is to work on drafting--getting the car to work in the draft. In qualifying, you have to have it all -- power and handling. For the race, you have to get the right attitude in the car. The biggest thing about winning the Daytona 500 is having a car that handles good that you can hold wide open longer than the other guy can. You want to have the car set up where the driver can put it wherever he wants to pass other cars. You know what you have after Thursday's qualifying race. The biggest thing is to get the cars to handle good, drive good and not get too tight on a long fuel run. Tire wear is always an issue here too. We hope to leave here with a car that drives good and come back next month with a good baseline."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/PVA Dodge Charger)

"This is obviously a very important test. Not only is Daytona the first race with the new car, but it is also the 50th Daytona 500. We want to start the season off on a strong note. Petty Enterprises hired a lot of new people for this season, guys with a lot of experience, and I think we have seen the benefits of that so far in this test. Billy (Wilburn, crew chief) brought a great baseline setup. We've gradually worked on the setup to get the attitude of the car to where we need to be for the race. Each time out we get faster or we get the car more comfortable to drive. We never regress. Everyone here is encouraged about the test and the race that will be here in a month. We've tweaked on some motor stuff and some carburetor stuff, things that are really important in restrictor-plate racing but sometimes get overlooked. Over the next couple of days we'll get into the suspension and handling part of the car."

BILL WILBURN (Crew Chief -- No. 45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/PVA Dodge Charger)

"Kyle and I have been coming down here for years. I don't think either of us can remember a test more under the microscope than this one. Everyone had a decent set of notes from the races that we used the COT in 2007. We were able to go over those notes and scrutinize them over the winter to come back here and put the best car we can on the track for the biggest race of our season. That's a lot of pressure, but these guys on this No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger were up to the challenge. We're very happy with how the test is going. Kyle is comfortable in the car and we've got a lot of speed under the hood. Now we just need to take it back and make it a little better."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup