Daytona Shootout: GM teams race quotes, notes

Kevin Harvick Wins Career-First Bud Shootout; Team Chevy has Three Drivers in Top-Five Finishers at Season's First Event at Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, FL - Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, saved the best for the...

Kevin Harvick Wins Career-First Bud Shootout; Team Chevy has Three Drivers in Top-Five Finishers at Season's First Event at Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, FL - Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, saved the best for the last corner of the last lap to win his career-first Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. The victory was reminiscent of his 2007 win in the Daytona 500.

Harvick over came starting 27th in the 28-car field, a brush with the wall and at one point had lost the draft to make a charge from deep in the field with five laps remaining to score the victory by just barely a car length.

The 75-lap scheduled race ran a total of 78 laps when a multi-car on lap 74 forced overtime in the form of a green-white-checkered finish. The caution waved simultaneously with the checkered flag as another multi-car accident started in the back of the field coming out of turn four of the final lap.

Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala SS, finished third in his debut back in the Team Chevy camp. The two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion pitted late in the race for tires and made a dramatic charge through the field to take a podium position.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, finished fourth in tonight's race.

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Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS won the 31st running of the Budweiser Shootout.

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL IMPALA SS - Winner

"We came in and put tires on with I don't know how many laps to go. I got a little bit behind there early. Michael Waltrip had a flat tire. He blew up or something. I like lost the draft and just came back up through there and I was thinking the same thing. Man, we won a Daytona 500 this exact same way by just never giving up. I want to thank Shell and Pennzoil and Chevrolet and all these people that help us on this No. 29 car. These guys and the fans, I mean man, if that's not fun to watch, I don't know what is.

"The first thing I want to do is thank the fans. Man, if you don't enjoy that, that was some wild racing. I have to thank Sprint, Shell, Pennzoil, Coca Cola, Rheem. Let me make sure, I haven't done this for a while, SKS, Freightliner, Champion, Snap On, everybody for helping us and once again, the fans. It is awesome. What a race. That was wild as heck there at the end."

YOU LOST THE DRAFT AND RESTARTED 24TH. WHAT DID YOU AND TODD BERRIER CHANGE DURING THE BREAK?

"We got squeezed up in the wall and it knocked the left front fender off and they repaired the left front fender and the right front fender and the right side at the break. It just seemed like I was in the wrong spot for the whole race and then there at the end, I wound up being in all the right places at the right time and had a car to go with it."

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO REPLICATE NEXT THURSDAY AND ALSO ON SUNDAY?

"I'm glad the races are during the day on Thursday because I don't know if you can hold on for 500 miles with everything like that. I don't know if we have enough cars."

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Finished 14th:

"I need to look at the video to see what happened there, I'm not exactly sure. Coming down the back straightaway, the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) was to my bumper and gave me a great shot; and two cars in front of me were kind of stalled out and there was a lane in the middle of them.

"So I thought I could take the run the No. 14 gave me and shoot through the middle of them and as I tried to go through the middle, I'm not sure if somebody on the outside lane was trying to come down or if I came across somebody's nose or what, but that's when we made contact and started the wreck.

DID THE NUMBER OF WRECKS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE 'NO TESTING' POLICY?

"No, it was just hard racing. It was just guys racing hard for every inch. In the 500, you won't see people early racing that hard. Tonight it was all about the money (laughs) and nobody was giving an inch. "It was a blast. It was a dash for the cash, for sure. I think the fans got what they wanted.

WAS THIS RACE A PREVIEW OF THE FINISH OF THE DAYTONA 500?

"Yeah, I think in the daytime it's going to be single file. But once things close up at night, it's going to be a lot like tonight's race."

HOW WAS YOUR FINGER TONIGHT, DID YOU WEAR A BRACE?

"It's pretty good; and no, I didn't wear a brace. The brace I have won't fit underneath of my glove, and so I decided not to wear it. My hands are in the right position for it now anyway, since I'm not supposed to straighten it out all the way yet. I'm supposed to keep it sort of curled, which works around the steering wheel. So, it is okay."

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DALE EARNHARDT, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, INVOLVED IN MULTI-CAR INCIDENT ON LAP 65:

"Me and Kyle (Busch) were drafting on the inside and he gave me a real good run back in to the lead, I just lost the right rearcause I just couldn't hold my car on the bottomand got up in to Jeff (Gordon) a little bit and kinda got shuffled through the middle to the back. I was just trying to regroup back there and figure out what to do. I knew there was going to be a wreck I was figuring on getting through the pack before it started happening and we didn't. My team did a good job. The car was good, it was just too loose on the long run. We were real good on new tires. We could drive right up to them. I want to thank my sponsors National Guard and AMP Energy. We got a good car, we got a good little package and we learned a little bit. Hopefully we can take what we learned to the 500. It was a fun race, it was a wild race. I think it was good for the fans. But I just hate tearing them up."

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, FINISHED 4TH:

"I couldn't even tell you what was going on that last lap. I was holding it wide open looking for ever bit of momentum and gap and hole that I could and anyone to push me or go with. We were four wide coming off of turn two. There wasn't enough room to be four wide, I was pushing Casey Mears. We got a heck of a run down the back straightaway and we starting catching the field the field ahead of us and man, they just all spread out. There were a couple of guys who thought they were on go-karts out there instead of stock cars. I think that was just really stacking things up and causing some problems. But it was a heck of a race, it was just great racing out there. Just got a little bit too wild. I got to say a very impressive run by Kevin Harvick. He was riding around there in the back and on one of those restarts; me and him were back there. Man he went and we went, I pushed him once, he pushed me and then I passed him and he passed me. It was pretty cool to see him come from back there and win that thing. I just want to say thanks to DuPont, National Guard, Pepsi, everybody on board this Chevy Impala SS. And all the fans for coming out. I think they saw a heck of a show.

"Man I hope the 500's not like this. If there are cautions late in the race, absolutely. Everybody comes here to win. A 500-mile race, we have to use our heads more than that. Just because it is a shorter race, it is not for points or the Daytona 500. I think guys are laying it out there on the line quite a bit more.

"I expected it to be wild. There were a couple of guys out there doing some things I thought were unnecessary. Other than that, I thought it was a great, fun, exciting race with a lot of action. Unfortunately, the cars were dancing around a lot and I thought that had a lot to do with the wrecks."

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TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE / OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS:

"I had a blast tonight. I'm just really proud of Darian (Grubb) and Bobby (Hutchens) and Tony (Gibson) and all the guys on this Office Depot team. They did an awesome job tonight. I don't know if we had the fastest car, but we had one of the best handling cars. We could put this thing anywhere on the race track we wanted to go tonight. (more below)

"I'll take that for a debut night. It wasn't the prettiest third place spot but we were in the right spot at the right time finally. We know what we need to work on for the 500 and we have a good start on it."

IT LOOKED LIKE THAT FOUR TIRE GAMBLE PAID OFF: "I don't know if I would call it a gamble when we were second from the back there but it definitely worked out in our favor. We got that run and we were able to pick which line we wanted. We got the one out of three lines that moved. So it worked out for us."

IT IS A SENSE OF RELIEF THAT THE FIRST ONE IS OVER: "I don't know, but I had fun all night. I was real comfortable with the car. Considering we switch to one of the carbon seats and only had one day to work with it, itis a Jimmie Johnson seat with the shoulders widened out in it, that is all it is. Nothing special. Nothing that we really had time to work on. I am surprised how comfortable I have been in this thing from day one and really happy with the Hendrick engine obviously that has been a big plus.

"I am excited because I know our 500 car is better than this one. I think we know what areas we need to work on Wednesday and what we will concentrate on Thursday, that will give us a really big gauge for what Friday and Saturday. I am excited about it. We have a direction, got the first one out of the way. Everybody has the cobwebs knocked out of them. It was an awesome debut for Old Spice and Office Depot."

"It was wild out there. I was a little nervous when I realized I put us four wide there on the bottom. That is what got us to third. We were in the right place at the right time. We were in bad track position so we could come get tires, so we took the opportunity to put that thing through the thinnest of holes and know we were going to have the grip to get through."

FIRST RACE CONDITION WITH DARIAN (GRUBB), HOW WAS IT? "Very calm. It is definitely different than Zippy but I have worked with Nationwide crew chiefs in the last

10 years and the good thing is I hear the confidence in his voice and makes me confident in the car too knowing he isn't guessing at what he wants to do. He knows what he wants to do. With anew crew chief, that is what you want."

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK? "I am excited about it. I mean, I don't think we were a third place car tonight, but we had one of the best handling cars out there but I am not sure we were one of the fastest cars. We know what we have to work on and we will really focus on that through practice."

HOW WAS YOUR EMOTION WHEN YOU TOOK THE LEAD? "Oh Gosh yes. I would be lying if I said there wasn't. I guess it wasn't really until the caution came out and we were already back to ninth or tenth. It was like 'Crap, we just lead the first race we were in.' That is a big moment for anybody. Anybody that takes on a big undertaking like this, the first time you lead a race with it especially the first race out of the box and lead it in the fist 20 laps like that, that is something to really be proud of.

"Believe it or not, I was more comfortable this year that I was last year. I was really happy with my car. I felt like we had one of the best handling cars out there, it was just a matter of keeping the track position and not getting bogged done. I was really happy with our Hendrick engine. I was really happy with and very, very impressed with Darian Grubb and the crew tonight. It doesn't even feel like it was the first night. It was like we carried on from something else. Very happy for Old Spice and Office Depot.

"I don't know how you can be disappointed with a top three the first date. It wasn't the prettiest top three, we drove our way up there. We restarted there in the back that last run and got there in a couple of laps. I know we have a few things to work on for the 500 and I am really confident that our chassis are really good right now. We have a couple of little areas to tweek on, but we at least have a direction of what we have to work on."

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JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR IMPALA SS -- Finished 24th

"They (the cars) are a handful, but they are putting on a heck of a show. That won't be the last caution. In the first segment, we made our mind up there was no sense of getting in the middle of it yet and getting a bunch of stuff torn up so we kind of had a plan for the Cat Chevrolet just to be smart and learn a little bit. We made a few changes, in that stop. I finally got in the line I wanted to get in and the bottom was going good. Then, boom, there it went, it happened. Not the way we wanted to start our association with Caterpillar but we will dig in again on Thursday.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson