MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - WINNER: (WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?) "It's a little too early to tell. Dale Jr. said that everything would be clear after Thursday, and I think he's right. We've got fast cars. I'm proud of...
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - WINNER:
(WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?)
"It's a little too early to tell. Dale Jr. said that everything would be clear after Thursday, and I think he's right. We've got fast cars. I'm proud of the guys. We worked real well and I'm so happy. I've got a set-up in here that I've never raced before and it feels great. They've got us more power coming. People wanted to see if they could do anything else, so more power is on the way.
(ON THE MOVE TO WIN THE RACE) "I knew when I got up to second with Dale Jr. that I had a shot because Skinner had a fast car. So coming down the back straightaway I just rolled out of the gas and blocked and hoped they would get to my bumper and when they did and I got to Turn 4 and the front end just stuck enough for me to keep a good line. I thought Dale Jr. was going to go in the grass. But what a great teammate. I'm just so blessed. It's been a great off-season. The Las Vegas Marathon was a huge success and we raised $1 million for Victory Junction Gang Camp. We've got a new team with smiles all around. These guys feel like we can win a lot of races. Everything just seems to be falling into place with our team." MORE TO FOLLOW
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd:
"We've got to work on this car a little bit. Michael has a real good car and he did what he had to do to win this race. He helped me a lot to get up there and I feel lucky to finish second. We were hanging on there in the middle of the race. It was getting so loose I couldn't drive it. I was really happy to finish second. I was hoping I could have won it but Michael made the right moves.
"But I just couldn't stay in front of them out there. They were three-wide behind me when everybody wrecked there. I felt like I was holding them all up. We tore the car down from yesterday. We had a real good car in practice yesterday."
(IS IT HARD TO PASS?) "I was surprised how bad the tires got. The tires went away real bad and real fast. I got real loose and almost crashed a couple of times. The tires just got real terrible after about 20 laps, so it would be pretty easy to pass. Guys will be coming in for four tires every stop and every chance they get."
(ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAYTONA 500?) "I've got to get my car a little bit better, but yeah, I'm looking forward to it." MORE TO FOLLOW
TONY EURY, JR., CREW CHIEF, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: (MICHAEL DID A GREAT BIT OF DRIVING AT THE END) "Yeah, I mean Michael did what he had to do. Our car is just a little bit off, Dale Jr.'s was off a little bit. It was good to see them working together. You know, we try to get these two teams to work really hard together. "
(ON THEIR STRATEGY FOR THE 500) "We just have to get a little bit better. We're going to work on the chassis a little bit. The car is fast. We've got some better motors coming down. The motor shop has been working night and day since qualifying so we've got some extra steam coming down. They'll be here in the morning so we're just looking forward to the beginning of the 500."
JASON LEFFLER, NO. 11 FEDEX CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - FINISHED 4th (DESCRIBE YOUR NEAR SPIN) "I think the 24 got squeezed up into me. I thought for sure that the old Fed-Ex Express was going to be in a big old pile of rubble. But we just pulled through and it was pretty wild. I can't really describe how I saved it. I just corrected and one time I was sure it was going to come around. Then it straightened back out and thankfully nobody's car got tore up really bad."
(YOU MADE A FEW FANS BECAUSE IT LOOKED PRETTY EXCITING ON THE TV SCREENS) "That's good. It was very exciting. You know, we don't like that type of excitement but I was glad we didn't spin and I didn't hit anything.
(HOW WAS THE CONDITION OF THE CAR AFTER THAT NEAR-SPIN?) "No, we put four new tires on it. We came back and the #16 and I had a good run on the outside and then the #33 pulled up and we pushed on him. I think he ended up transferring. I think if we had kept our head of steam we would have been back up there at the front or at least a top 5. The car is fast and we're looking forward to Sunday.
KENNY WALLACE, NO. 00 AARONS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - (YOU'VE MADE THE DAYTONA 500) "I am so emotionally drained right now, I started to cry. I took a deep breath. I cannot believe it. There was so much pressure. Michael Waltrip did the best he could. You know, my car is a used DEI car and a DEI motor. We've been beat up so much this week and I'm so glad Michael won the race. And we're just going to celebrate tonight like we should. You know, I made the Daytona 500! Only two spots left. I'm 41 years old but I feel like I'm 17 years old right now. I am so excited."
(MIDWAY THROUGH THE RACE IT DID NOT LOOK GOOD. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN THAT CAUTION FLAG WAS WAVING?) "I was depressed beyond belief. I couldn't believe how bad I felt. I love Randy LaJoie to death but he blew a motor right in front of me and I thanked the good lord. He wasn't going to be in it, he was down a lap, so when he blew that motor I thanked god. And I made it around his oil but I didn't think I was going to be able to catch him because I was behind Stanton Barrett. And then we had the caution and I barely made it past the caution. If you watch it again my quarter panel barely made it past the caution. And then I had a run on the white flag lap and I must have been running about 220 mph! And I jerked that thing up like Dale Earnhardt did in an IROC car one year. And I looked in my little mirror on the side and I said, 'I can do it.' I made it four wide, Casey Mears didn't chop down on me. You know, I beat the #33 by a hundred feet. That was something."