Dodge Daytona Monday notes

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I think the wind hung out everybody out there today. The fuel was contaminated Saturday, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it was going to help us. We qualified 36th, so...

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I think the wind hung out everybody out there today. The fuel was contaminated Saturday, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it was going to help us. We qualified 36th, so that certainly was a bad deal. We've got clean fuel in it now, and the car is better. We ran faster in practice today than we ran all week. The wind just caught us in qualifying today. I've got to race my way into the Daytona 500 now, and that will be fun. I was getting a little anxious watching all that drafting practice today. I wanted to get out there and start running, but I had to do second round. I need to get out there in the draft and practice tomorrow and learn as much as possible. I haven't drafted with the Dodge. I got a little bit of drafting experience in the Busch Series last year, but with these hour sessions they're giving us it's going to be a big help for me. I want to get out there racing and see where we all end up. If we get by Thursday in the 125s, I'll really be looking forward to Sunday."

ANDY GRAVES (Technical Director Chip Ganassi Racing)
"We ran a lot better this morning (with the 01 Dodge Intrepid). I felt like we had a little left for qualifying, but the wind picked up. A lot of guys slowed down quite a bit out there. I think it was pretty much a wind deal that caught us, but that's part of the game. Jason will have to race his way into the Daytona 500 now, and that's a pretty tall order for a rookie, but I think he's up to it. I think after seeing how Sterling's Intrepid drafted this morning, we feel pretty good about it. We've got Jason's car a lot better, and we think it's going to draft pretty good."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We decided not to requalify because we couldn't go any faster. When we looked at what all three (Petty Enterprises) cars tested, we all three ran seventh 10ths quicker. I don't think we can run any faster than that. You're never satisfied. Bill Elliott won the pole, and I'll guarantee you he's not satisfied. You're going to live with what you've got. Buckshot and I will both have to race our way into the Daytona 500. I think we're right on the borderline with our speeds, but as far as that goes, I've been coming down here forever, and I always felt like you had to race your way in anyhow, especially since I started my own team in '96. This year isn't a lot different than any other year for me."

RAY EVERNHAM (Team Owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"We didn't speed up this morning (with No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T) as much as we wanted to. It's just a gamble. We just decided to take the conservative route and see what happens. He's (Casey Atwood) going to have to race his way into it no matter what. If we had gone again we would have taken away a good starting spot for him. If we didn't go any faster then all we would have done was hurt ourselves. With the wind today, we can control a lot of things, but we can't control the wind gusts. It slowed the whole track down. If we caught it with no wind, we would have been fine. If you catch Monday, Feb. 12, 2001. Daytona International Speedway. Second-round qualifying Dodge notes and quotes. Page 2.

RAY EVERNHAM (Team Owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
wind and don't gain anything, you've given up a lot of track position. I would have had to make the same decision as a crew chief. You have to think about it the same way. You have to give it your best shot at getting the car in the race. To take a rookie driver and a rookie team and make them start at the rear of the field... If we could have picked up a tenth of a second, I would have gambled, but we couldn't pick it up this morning with the wind, and it just wasn't worth the gamble."

-Dodge Racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Casey Atwood , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing