Event: Daytona 500
KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Fifth
"What a race. On that last lap, I just needed to stay on the bottom of the track and it just didn't seem like (Juan Pablo) Montoya could stay together and get enough steam built up on the run. I was in perfect position to win the race, running third and just made a mistake. It's tough. We came all this way and came up a little shy. All in all, it was a great point's day for us. We'll take it. To have a run at history was something special. I tried to block it out all day. We fought through adversity when we knocked a hole in the grille. For Shell/Pennzoil and Dodge, AAA, Coca-Cola...this was a great day. Now we can move on to Phoenix and get the season started. I'm real happy with this fifth-place finish. To make a mistake on the last lap, I'm going to be the one that has the sour feeling in my stomach.
IT'S BEEN A GREAT SPEEDWEEKS FOR THE SHELL/PENNZOIL DODGE TEAM? "It was a heart-fought battle all day. Every lap seemed like it was something different today. As the race got down to the end, I thought that I was in perfect position to put this Shell/Pennzoil Dodge car into victory lane. We just kept battling back with different guys. I feel horrible for Regan Smith. Those guys were with us all day. Tony Stewart came up behind us with a head of steam. I got on the brakes as hard as I could not to hit the 78; he got the short end of the stick. For us, finding different guys to work with, I thought I was in perfect position to bring it on home. I was just one step behind on the last lap. I went to the middle; I needed to be on the low side. I had Montoya behind me. Those guys behind just pulled Juan away from my rear bumper and took away the head of steam that we needed. We finished fifth. This was a great Speedweeks. It's a great way to start off the season in the double-deuce."
ROGER PENSKE (Chairman, Penske Corporation)
"I think Kurt drove a masterful race today. It was just one of those days at the end where we needed the right partner. With all the green-white-checkered flags (two), you want to be careful because we're running for the championship. Two wins (Bud Shootout and Gatorade Duel) and a fifth-place today in the 500, this month at Daytona is a great finish for us. It's great for Dodge and Shell/Pennzoil and all of our sponsors."
STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger)
"What a stressful day! We got a hole knocked in the grille and fought back to get our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge back up to the front. Kurt was patient all day long and worked really well with Regan (Smith). It was a tough deal for him getting spun like he did. I just want to thank all the guys that lay a hand on this race car. We had a great month and they worked their tails off to give us race cars down here in Daytona. It's a great way to start the season."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger) Finished 16th
"The 38 (Travis Kvapil), he's a friend of mine, but he ran me over which ran me into Tony (Stewart) and that pinballed me out of there. It's disappointing. We had a top-five race car and ended up 16t. I'm very pleased, excited to be working with Dodge, excited about the Penske program. Unfortunately, Brad and I got caught up there earlier in the race. I thought we were going to be a good team together. We run good at Phoenix. I think we've solved a few of our problems, so I think we can have a good run at Phoenix.
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 29th
"It's just a late end of the race deal where everyone is just a little bit too aggressive to be pushing that hard. Robby (Gordon) did his best to try and help me move up. It's one of those deals where I had two packs of cars in front of me and I needed just a little bit of help. It wasn't Robby's fault. Our Dodge's worked really well together today and moved up to sixth or seventh and started to make a move. My Miller Lite Dodge Charger was really fast. We had a really strong car today. We just got caught up in a wreck."
HOW DICEY IS THE RACING OUT THERE TODAY? "It's really tough. You have to be really smart and patient. It's just hard for everyone to be patient out there when you know that there are only 30 laps to go in the Daytona 500. Everyone is trying to find their dancing partner to get hooked-up and move to the front."
BRIAN KESELOWSKI (No. 92 Discount Tire Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 41st
(Involved in 14-car mishap in turns 3-4 on lap 29) "It's not the way we wanted it to end, but it's been a great week. I'm just so thankful for everybody that has helped us out. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out today. To get wrecked 30 laps into the race isn't what we wanted. We overheated early in the race, came in, cleaned it off (grille) and though we had a chance to work our way forward. Something happened in front of us, cars got together and there was just nowhere to go."
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BRIAN KESELOWSKI? "I sure hope to go to Phoenix. I've said right along, I really want to go there, but I want to go competitively. I want to make the show. I want to race all the laps. If I can't do that, then I won't go. We'll see where we are about Tuesday. We'll try to get the car together. If we're able to get the car together, then we'll go to Phoenix."
WHAT IS YOUR PLANS THE REST OF THE YEAR? "I'm definitely trying to do the Cup races. I've signed up for Rookie of the Year in the Cup Series. I'll be going against Andy Lally. This is where I think I should be and go forward. I think this can work out. This was a great start; an unfortunate ending to a great start, but it was a great start at least. I think if we can keep this ball rolling, we can make some things happen."
COMING TO DAYTONA, WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR THE WEEK? "Honestly, we came down on a shoestring budget at best. We really hoped for the best, but realistically, didn't think we had much of a shot at it (making the race). When Brad got behind me in the 150, it was just all over from there. We were going so far forward, I didn't think it was ever going to stop. It was a great weekend. It really was. We'll put it back together and go racing again."
-source: dodge motorsports