Tony Stewart: “Not real happy with it, but it is what it is."
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS:
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ON THAT LAP? “I learned that lap was just for the guys and to condone them for putting it all back together, getting another engine in it, and we crashed a car last night. And just to say, this is your hard work over the winter and what you put our blood, sweat, and tears into to try to win the pole again for the Daytona 500. They deserve to get a lap out there. So, it’s definitely disappointing, knowing that we’re starting from the back of, not so much the Duels, but the (Daytona) 500. I don’t understand it, but it’s what I have to do.”
ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE ENGINE? "Everybody tries to get the maximum out of it of course. Every now and again you have hiccups along the way that don't seem to work out. It seems like they have isolated the problem from what I hear. I hope that's the case. I hope there is no more issues. Hopefully whatever we have in there, and what ever we have going in there for the 500 is strong, and we will work our way to the front."
BRIAN SCOTT, NO 33 WHITE TAIL CHEVROLET SS: BOY THAT ECR POWER IS WORKING:
"These ECR engines have a lot of horsepower. They've done a great job with these Chevrolets that are really producing a lot of horsepower here at Daytona. Fun to get behind the wheel and drive one. Have to give a shout out to White Tail for them coming on board, and being with me for my first Daytona 500 start as long as we lock ourselves in. Right now our speed is good. I hope that holds out for the remaining cars who have to go.
"It feels really good. Not sure where the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) got the speed, but the ECR engines are making good horsepower. That's a good lap Junior laid down. I'm proud of everybody at ECR for this engine power, Circle Sport racing. They have just put a tremendous amount of effort in this White Tail Chevrolet. We showed good speed. Maybe we can get that front row guaranteed lock-in, but if not, we can stay solidly in the top-five or top-10."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS: ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
"That was a good lap for us. The ECR engines are making great horsepower and our guys on this Germain Racing team paid great attention to detail. Happy to see what the guys did has us really running well."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS: ON HIS QUALIFYING: "Steve (Letarte, crew chief) did a great job working on the car, trying to get more speed out of it. We definitely picked up, so we are happy about that. I scuffed the side skirt just a little bit on the apron in turn two trying to run tight on the line there, and that's never good when you are dragging anything. So, that cost us a little bit of time, so we will definitely appreciate the pickup. We were nowhere near that fast yesterday. Hopefully that the track hasn't really picked up any from yesterday. Hopefully it slows down and gets windy for those other guys."
IS THAT A TYPICAL LAP HERE FOR DAYTONA: "There's nothing to it. You just go out there and try to hold the wheel straight and tight as you can."
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER/USO CHEVROLET SS|
ON HIS LAP... “I really enjoy everybody on the race team. I think the team is really happy with the RCR alliance. They’ve been almost surprised at how open RCR is about just kind of letting us in and hey, what do you need? This is what we’re doing. Stuff like that. So far, so good. We know how this place. The fun doesn’t really begin until Wednesday when we start drafting. And you don’t really know where you kind of fall out until Phoenix and Vegas and all that. RCR has done a lot of work. It’s impressive how fast they were at the test; come back, and they’re fast again. We knew we’d be a few tenths off of them, just because we didn’t test here. We haven’t done any.
“But you know how it is. You come here for a day or two or go to Talladega and just kind of massage on the car. We’ve got to be smart about our money. We’ll do a couple of tests. We might do one at Martinsville; tests like that, and a couple of road course tests and stuff like that. I’m happy. I just enjoy the team. I’m enjoying being here. They guys are so much fun. We have a great time and I think just the chemistry already that we have between the people last year and the new people this year is good. So I’m looking forward to really getting the season going.”
MICHAEL ANNETT, PILOT/FLYING J TRAVEL CENTERS CHEVROLET SS:
ON HIS LAP... “The lap was really good. I think every time we’ve been on track down here we’ve picked up time and that was the most we’ve picked up. Yesterday we did a full-on qualifying run and to come back out here again and gain another tenth doing the same thing is huge. It’s a testament to these guys and all the hard work we’ve put in during the off-season and that makes me really excited. We talked about Tommy (Baldwin), he’s pulling out all the stops with hiring (crew chief) ‘Bono’ and Todd Parrett (crew chief for teammate Reed Sorenson) and bringing Reed on. We’ve got great sponsorship this year. We’re definitely coming with a loaded gun and we’re excited. Today is probably the easiest day of the whole year and we just go from here. But I’m just excited just to get 2014 started.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 PEAK/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS:
“We did one run yesterday and we were hoping to pick up a little bit from that. And we actually got a couple hundredths. The Peak/Menards Chevy was really fast though. P2 right now, and that should hold for a top 10 anyway; it all comes down to Thursday in the Duels and how you do there. So, the car has been driving really good by itself. Hopefully it does in a pack. We’ll see how it goes on Thursday.
"From what I can tell, it seemed like it was windier yesterday. We slowed down a little bit from yesterday, but the overall car is really fast. The Peak Menard has been fast since we unloaded. It all comes down to the 150s on Thursday and how we wind up there."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5th:
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LAP? “I’m happy that we picked up. I didn’t know what the wind was going to be like. I think we picked up more than other teams were picking up. The Caterpillar Chevrolet the guys did a good job. ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) engines have been great. Austin (Dillon) laid down a good lap there and the No. 16 (Greg Biffle) kind of surprised us there. We are in the hunt that we thought we were going to be in. We are just not on top of the hunt.”
FIRST, THIRD AND SIXTH FOR YOU, AUSTIN AND PAUL AT THIS POINT. WAS THIS EXPECTED FOR YOU GUYS? “Based off of our testing and the homework that these guys have put into it we felt like we were going to be pole contenders and we were. Now we have to make them race good.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 8th
TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR QUALIFYING LAP WAS. WAS GOING OUT LATE IN THE SESSION AN ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE? “I think sometimes here it could be a disadvantage because the wind sometimes kicks up in the afternoon. It’s just sort of a thing that happens at the beach and just in general. I felt some gusts of wind on the back straightaway so it could have been just when we went or just in the afternoon in general, but other guys were putting good laps up there so the track was capable of it. I thought we put a really nice solid lap out there. We made some huge gains since we arrived in really cutting that gap down to the guys at the top. I think we will be in the top 10. We can definitely win this Daytona 500 from there.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 14th
TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR LAP WAS, ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY? “No, we are kind of where we thought we would be. That is fine. We are more focused on the race and really trimming the car out for single lap speed. We are kind of where we thought we would be.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19th:
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: “Not a lot to talk about, but it felt really good. The car felt like it had more speed than yesterday. The guys did a really nice job. It sounded like it was right there with Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) all the way to turn three. It’s fast. Looking forward to doing some drafting and some practice now and get to race it.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 23rd:
TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP: “It was smooth, but the wind is definitely picking up down the backstretch. Definitely hurt us a little bit on the RPM wise. All in all we got a decent lap and now it’s time to race. That is our main goal, racing.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL SEE IN THE DUELS? “I think you will see something somewhat similar to what saw last night in the Unlimited. Probably not quite as aggressive, but I would say as the end of the race rolls around you are going to see probably about the same thing.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 24th:
HOW DID IT GO FOR YOU TODAY? “I don’t know I guess held it wide open and that is what it’s got. Ninth right now. A little bit slower than what we were in practice yesterday. I guess that is a little disappointing, but I don’t know that is all we could do right there. Have a decent starting spot for the duels I’m sure and hopefully come away with a better finish than where we started in that.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 35th:
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF YOUR LAP? “Not real happy with it, but it is what it is. We are going to have to start at the back both Thursday and Sunday anyway so it’s not really going to matter.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY RESIDUAL SORENESS FROM LAST NIGHT? “No, everything felt good. I was pretty happy about that.”
WHAT IS THE BALANCE YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT FOR THURSDAY? “It’s a great question. I don’t know. I mean I think for our sponsors sake you have to run the whole race, but you still want to learn as much as you can learn to help you out for Sunday. Granted you are still only going to have half the field, but you still can learn. It will be a balancing act for us of trying to learn as much as we can, but take care of it as well.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS:
ON THE PRESSURE OF HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT: "It's nice to get in the car. I feel like this is all for the guys at RCR. They brought the house down here. Our engine has been really good since we have been here. Newman had a good run. It would have been really cool to get one-two.
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD? "It is very cool. I was just happy to get inside that car. Another big thing was just holding the wheel straight and going through the gears correct. It was a good run, man. The ECR guys did great this weekend. Our fab shop, back at home at RCR, just so proud of them. Got the thank Dow, Cheerios for all their support. It's been great coming into this sport so far. We really have to finish it off. Hopefully Thursday then Sunday go as well."
IS IT A RELIEF TO GET THIS PART BEHIND YOU? "It is. I love getting in that race car and driving it. I think once we get through some of these races here at the beginning of the year, everything will sink in and I'll get comfortable and be able to have some fun."
ON WINNING THE POLE: "This is awesome. It is all for our guys, and this guy right here Danny Lawrence, (head engine builder at ECR), it is his birthday. So we got him a one-two start at Daytona! That is pretty awesome."
ABOUT THE PRESSURE: "You just try and stay focused. Everybody wants to see this number perform well. That's what my goals are is to stay focused. I know this is just qualifying, but it is great for these guys. Like Gil said, you never know when you will be standing in this position again. So it is awesome. I just want to thank our family back at home at RCR. They've done such a good job. The fab shop, the engine shop, everybody. My guys; it is all them. Luckily I didn't mess it up. We knew we had a fast car. We came down here and we brought it back".
GIL MARTIN, CREW CHIEF NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS: ON LAP AUSTIN DILLON TURNED: "It is a great lap right there for us. Our Dow Chevrolet has run good for the last couple of months down here. A lot of fast cars to go. We're just more excited to break that 45 second bracket. Whatever happens from here just happens. There is so many good cars to go, anything can happen. I'm just excited. We've had a good test, and I'm so glad these two days are over."
MIKE DILLON, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMPETITION AT RCR (AUSTIN DILLON’S FATHER):
ON RETURN OF THE NO. 3: "If you ask Austin, he's probably thought of it the whole time that it was going to be his number. We started running him in the trucks with it and he started having some success with it. We would talked about what would you ever do. It's always been up to Richard (Childress). I think the momentum of the fans, as we started talking about it, the fan momentum of the popularity of bringing it back. I think the fans were more responsible in bringing it back, and Richard being comfortable with it. Proud of Austin. Proud of the whole team at RCR. Proud of the engine shop at ECR. Proud of all the people we have assembled for the race team. It's a good day for RCR."
RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING AND GRANDFATHER OF AUSTIN DILLON:
“I could be more proud for Austin and Gil and all the guys that worked so hard this winter to come down here and run good. We wanted to put on a good show with the No. 3 and couldn’t be more proud of everybody and have another ECR engine with Furniture Row on the outside (No. 78 driven by Martin Truex Jr.). That makes us all proud.”
IS THE PRESSURE OFF NOW, OR IS IT MORE ON? “It’s always on when you’ve got a grandson that’s racing for you. But to bring DOW Chemicals and Bass Pro and Cheerios and everybody in who believed in this young kid, that took a chance on him, I could be more proud about all of the sponsors and people behind us.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET SS:
QUALIFIED SECOND YOU ARE ON THE FRONT ROW FOR THE DAYTONA 500: “Yeah front row that is what we are here for today. Obviously can’t say enough about this team. What a great job I think we have got about seven miles on this car. One run yesterday, no testing down here, just an amazing job by Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and Cole (team engineer) and everybody on the team. Obviously pretty lucky guy to get to hold the wheel. ECR engines front row, we are lucky to have them under the hood and just have to thank everyone for the hard work. Really excited about the rest of Speedweeks.”