Daytona 500: Dodge Motorsports qualifying quotes

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I thought we could have run a 49 flat. We just haven't hit it yet this week. This is the same car we had here last year and qualified real good with it in all the speedway races. We just ...

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I thought we could have run a 49 flat. We just haven't hit it yet this week. This is the same car we had here last year and qualified real good with it in all the speedway races. We just haven't hit the combination yet. We'll keep working and get it better. We haven't drafted this car, so we should be pretty good in the race."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm real proud of the effort the guys put in the car. That's definitely not anywhere close to what this car is capable of running. I don't know what got off, but that's OK. We've got a good car for Thursday and Sunday. I don't know if we had anything for Jimmie Johnson or not. We never taped off yesterday, and I kind of doubt if we could have run a .40 or not. It was still a great effort by everybody on the team. They've worked real hard. We wanted the pole, but it just wasn't to be today. We'll go racing now, but I just don't know where all the speed went. We lost a little bit somewhere. It's the same race car we had here for last year's Daytona 500. I hope it's as good as that one was in the race."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T)
"I told Mike Ford (crew chief) that we'd be lucky to run a 48.75, so we didn't miss that too much. We've got a decent starting spot in the Twins. We started on the pole in the Daytona 500 last year and finished fifth, so maybe we can start in the top five this year and improve on our finish."

ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 92 Brand Source Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We were hoping we had a couple more tenths. That was so close. I don't know what we could have done to make it any better. That was everything we had right there. They've always picked up a lot from practice. All I was doing was riding this bullet. This is my kind of car right here. This is the same Dodge that won both of the poles at Talladega last year, and it just came up a little short today. I'm proud of these guys, and I'm looking forward to the 500."

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T)
"We ran our first lap high to get lined up real good and then came down to the bottom. That's the best we've run. You always hope for more, but I'm real proud of these guys. They've all worked hard. I'm glad to put that Dodge up front somewhere. I think it was a good time, and we'll have a decent starting spot. Ray Evernham has been good to me, and I feel like he's going to teach me a lot. I'm willing to learn."

SHAWNA ROBINSON (No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I've got to give all the credit to the team. They have been through so much getting ready. We just couldn't seem to run better than a .50 the whole time we tested here. That's what we were hoping for. We wanted a good starting spot for the 125s and then race. We've been looking for that speed for a long time. If we really knew where it came from we'd go back and find some more. We never really got in a good, solid qualifying run in testing, so a lot of it comes from that. We knew we should pick up some, and that's what we needed to do. I was going to be happy with a .20 and I was going to be unhappy with a .40."

JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We're really in trouble for the 500, so we're going to have to rely on Thursday's race. When we unloaded with this car, we weren't really fast down here testing. We brought a different car back, and we weren't happy with that car, either. The Team Target guys have worked hard, and we had good tests at Las Vegas and Rockingham. We've just struck out so far at Daytona, but we're not giving up by any means. We've still got Thursday, and we just need to be in a solid good handling car and we'll shoot for a top 15. If you don't get the sheetmetal exactly right on these cars, two or three tenths is a lot and we're more than half a second off from where we ought to be."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That's a lot better than we've been all week. The guys did a great job with the car. We were a little off yesterday, so we changed a motor last night. It picked us up a good bit. I feel great right now. This is kind of a hard weekend to get to know each other. There's a lot of work going on, but I'll be glad to get to Rockingham and get it started. We picked up a lot from yesterday, and we're a lot happier than we were yesterday. We're not quite as fast as we were in testing, so we've got to figure that out, but I guess that's not too bad after what we went through yesterday."

CARL LONG (No. 85 Mansion Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We've got to work on it. We'll get behind those other cars and let them blow some holes in the air and we'll see how we do behind them drafting. The engine just isn't running real well with these new restrictor plates. I tested last week at Talladega and came back home and called the engine guys. We won't have this problem come Talladega, but this is Daytona. We thought we were coming out of the shoot with our guns loaded ready to race."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We think we had a little problem with the engine yesterday. The guys did a great job. They flew another one down from the shop, and we had more horsepower than we had yesterday. We were hoping for the best. There's not much I can do for them here except mess it up. Hopefully, I didn't mess it up. The shortest distance is the only way to get around Daytona because you run wide open. It's not about handling. It's about speed. If you go the shortest distance and carry the most speed, you're the guy who's going to have the fastest time. Right now that's Jimmie. Our best lap in practice was about six tenths slower than that. We tried a bunch of stuff that we tried in testing, and it just made us slower. It actually helped Kyle, but it made us slower, so we just went back to what we knew would work. We can almost see 'em now. I doubt if that will get us in the race on speed, but it might be right there."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Something broke in the engine. We'll go back and check and see what we've got. We'll try again Monday. It's no big deal. John picked up a bunch from practice, and so did Buckshot. We'll get those two cars in the race and worry about this one later."

BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We brought some new motors down last night. It was definitely better than it was yesterday. We still need to go a little bit faster, but the guys at the motor shop have been working hard. We've got new guys doing it and we've got a little more horsepower. That's how we came around today. Me and John got the two new motors. Kyle was running so good, but unfortunately he ended up blowing up his motor. We're not exactly where we need to be, but give us a little time and we'll be there at the end."

HUT STRICKLIN (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We picked up a little bit, but not as much as we'd hoped. We were hoping for a 49.10. We picked up a little over our practice speed, and we felt like we had a little help then. At least we gained a little bit. Everybody feels like we're going to be more competitive, and we're looking forward to winning a race. We're missing it somewhere with this car, and we can't figure out where. We found some things last night that picked us up a little. We'll see if we can find out the differences in Ward's car and apply it to ours. Jimmie Johnson ran a quick lap. I think Ward has one of the few cars with a shot at beating him. You never can tell."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Ray Evernham