RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) "We're happier, but I wouldn't say we're happy yet. We still need to get faster. Overall, the speed needs to be better. We'll work on that, but it's hard to work on it too much because we did everything...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
"We're happier, but I wouldn't say we're happy yet. We still need to get faster. Overall, the speed needs to be better. We'll work on that, but it's hard to work on it too much because we did everything we knew to do before we came here. We were drafting with everybody. You can't pick a buddy because once you shake him or he shakes you it's all over. You've got to be versatile. The IROC race will help me learn a little bit more about the air, and that's one of the good things at a track like this. You always need to learn more about the air. It looks to me like we're a little short on drag. We'll have to see and keep working on it. It looks like they (Chevrolets) are pretty fast. I haven't seen a day yet when there's been anything except a Chevrolet on the top of the chart. I don't know what's up with that."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid)
"You never know if it's going to favor a Dodge or Chevrolet or whatever. Right now, it looks like the combination is favoring the Chevrolets, four or five of 'em at least. This is a long race and it's unpredictable. You all know who the favorites are. The media had them (DEI cars) picked as the favorites before we came down here. The main thing we've got to do is stay out of trouble so we can be there and race the last 30 or 40 laps. It's not going to do any good to run up front and get in a wreck.
"Last year the pivotal moment of our day was missing the wreck by about six inches up there between turns one and two when the 29 and 24 got together. There's a lot of room to make a lot of mistakes and a lot of room to take advantage of everybody else's mistakes. We've just got to keep the big picture in mind. It's the Daytona 500, but the way we looked at this race last year, because of what we learned the year before, the year before we had the best car. The year before we were the fastest car just like the 8 car is now. We were that car in 2001. We got taken out in the backstretch. This past year, we were focusing on staying out of trouble and it played in our hand. This year we've got to do the same thing. At the same time, we've seen guys lay back when they had a better car and still get caught up in the wreck. That's the unpredictability and the drama of the event Sunday. There's a lot of stuff you can control and an equal amount you can't. It's a chess game.
"Not right now, but a whole lot of stuff is going to happen Sunday and we're not sure what. Hopefully in the right situation, somebody can have something for him (8 car) Sunday. If I paid attention to ratings, I probably would have stuck my head in a hole a long time ago. I'm only as good as what I'm sitting in. Not pumping myself up, not that I'm the best at anything, but I've proven myself on short tracks, intermediate and superspeedways. When I've got a car under me, I think I can go as good as anybody."