Daytona 500: Dodge teams final practice quotes

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) "We were solid the entire practice, and we've been getting better and better with our Cup car. We've come a long way. We're drafting good and handling good and that's the main thing.

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

"We were solid the entire practice, and we've been getting better and better with our Cup car. We've come a long way. We're drafting good and handling good and that's the main thing. Handling is going to be the main thing Sunday, and that's all we've been working on. This is the best we've been here in a long time. Kasey is running good, and the work we work together the better we get. We're in good shape with the tires. We'll help each other all we can, but it's real hard to plan to work together. This is the first time I've been here since 1998 that I feel like I can win the race. We've got to have the right strategy, right pit stops, everything's got to go right. You've got to have a perfect day to win. Perfect days don't come along very often, but that's what we'll have to have to win. A little luck wouldn't hurt, either. We used up a little bit of luck getting in the Busch race yesterday, but I saved some for Sunday."

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger)

"We feel pretty good. We're pretty happy. It's an even playing field out there, and I think it's going to come down to pit stops and strategy and handling and being at the right place at the right time. The most important thing may be to have somebody behind you who's dedicated to push you and not be too greedy and try to win the race. I don't know (where the dedicated pusher is coming from). I'm not going to make any plans until the race develops. There's a lot of bowties up there, but we'll just have to spoil their party. We'll need some help, but I think some guys out there can help us. Everybody is going to be greedy when it comes down to the last lap, so you'll have to be in position. Jamie McMurray is pretty strong, and Casey Mears has helped push me around in both races -- the Budweiser Shootout and the 150. We'll see what happens. You never know which cars are going to be running at the end of the race or even if we'll be. I think we've got a good shot, the best shot we've had here in quite awhile, so we'll just try to make the best out of it. I hope we can stay up front. That's the best place to avoid the crash. Even if the crash happens around you, you've still have a better chance of missing it if you don't have to drive through it. I think the DEI cars and the Hendrick cars are strong. You never know, it might come down to fuel mileage. I'm not sure how we'll be on fuel mileage."

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

"I'm handling good. We ran this car in the Bud Shootout and it was tight. We adjusted on it yesterday and it was still tight, but it was better. We were eighth fastest on the speed charts. I never got in a fast draft. Every time I did I had to back off the throttle. I never could get that baby wound up and lay a big number down. I guess we ran about 20 laps and the tire temperature was perfect. It's driving great. I ran it on the bottom, in the middle, on the top. It likes the bottom a little better. The top's OK. We got a plug check, and the motor shows a little rich. I think that might be the reason it's not pulling the car like we wanted it to. We're putting it back like it was yesterday, but right now I think we're in great shape. I wish it had a little more straightaway speedway, but I like the way it's handling and I think the 500 is going to be all about handling. It's as good as the other car. It handles better than the other car. I don't think it's as fast in a straight line. I'll take the handling over the straightaway stuff.

"I think my chances are good. I'm not a quitter. I'm feeling good right now. I'm comfortable. It's going to be a long 500 and our car is handling good. I was up there getting inducted to the Goodyear Walk of Fame this morning and I was having a tough time up there. They were laying out my stats and all the things I'd done. I'm glad I had on my sunglasses because my eyes filled up after all that. Sometimes I don't realize how much I've done in this sport until people start telling me about it. It was a fun day. I've got my fingers crossed that it's a wonderful day tomorrow. If it's not, it's not the end of the world. It'll be disappointing. I'll go back to the boat Sunday night and have a big dinner, fire that jet up and dip the wings when I leave this place on Monday and say see you later.

"I've run with all the cars and nobody got away from anybody. It's like if you're up front you can stay up front. You've got to be able to maneuver off the center of that racetrack and pass 'em and not push off two. That's what I've got this Charger doing right now. I'm really happy with it right now. I think after what happened in the 150 guys will be a little bit wiser."

CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Targer Dodge Charger)

"If I'm in a scenario when there's a Ford, Chevy or Dodge I can push, I push the Dodge, especially mid-way through the race. Ryan and I worked together real well in the Shootout. I got him to the front and then things didn't work out in the shuffle for me. If I get a little help, I can help guys pretty good. By myself, I'm not the best at it. I had a great time in both races. It's a double-edge sword. You get to beat and bang on guys and there's a little strategy involved, but there's a large amount of luck involved, too. It's no fluke that the same guys are up front in all of these races. There's talent to it, and there's a way to get to the front, but there's a lot of luck involved, too. Some of those guys get a lot of help because the other guys know they're going to go to the front. The thing that I lacked in both of those races was helped. For one reason or the other our car wasn't the fastest and then if you've got a guy beside you at the end that's a little faster, the other cars are going to go with him. We're a little down on speed. I don't know why. We're working on it and we made it better in that last practice. I'm looking forward to the 500."

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)

"We weren't as good today as we were yesterday, but we changed some things and we're going to go back to the way we were. I felt really good about yesterday. We just got too tight and we tried some things to make it better. We were really good yesterday. I really didn't want to practice today because I felt so good about yesterday.

. "I made him (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) mad in the 150, so I don't know if he'll draft with me in the 500 or not. It doesn't really matter. It just comes down to who you're good with. I honestly think (bump drafting) is the highlight of all our day because it's pretty boring. It's something different, and it's fun to get someone to shove you past a big group, and it's fund to help somebody else. It's huge. It comes back around the other lap

"I know I can work with Casey and Sterling, but when it comes down to 10 to go, it's hard to plan to work with anyone. I feel good. The biggest thing for us is to stay out of trouble here. We've had good cars here in the past and got caught up in stuff. I don't think our race will have as many wrecks as the truck race, and I think it's going to get single file. I think a long green flag run might separate the field, and I don't think you're going to see a lot of cautions unless the track gets slick."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray