Daytona 500: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) ON QUALIFYING: "We were OK. The times for the Budweiser Dodge were right about where we were yesterday in practice. I really didn't expect to go any faster or slower. I've run six qualifying runs...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

ON QUALIFYING: "We were OK. The times for the Budweiser Dodge were right about where we were yesterday in practice. I really didn't expect to go any faster or slower. I've run six qualifying runs down here and our times always seem to be right around the same number."

IT'S A LITTLE BREEZY, ANY EFFECT ON THE CAR DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH? "There a lot of head wind on the backstretch and as long as it remains consistent, everyone is going to have the same track to qualify on. If the wind dies down or picks up, it may be a huge difference for the cars that go later on this afternoon. In three or four hours, it will definitely be different and may effect who gets the pole. It's a big part of how good your qualifying time could be."

WAS THERE ANY ADVANTAGE/DISADVANTAGE IN HAVING TO QUALIFY SECOND? "Only that it opens up the rest of my day (laughs). Now I don't have to wait for four hours and I can go out and do whatever I want for the rest of the day. It's all good. We've got the next couple of days off. It's been a great few days of SpeedWeeks so far. I had a lot of fun last night in the Bud Shootout and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. I think that it's going to be a great Daytona 500."

CAN WE EXPECT THE SAME TYPE OF RACING IN THE 150s AS WE SAW IN THE BUD SHOOTOUT LAST NIGHT? "I think so. It was really fun last night...really racy. I think we're going to see great racing, both Thursday in the 150s and Sunday in the 500. Guys are up on the wheel ducking and diving...two wide...three wide...sometimes four wide. It's fun to drive for sure."

WILL THE DAYTONA 500 BE ANYTHING LIKE LAST NIGHT'S RACE? "The Daytona 500 won't be quite like that because everybody realizes it is 500 miles and you have to be around the last 100 miles if you want a shot at winning the race. There will be points in the race Sunday where it will be just like last night and then other points where it will be strung out a little bit and people will just drive for 100 miles or so. By the end of the 500, you'll have a heck of a race. It's going to be a lot of fun and a heck of a battle for the win."

***

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

"The lap was about as we expected. We felt like we did everything we could to get the temperatures to the right temp, get our clearances right, not drag the track too much and produce a lap that was right where we expected. Unfortunately, it's going to be way in the back of the field. Is it because we have too much down force? That's what we're hoping for. We're hoping for long green flag runs on Sunday with some hot temperatures because that's what we had last year. We had a lot of sliding around. Our Penske cars reacted well (in those conditions) and that led to a 1-2 finish. It's hard to change (game plan) when you finish 1-2. So we're going to stick with it. Unfortunately, we're going to qualify a little bit slower because we have drag in the car."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE A LAP AROUND DAYTONA WHEN YOU'RE IN THE BACK OF THE PACK? "It's really difficult to driver when you're back in the pack and have all that air disturbance. It's amazing the difference between Daytona and Talladega. Talladega is like an eight-lane interstate where this (Daytona) is like a two-lane road carving through the woods and you don't know what's coming around the next bend. There are lots of bumps in the racetrack where you don't know when your car is going to hit it (bumps) hard and land awkwardly and you're always fighting the wheel here. You're always fighting for handling...so there's that combination of speed versus handling and nine times out of 10, handling is going to win."

DOES THAT EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SPOTTER AND DRIVER? "You have to make sure you know where you're at with tire wear. If your tires are fresh, you can stick your nose in hole that you may not be able to when you're facing some tire wear....especially when you want to go three-wide and complete a pass. If your tires are old, you have to be careful and make sure that you can clear a guy or not, but most of the time you want to play it cool and save your car for the end."

***

DAVID STREMME (No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger)

"It was an interesting first qualifying session for me here in a COT. It (the track) is really rough. The Penske guys have done a really good job on the car compared to how we unloaded earlier in the week. I'm really encouraged from last night. Our Penske Dodge drove great last night. I'm pretty excited about that. Other than that, we'll go on to Thursday for the 150s and drive to see where we stack up in race trim."

HOW YOUR CAR REACTS IN TRAFFIC AND HOW THE DRIVER REACTS TO TRAFFIC ARE TWO FUNDAMENTAL KEYS HERE AT DAYTONA; HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO (RESTRICTOR) PLATE RACING HERE AT DAYTONA? "It's certainly a learning curve. You have to have a good car that will draft well and make good decisions as a driver, but handling seems to be so important here. This place (DIS) is worn out and hard on tires. You have to get your car tuned in and know where you can put yourself in certain positions. I think that's where a lot of people benefit. Like last Night...me included...a lot of people where putting people in situations that shouldn't have been. Thursday will certainly be good and I think that we'll fair pretty good."

***

REED SORENSON (No. 43 McDonald's Dodge Charger)

"I said before we went out we would run a 34 (48.34) and we ran a 36 (48.36), so we were pretty close to what we expected. We ran a 37 yesterday, so we didn't pick up that much for qualifying. The tires seem a lot slicker than the ones we had last year. It was cold last night and the cars were a hand full for everybody. I don't know what it's going to be like Thursday. It's supposed to be warmer, so we'll have to wait and see how the cars react. We've been fighting rear grip, so that's something we'll be working on when we get back on the track Wednesday."

***

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger)

"It was a very consistent lap for us. That's about what we ran yesterday, so we were able to bag it up and get us a decent spot in the (second) Duel race. The Duels are when 'Showtime' starts and that's when you have to race your way to the front and get yourself a good pit selection for Sunday.

WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU EXPECT IN THE 125 ON THURSDAY? "It's going to be a slick race track...it always is. We've really worked hard in trying to get our Stanley Dodge handling where it's comfortable to drive in traffic. I expect a really exciting race. We're going to take what we learned in the Bud Shootout and tweak it a bit and try to make it (the car) a little bit better. I've had a bunch of top 10s at Daytona and when I've run well, it always been because I've had a really good handling race car. We'll work on that Wednesday and try to get it perfect for Thursday and go from there. The goal is to build everything up so that we peak on Sunday and try to win the Daytona 500."

***

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger)

"I put the pedal down to the floor and just tried to get it (the car) to go as fast as it would go. It wasn't a really good lap for us, so hopefully we'll be able to race a heck of a lot better than we qualified. It's not life and death to be on the pole, but we hoped to have a better qualifying effort than we did. The 500 is a long race and you have to save your car to be there in the end. We ran well here last year (15th) and gained a lot of valuable experience that I can apply to this year's race. I have a lot of confidence in the Mobil 1 guys and I'm sure we'll be able to wrench on our car Wednesday and Thursday that will get closer to where we want to be."

***

AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger)

"Certainly not the run that we were looking for today. Last night, the Valvoline Dodge ran out front and that was the point of being in the Shootout. I was happy to be there. We knew that qualifying today was going to be an outside shot. I thought that we'd be closer (qualifying) than we actually were to making the show. We knew going into today that we were in a tough spot and a tough situation to get this Dodge in the 500. More than anything, the last two days has given us a bunch of confidence heading into the Duels on Thursday."

WHAT WILL THURSDAY AND THE DUELS BE LIKE FOR YOU? "The last two years, I put so much pressure on myself that for three days (prior to the Duels) I was on a knife's edge of emotions. Over the last two years, I learned that all I can do is go out and race as hard as I can, run my race and drive the wheels off the racecar like I always do. Leave everything on the racetrack. I'm just going to go try and relax for a couple days and focus on the good things that we did Saturday night and come back Thursday and try to race our way into the 500."

-credit: dodge motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup