JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) "We just never had a chance today. Our Dodge Charger was good, but every time we got up there, something bad happened. We got caught up in one of the wrecks, but the damage wasn't that bad.
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"We just never had a chance today. Our Dodge Charger was good, but every time we got up there, something bad happened. We got caught up in one of the wrecks, but the damage wasn't that bad. We could have gotten a good finish anyway if that tire hadn't gone down before the final green flag. Having to come in for right side tires killed us. But the biggest problem was speeding on pit road. That electronic system does work, that's for sure. We'll just have to get used to it. Slugger (crew chief Labbe) was great today. He made great calls, and the guys did a great job getting me out of the pits. This Charger can race, and I think it will be good this season. We'll just go home and get focused on California."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"I wanted to win this race, but that's OK. It really isn't OK, but I told everybody if I didn't win it wouldn't be the end of the world. I put on a good performance out there all day and my car ran strong all day. I was in the lead pack, top five and top 10 most of the day. I really thought I was going to finish a lot better than 10th.
"I'm done with it. I've had a lot of fun, and I enjoy it. I was hoping it wasn't going to come down to the green-white-checkered. With 18 laps to go we had plenty of fuel and we were running great. We had a good dancing partner hooked up and it didn't happen. We'll just go to California now. I'm looking forward to that one. I told everyone I want to go out on top. I can get the job done. I'm not worried about that. I want to go out way on top. I wanted to win the Daytona 500 today. I had a car good enough to win, but we'll just go win California or Mexico or Vegas now.
"I really get along with Mark Martin good. He's a neat guy. We had a good time out there. He had a left-rear quarterpanel beat up. I'm glad I was able to help Jeremy out because nobody was going to tell him he had a flat right front tire. They were going to let that guy start with a flat right front and barrel off into the corner. I pulled up beside him and told him he had a flat right front. I thought some of his peers should have been as courteous as I was and save him a hell of a wreck.
"Our car ran great today. It was a good handling car. We got a good top 10 finish and that was cool. That's a good way to start the season. Now we'll just have to keep improving every week and make sure we get in The Chase."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
"Cars just started going everywhere. You really can't see anything. I saw the No. 16 car going backwards, so I kind of knew that wasn't good. We had a good Dodge today, but we just don't have any luck here. I think it's the fourth in a row here that I haven't finished. So, it's frustrating. I was just going wherever nobody else was. You've just got to have friends. It was pretty good racing. We had a really good car, but we've just got to finish this deal."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
"First of all, I thought we had a pretty good Dodge. We really had a good chance to run up front. There was kind of a miscommunication. We were having some trouble with our radios all day long. Coming into the pits we had some miscommunication and ended getting up a lap down. After that we missed the pits, we came back in and, you know, the pit road speed reading that I got behind the pace car must have been nowhere close to what it was supposed to be because I was really conservative going down the pits and I got a pit road speed violation. I don't know how. That put us a lap down. Then after that we got our lap back and I felt really good. I thought, 'Okay, we're going to get in a position here to come back.' I was just on the bottom and they wrecked in front of us, and I did all I could to just stay low and not get involved, but they came down and hit us. It broke the tire out on the right-front. Yeah, this place will bite you. Sometimes you don't have control over what happens. But, I'm really looking forward to this year. The guys did a great job in the pits, and I'm really looking forward to this season."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger)
"What was working for me was we had a racecar that I didn't have to lift. It took us half the race, probably, to get it to that point. But, the crew made some great adjustments all through the day. When it was time to go, in the last 50-60 laps, my car could make up some ground. I was running around there wide-open, putting it where I wanted, and I could hear the other guys lifting. We were just making time because the car was working that good.
"I was happy as heck (with the car). In the first part of the race, we just kind of rode it out, and the guys made some great adjustments. We went a little bit past our adjustment, but came back to it. In the last, probably, 50-60 laps in the race I think we had one of the cars that could contend, and it's just unfortunate that we got torn up a little bit."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It was definitely a rollercoaster ride. It was just up and down. We had the best Dodge here. Our engine package is 10 times better than what it was last year. They've done an awesome job on the cars. We got in that deal on pit road, and that kind of set us back. But, the guys kept fixing it better and better. We were back in the top-10 with a torn up racecar. We were definitely satisfied with the car on the track. The car was good. The guys did a good job. We had a much better car than where we finished. It's just circumstances."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger)
"We just couldn't ever get it free enough. I couldn't run in that big pack when we were running fast. I could run all right by myself, but it started pushing in traffic. It's crazy out there. I'd probably find something else to do it I had to do this every week."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger)
"It went good for us today. Our car was loose to begin with and the 43 Cheerios Dodge was a little tight. They loosened theirs up and we tightened ours up, and we ran together all day long. We were together on that last restart. Jeff keyed the mike and asked me what I thought we should do. I said I tried high last time and you tried low. I said you go high and I'll go low and we still ended up in the same place. You just couldn't go anywhere. Our engines were great. I've got to thank Ray and everybody at Dodge for keeping us in the loop on that deal. The engine department at Evernham is great. They're doing a fabulous job for us. We came out of here with two cars and a top 20. I'm tickled to death to come out of here with a top 20. If we had come out with top 15s we would have been ecstatic. I told them if we finished somewhere between fifth and 10th I'd vote for running this race again next week. For me this is right on target for where we need to be."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger)
"When it counted, ol' Lynyrd Skynyrd got me in the butt. That was pretty much it. I missed the big crash. I was on the bottom of it, but I got in the crash on the frontstretch. We had a great ALLTEL Dodge Charger. It was the fastest car on the racetrack. We kept getting blocked in the pits and everything else. I guarantee you we passed the most cars today without a doubt. The car handled great. Handling wasn't an issue. We just had bad luck. We got the short straw every time."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)
"The car drove really good today. It got tight a few times on me, but we were able to make the necessary adjustments. I made some mistakes speeding down pit road and pitting when it was closed. That ending was pretty wild. Everybody was bumping and banging. It was some of the wildest driving I'd ever seen. With four to go I was worried a little bit about my finish. I knew we were going to be OK on those last few laps. I wish we could have got up there and mixed it up a little bit, but that was a good run for the first time out with the new Charger. I wish we could have won the first race with it, but we finished eighth and we were best in class, so we'll go to California and try it again next week. Congratulations to Jeff Gordon. He ran a great race. It looked like Tony had it going his way today, but you never know what's going to happen in these plate races."