KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "We learned a lot out here, even though we didn't run that many laps. We'll sure be a lot better next time we come to a restrictor-plate race. It's a real disappointment. We didn't really even get to...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We learned a lot out here, even though we didn't run that many laps. We'll sure be a lot better next time we come to a restrictor-plate race. It's a real disappointment. We didn't really even get to race, but we'll go on to Rockingham and be better.
"The Dodge was all right. Everything was running good, but we were just a little tight. The tires weren't a factor. Then something happened. But, we learned so many things here. Just about everything I know about restrictor plate racing I learned during Speedweeks. We'll just take it to the next one."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"I was following the 43 car. He was really holding me up. He wasn't doing anything wrong, but I went into one and two and had a good run. I tried to blast out of the middle of two and I drove through the center and just didn't clear him. As I was exiting, his left front corner got my right rear quarterpanel. The car was pretty good, but it was just tight, tighter than I wanted it to be. I told the guys I could not get it to go. It would not run. If I wasn't in the draft it wouldn't go. On restarts I got behind and the field drove off. Something is going wrong. We pulled a lot of tape off. It was running hot, and I think I hurt the motor or something.
"It was just one of those racing things. It wasn't Jeff's fault, and I didn't give myself enough room. The car is tore up pretty good. I think I hurt the motor early on the run. It was sluggish, nothing like yesterday. It really ran great in practice Saturday. It felt like it was down 30 horsepower today. I don't know what was wrong with it.
"I'm real disappointed. I wanted it real bad, but it wasn't to be done today. It's a sad deal. I didn't have the car. It didn't handle right. It wasn't running. It was perfect yesterday, but it got real hot and I must have hurt the motor. It wasn't where it needed to be. We had a great week going. We've been here for two weeks now and everything has been good, but it wasn't today.
"It's going to be a long week. I thought I had a car to win today. It was really running good yesterday in practice. A lot of people were saying I was going to do it, and I felt really good about it. We're not going to get down. Larry Carter (crew chief) has done a great job with this team, and I was hoping we'd have better results for him today."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We were tight and the car was running hot. I don't know why it ran hot. We were hoping for weather like this. It ran 210 all day Thursday, and it's hotter today. Everybody ran into each other on the straightaway again. That's not the place to do it. They need to cut off these spoilers. They're too big. Your cars push unless you've got a Chevrolet nose on it, but we were plowing."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
"I guess Rusty didn't know I was up on the outside of him, but we'd been running together a long time. I don't know if someone got below him or pushed him into me. He ran me into the fence, but I'm not sure why. It was just unfortunate for our Cheerios Dodge. We were riding around adjusting on it and it was getting better. It's a shame you spend 10-12 days down here to run 50 or 60 laps. The car was tight like everybody. There's enough room to run two wide and three wide every once in awhile if everybody minds their Ps and Qs, and somebody didn't. I was an innocent bystander. We had a good enough car to have a top 10 finish. It's disappointing, but you have to expect it."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge) -- Finished 14th
"After we got back on the lead lap we just couldn't draft with the leaders. We came in for a pit stop and we came back out and pretty much lost the lead pack and were just riding around after that trying to catch up. We didn't get any cautions and didn't have a chance to catch up to that lead pack. We stayed pretty clean all day. That's our best finish so far. Last year the best we finished was 15th, so this is a pretty good start for the season.
"I learned a lot getting to run up front with those guys. When we were a lap down and got to start up front on the inside and learned that's where we need to be. We're capable of running there. We've just got to get qualified and stay up front and run with those guys. We had a car that could have run up there today. It's unfortunate the other two Ganassi Dodges got caught up in a wreck today. I'm not real excited about 14th because 14th is just 14th, but it is our best run in Cup so far. It was a good solid run and we stayed out of trouble."
DONNIE WINGO (Crew Chief No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"We got too hot early in the race and had to cool it down. The bottom grille got stopped up and got hot and started spitting out water. We had to come in and put some water in and that's what got us behind. I don't know what happened when everybody wrecked. I guess Jamie was a victim of it like everybody else. We had a good week all in all, but we just can't seem to do anything in the Daytona 500. Sure, we're disappointed, but we're still looking forward to the season. We're not going to give up. We're still plugging away, and we'll be ready for 'em next week at Rockingham."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- 25th
"We weren't really good all week. We were tight to start the race. We pulled out to avoid that wreck, and got in the grass. We messed up the nose even worse. It wasn't a very good Speedweeks for us, but we've got a good team and we'll bounce back. This just isn't really racing. If that was a race today, then I don't know what the hell racing is all about. We were bad and all today, but that wasn't even a race."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share/Eckerd Drugs Dodge)
"They got the nose back in the right place. The over-the-wall boys did a good job of beating it back in place. I think we had one of the Penske/Jasper fabricators going over the wall to put a fine touch to it. Good team, good people and we got the car back right. I wasn't trying to race back to the caution. I was trying to race past the accident. I wanted to get by the accident and then slow down. Kenseth slowed down with Mark Martin right next to him. I knew I wanted to get away from there. I thought Martin was coming down the track. I hit the gas to go underneath and Matt pulled down lower and we door slammed. It wasn't a big deal.
"I have to learn NASCAR's respect just like the veterans. I thought I was close. I thought I was on the pit road speed, but apparently I wasn't. I'll earn their respect just like I'll earn the veterans respect. If we're not sitting out there running alone, we're great. We were in the pack, biding our time, running smart, waiting for the end of the race. When we had to do that pass through we were out on the track running in a big empty space, no help from the front and no help from behind.
"We just wanted to stay clean and wait for those last 25 laps. We had a Dodge but couldn't get with the pack. I'm never satisfied with 19th, but I'm glad we got out of here. I'm glad we did all the stuff we did for Kodak this week. We shell-shocked the media I hope. We want to keep that going all year and let our performance on the racetrack do a little of that Ryan Newman talking."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"The hardest part was the frustration of whoever ran out of talent in turn two and caused that big mess. I got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had to beat it out and put a new nose and radiator on it. At least we gained 12 spots from where we were when we left here last year."
ROGER PENSKE (Founder and Chairman Penske Corporation)
"Brendan did a good job for his first run with us, and Ryan said he ran more laps today than he normally does here. It was tough out there. Once things settled down it was pretty much follow the leader. Earnhardt had a great car and deserved to win. Brendan did a great job today and stayed out of trouble. When the car wasn't right he waited until we could adjust on it. All-in-all you've got to give him a good grade for his first time out here. We've got a long way to go. We've got to keep finishing the way the point system is this season."