Daytona 500: Kyle Busch, top rookie qualifier

KYLE BUSCH , NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO Qualified 16th, top Raybestos Rookie-Of-The-Year candidate -- Press Conference Highlights: ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP "I'm definitely pleased. We came down here for testing and we never thought...

KYLE BUSCH , NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO

Qualified 16th, top Raybestos Rookie-Of-The-Year candidate -- Press Conference Highlights:

ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP

"I'm definitely pleased. We came down here for testing and we never thought we had a shot to qualify in the top 20. They were some cars that were pretty decent but they needed some work to be top 10, top 15 compatible.

"The guys went back to the shop, they cut on them a bunch and were able to come back to the 500 with a pretty decent car. The car drove really well when we were down here testing in the draft. It was only 8 or 10 cars sometimes. But getting out there with the full 42 will be fun. We're really looking forward to it. But as far as today goes, we're happy we are the top Rookie qualifier. Hopefully we can be here many more times but I'm sure Travis will have something to say about that.

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GATORADES?

"Definitely. The Gatorade Duel is going to be a big race for us. Obviously, we're in the show being as though we're in the top 35 in owner's points from last year with Terry being the seat. I look forward to the Duel races. It's going to be a lot of fun; I look forward to getting out there. Hopefully we can earn some respect from some of the veterans out there during practices on Wednesday in order to prepare ourselves for the Duel on Thursday. That will help so we can try to run up front.

"The cars have been doing well for me. I've been getting used to them a lot quicker. I've got a great crew chief in Alan Gustafson. He's been around the Cup level for a long time. As far as everything goes this year-we're all one team. The 5, 25 and 44 are together like the 24 and 48 have been successful with. We're looking forward to making sure that that runs as well as the 24 and 48 did. Brian Whitsel is the key operator trying to make sure all the key people are there. Hopefully we can make the most of our opportunity with Mr. Hendrick."

WHY ARE THERE SO FEW ROOKIES THIS YEAR?

"I don't know. You tell me. I guess there are limited opportunities out there that there aren't many rides coming open this year. I think there were a lot of great rookies last year.

"Obviously they showed potential. Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers showed a few strong runs. We're looking forward to this year with myself and Travis Kvapil.

"Boris Said should make a few runs and I believe Eric McClure should make most of the starts as well. It's going to be a lot of fun. With just a few of us it's going to be easier to pay attention that with a lot of guys out there."

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR THE DUEL?

"Keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble. We want to make sure we get through there and just kind of salvage a finish to get to the 500. IF we can finish somewhere up front, obviously, that would be great. Seeing as though the front row is the only row that's set when you come to Daytona, if you don't have a pole winning car you're not overly excited for the qualifying, you're just ready for the Duel races. So, that's what we focused on when we were here in testing, knowing that we didn't have a car that was going to go for the pole. We made it drive good for the race, so hopefully we can work on it more in practice to make it run better."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Boris Said , Kasey Kahne , Brian Vickers , Eric McClure , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil