Daytona 500: Toyota teams qualifying quotes

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Qualified: 15th How was your qualifying lap? "I think we missed it a little bit and left something out there. I did all I could, but taping off solid maybe would have helped us a little...

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualified: 15th

How was your qualifying lap? "I think we missed it a little bit and left something out there. I did all I could, but taping off solid maybe would have helped us a little bit more. We got what we got out of that and it's not bad. We'll see which Duel it puts us in and how we can race then."

What are your expectations for Thursday's Duels? "We've got fast cars, they're just a little ill-handling. I don't really like the way our cars go through the bumps as well as what I've seen from other guys. We've got to do some work in that respect and try to get it handling better, but hopefully not kill any speed."

What were you and Steve Addington talking about after your lap? "I just told him all the vitals and everything inside the car. We didn't tape up solid and I'm not sure if that's what hurt us or not. We didn't quite run what we ran yesterday. It's a little disappointing, but where we ended up is not too shabby. There will be some 'go-or-go-home' cars that will beat us. It's kind of cool to see the 5 (Mark Martin) car up there. That's pretty neat. Alan (Gustafson, No. 5 crew chief), being a native from down here - it's good to see that and Mark (Martin) with his first time with the team. I'm going to go raz them and give them a hard time and ask them why they couldn't ever do that for me."


SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Qualified: 17th

What did you think of your qualifying lap? "It honestly wasn't so exciting -- not near as exciting as last night anyway. We picked up a lot -- the guys did an awesome job and honestly I think we're all a bit surprised that we picked up so much from practice."

Did you hit all the marks you wanted to hit on your lap? "I'm pretty confident that everyone hits their marks here. When you're out there by yourself and you're just flat out - it's honestly not that difficult. It's more about getting the car right. Qualifying here I think is more a test of the teams than the drivers hitting their marks right."

What are your thoughts for the qualifying races on Thursday? "My thoughts are that I am very glad that I will have the Duels to have more practice time racing before the 500. There's a lot that goes on out there and it's a lot more difficult than it looks. I think we will have to work on our car a little bit to draft a little bit better, but I have all the confidence in the world that by the time it comes for the 500 we will be good."

What is your race strategy for the Duels? "My strategy is not to crash and to finish and so far that has proved to be harder than it looks."


DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Qualified: 18th

How was your qualifying lap? "It was a decent lap. We kind of backed up what we had run in practice. Our last couple runs we made -- that was about as much as we had. That's about as fast as she''ll go. It was a solid lap -- the guys did a really good job and we just have to make it race good -- that's our goal now. I think that is a pretty good lap and I am proud of those guys."

What are your expectations for the Duels? "Hopefully the qualifiers will be much more tame than the Shootout was. We have to try to race these cars for 500 miles so we just have to get out there and hopefully be a little more careful and try to keep the fenders on and not take any chances with it. Try to get a decent spot. We're at Daytona and if something happens and it gets crazy out there and you have to bail out -- at least you're starting the race and that's the main thing."


JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Qualified: 19th

How was your qualifying lap? "This was the best lap that we've had down here, but missed just a little bit there. I thought we could run a little bit faster, but we'll have to take that and have a good run in the Duels now."

Can you pinpoint what you missed in your lap? "For this whole program coming together three weeks ago, I don't think we ran too bad. I've just got to thank the guys at the motor shop -- Triad (Racing Technologies). A lot of guys helped us put this thing together and it was cool to be down here. Now we just have to have a good day on Thursday."

How will you approach the Duels? "You've got to go -- you've got to be one of the top-two 'go-or-go-homers' to finish the race in the front. Have to try to be smart and make it handle good and we'll be all right."


JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualified: 21st

Were you happy with your qualifying run? "Yeah, it was exactly what we ran in practice yesterday so I didn't pick up any but I think it's solid. We'll be alright there and have a decent starting spot in the Duels and kind of go from there."

Did you do everything out there that you wanted to during your qualifying run? "I felt like I did. It's so tough around here. I watched the different lines and it all seems to be about the same whether you are on the top or the bottom. We just went out there and kind of did the same thing I've been doing and it's just where we ended up -- we ran the same thing."

Are you disappointed you didn't have more laps in last night's Shootout? "Preparing myself is the biggest deal right now. Not getting a lot of laps in the Shootout did not help any last night, but it is what it is. We've got to put that behind us and focus on the 500 now."

Do you have a strategy for Thursday's Duels? "In the Shootout practice the other night, that was a rude awakening I'd say with these cars. They're a handful out there. I just want to get out there and gain some more respect from these guys. We really didn't get to do much the other night so I kind of just need to keep getting a feel for it. The same thing I've been doing it."

Will the weather play into the Duels on Thursday? "I'm sure it's going to make it a little bit more slick out there, but it's the same for everybody."


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Qualified: 25th

How was your qualifying run? "I'm pretty disappointed. We lost speed from where we were yesterday. Everyone gained as much as we lost so that kind of hurt double the amount. We're not really good at qualifying, but we race really well."

Is there a reason why you lost speed? "No, I just noticed right from the get go it didn't have the RPM and the pickup it had before. You would think it's probably something engine-wise."

How beneficial was last night's Bud Shootout? "Our car handled really, really good yesterday and that was encouraging because we know we're obviously going to have to race in the Duels. It's going to be pretty interesting just based on what we had last night and put it in for the Duel, we should be fine."


MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing *Qualified: 30th

How was your qualifying lap? "Great -- just really proud to be here representing my team. They're just doing a great job and we're so excited to be in the Cup Series. We've got a decent spot there for the Duels and we'll make it a good race car in drafting practice. Just a fun way to start the season."

What is your strategy for the Duels? "It's my only chance to learn and get confidence in the pack and let people see that I'm going to be safe if I'm somewhere near the front. I'm just going to try to find a good hole and just be consistent so people know what I'm all about."

Is there anything that surprises you about Daytona in a Cup car? "It's surprising how they don't handle that well even in single car runs. Everyone is very aggressive in trying to get as much speed out of them. They are less stable than what I anticipated for a single car run. I'm looking forward to getting in the draft and seeing what I've got."


SCOTT RIGGS, No. 36 Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Qualified: 32nd

Do you know what you have to do Thursday to get into the Daytona 500? "Absolutely, we have to take care of the car and we have to make sure the car is going to handle. That's the main thing -- 60 laps and your car is going to go away fast it seemed like from watching the race last night. We have to make sure the car is stable and we'll have to slow it down to where it's not as fast at the beginning of the run, but I think that all the guys that ran last night can protest that if you're cars handling better at the end you are going to be a lot better off than being fast at the beginning. Disappointed with that run, I think that we all thought that we could have been a lot faster than that. Proud of all the guys and how hard they worked. Have to go back over it and make sure that something wasn't going south, but I'm here, I got a shot and I'm going to dig hard."


BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Qualified: 33rd

"It was alright I guess. It doesn't matter that much, but obviously we wanted to be on the pole. We're all competitive. But at the end of the day, really, for this race it doesn't matter a whole lot just because A, it's Daytona. You're going to go from first to last several times throughout the race and plus we have the duals."

Did you learn anything from last night's Bud Shootout? "Yeah, we definitely learned a lot from last night's race as far as the handling on the car. We liked it, we didn't like it and what we can do to improve it and obviously some decisions we made throughout the race as far as pit strategy and some things we may do different for the race."

How is your car handling? "It was handling pretty well, actually. Sometimes we were tight and some times we were loose but in general I thought we were as good or better than most people."

How do you feel being here this week without testing in January? "I feel great. It's nice to have a real off-season actually. To be honest with you, yeah. I think the testing here in particular is boring and probably a waste of money just to go out there and ride around for three days by yourself and rarely do you ever learn anything. With these cars with the way they are now and the tools that we have at the shop, all of your gains are made at the shop. Rarely in my six years in the Cup Series do you ever come down here to Daytona testing and ever left saying: 'Oh, wow, we really found a lot right there.'"


MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Qualified: 34th

What happened on your qualifying lap? "We're just off. I think we qualified good at one of these plate races once and it was last year in the 500 and since then we have been terrible. I don't understand it."

How will your car draft in the Duels on Thursday? "I think we'll be good and I'm looking forward to it."


ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Qualified: 39th

How was your qualifying run? "I think we are okay. This car is the car that we ran basically in the top-10 all last year on all the restrictor plate races. Obviously, converted the nose, the tail, the engine, windows. So we kind of know what the fender shapes are and stuff and we know what kind of time it gives us, but what it really gives us is a good race car. After watching the race last night I believe down force is going to come into play and we've got a car that has decent down force. That's the positive of it, but when you have down force you have drag so you have one or the other. If it's hot come next Sunday we're going to have a car that's decent."

Did it hurt you being taken out of the last night's race early? "Not really, just moral of the team. We started off the season with finishing third at Dakar and then we won Laughlin (Nev.) and just kind of had a lot of momentum coming in here. We knew we weren't going to qualify well because that was nothing we even focused on. We focused more on the race for the Daytona 500. If we were outside the top-35 we would've focused on qualifying more, but we're not in that situation. With regards to last night, I was bummed myself that we got tangled up in five laps, but if you look at how many wrecks there were they were all about five laps later. Everybody's cars were out of control so that gives me a lot of confidence going into the 500 this week and knowing the package that we brought for a race car is going to be the right package for the Daytona 500."


TERRY LABONTE, No. 66 Window World Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports *Qualified: 50th

Do you think you have a car that will draft well on Thursday? "I have no idea. I think the car is going to handle awesome and I feel really good about that, but we absolutely don't have any speed in it. This is actually a proven car. It's a car that (David) Reutimann ran last year and ran well in it. So I feel good about what we got but for some reason we don't have any speed."

How is your car handling on the track? "It was really pretty good. In qualifying they're never as good as they're going to be for the race. I think we know what to do to get it where it handles good for the Duels on Thursday, but it's been a real challenge trying to get the speed out of it."


JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 41 All Sport Toyota Camry, Jeremy Mayfield Motorsports *Qualified: 43rd

KIRK SHELMERDINE, No. 27 Toyota Camry, Kirk Shelmerdine Racing *Qualified: 45th

GEOFF BODINE, No. 64 Toyota Camry, Gunselman Racing *Qualified: 55th

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Kirk Shelmerdine , Tommy Baldwin , Jim Beam , Mark Martin
Teams Red Bull Racing , Tommy Baldwin Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Robby Gordon Motorsports , Prism Motorsports , NEMCO Motorsports