DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "The back end got bent a little bit in the 125s, but this is just basically cosmetic. We could race it like that. Who knows? It might be faster, but we probably need to straighten...
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"The back end got bent a little bit in the 125s, but this is just basically cosmetic. We could race it like that. Who knows? It might be faster, but we probably need to straighten it out. The license plate got knocked off. Bliss was trying to stay down and clipped the apron and got a little sideways and then got on the apron. Jarrett checked up and got hit. The 24 hit him and checked up. I went on the outside of him and the 20 hit me. I'm going to go down and push Stewart and see what he says. Basically it was just a minor altercation that nobody got trashed in.
"It was just one of them racing things. We were all out there practicing and I actually think that 14 car was going out of the pits and getting up to speed and he knew we were coming. He was trying to stay low because he knew we were coming. Maybe he clipped the apron or something. Who knows? We all checked up and Jarrett got hit and I got hit. It's not a problem.
"I think we were running along with the crowd. We've got at least maybe a decent chance of racing with 'em. If we can stay hooked up in some air I think we'll be OK. I'm starting 21st so I've got a lot of chance to get a lot of air. I feel better about it since I won the IROC race. We'll see. I feel pretty good. We've been learning little things and trying little things and getting better as we go. Tony is scared to say anything. I'm going to go push him and Jeff both."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"I wish I knew what happened. I saw the 14, but I don't know what really happened. I saw he was on the apron and everybody checked up. We were catching one group and Jarrett was at the end of that group. We came in there pretty hard on him. They checked up and I was right behind D.J. and Earnhardt was on the outside of me. I got into him (Jarrett) as they checked up and turned him. Everybody got damage to their nose and tail.
"I'm thankful that D.J. didn't hit anything or anybody hit him. You're out there in those packs and you know it's just time before it happens. You get in a good group or you've got good guys drafting and you get single file and get racing a little bit. You get all these guys that want to jump on the front of it. The next thing you know you've got a 20-car draft and you've got guys jumping right in the middle of it stacking everybody up. I don't know exactly what caused that, but it was pretty intense there for a few seconds.
"He (Jarrett) knows there wasn't anything I could do. Everybody jumped on the brakes, and I was carrying a lot of speeds going in there. I couldn't avoid it. He knew that. I think since they can repair the car he's a little happier, too. We got a little bit of nose damage.
"He (Earnhardt) makes a joke out of everything except for when he's not running good. Everybody who knows anything about Daytona and drafting knows that those times don't mean anything. We ran good at times, but we ran at the front of the right pack or the tail of the right pack at the right time and that's where the speeds come from, but we definitely made improvements on our car. I feel better about it for tomorrow, but I'd still like to get more.
"It's very minor damage. They'll have that fixed. It's not the first time I poked a hole in it that nose this week. It's almost one of those ones (Happy Hour) you wish you could skip. It is intense. It's crazy out there. I saw about two or three wrecks that almost happened and then one that did. I think we're in pretty good shape. You really don't know until you get out there. I got to run with some good guys. We're not quite as tight as we were the other day in the 125, but the track conditions may be were a little cooler today, too. We didn't want to make too many changes. We just adjusted a little bit here and there. We'll adjust on it and work hard all day long in the Daytona 500."