KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger) "We learned a lot today chassis wise. I thought our chassis was pretty good. We pitted early and ran that set of tires for a long time, maybe 30-40 laps before we stopped. We really just wanted to...
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger)
"We learned a lot today chassis wise. I thought our chassis was pretty good. We pitted early and ran that set of tires for a long time, maybe 30-40 laps before we stopped. We really just wanted to see what the tire wear was doing. My car drove pretty good, and I was pretty pleased. At the end of the race we were just off on cycle with the tires. You can go the distance on tires. You've just got to make sure you stay off that right front. Obviously a couple of guys had some issues during the race, but I don't think it's going to be an issue. By the time they have the truck race and the Busch race, and all the rubber on the track, it'll be a non-issue."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
"I'm glad we didn't tear up the car. That's the main thing. We'll put a new engine in and hope this one doesn't blow up in the 500. It was fun out there today. I was having a blast. The tires are a lot harder, and it's definitely a different Daytona, but it was fun for me. My car was working well, so we'll get another motor in there and run the 500. I think we'll be all right. It doesn't matter where you start. You go from last to first and you've got 500 miles to do it. We're not worried about that. We'll be tough. My car was really good, but we almost wrecked it when the motor blew up. I'm glad we don't have to change cars. That's the main thing. We'll let the motor guys figure out why the motors are blowing up. I found some people out there today I thought I was helping out in the draft and then they would dump me in a second. I definitely found out who I'm not going to help again. A few people helped me out that before the race I didn't think would. It kinda went both ways. I'm ready for the 500. I think we've got a good car."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger)
"We got damaged a little bit in that first little altercation. We knocked the tow out, so we had to get that fixed. We ran one time with the tow out and we fixed that during the next caution. Once we got it fixed it was OK. You get up there and they start dicing around and you figure they're going to wreck and they did. We missed two of them, but how many can you miss? It got to the point where we couldn't get up there speedwise. I'm disappointed. I was wanting to be ahead of the group that was trying to get in the race because that's where it gets wild. We just never got a roll going."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
"It was just one of those things. The car was fast, but now we start from the back. It was awesome. The first thing I said to my crew chief was I didn't want to run three wide. I hit the wall a little bit. The car was good. It was a little tight, but I think the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Texaco/Havoline Dodge team has done a great job, and I'm just proud to be part of it. I've got to say my experience here so far has been pretty good. The last time here I led the 24 Hours. Now we led the 150. It's nice to see the car run competitive. It was awesome running up front, no complaints.
"Today was easy because we started up front. Now we've got to start from the back, but it's nice to see. Harvick helped me in the beginning and that was very nice because I could have been left out dry. Kevin came along and gave me a good push and we both moved to the front. Kyle Busch pushed me and we went to the front, too. Sunday is going to be a little bit more wild. All the guys in the front today didn't want to do anything. We didn't want to wreck or get into racing. I learned how to run through the corners, and I think we'll be fine Sunday."
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"It was a good restart by the guys behind me. I had to utilize the draft, and I passed my little brother. He would have done the same thing. It was tough because neither one of the Busches got to victory lane. Gordon got it. He had two fresh tires at the end, and he broke up the way the guys on old tires were working together. The guys on old tires were content. We couldn't do much with each other. Track position was important, but we were far enough ahead to look for that track position. Gordon came from behind, did a great job and I'm proud for him.
"I feel like we've got a great shot at the Daytona 500, but I feel that way every time we unload at a restrictor plate track. It's just a matter of being in position. We were in there today. Maybe if it had been the 500 I would have done a little something different with Gordon, but he just had a head of steam on us and there wasn't anything the guys on old tires could do.
"Gordon had fresher tires than us and with five laps remaining he was able to come up through there. You've got to have a strong car to do it. I didn't think Gordon could win from where he was before, so that's probably why he pitted. We'll go back and look at it and make sure we do everything we can do to benefit in the Daytona 500. Right now we've had a nice week, and we'll keep building on it.
"I thought I had him at the start-finish line, but I knew guys were coming from behind on fresher tires. I thought we could hang on, but Gordon had a head of steam that nobody could do anything with. The tires seem to be very difficult to get the right setup underneath. When you have fresher tires than the guys at the end, you can do more things out on the racetrack. It's going to be a very interesting pit strategy for the 500.
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger)
"We got dumped, but dumped in a good way -- aerodynamically not physically. It was a good run for the Alltel Dodge, and I was happy to bring home a good race car. I think we've got a good one for the 500. The last couple of laps were crazy, but it was a lot of fun. I wish we could have finished closer to the front just to get a better starting spot for the 500. We've got a good car, and that's all that really matters. The 500 is a long race, and Kurt and I know we can work together if everything works out right."
ROGER PENSKE (Owner Penske Racing)
"I think we've come to Daytona with some new people, and our two drivers are working well together. Both of our Dodge Chargers ran well today. I think we're going to be strong for the 500. Kurt has been close. I thought he might have had one today. Gordon had two tires. We just got shuffled there a little bit and didn't have the push we needed there at the end, but I think you're going to see a lot from this team this season."
DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)
"All the guys did a really good job with the Coors Light Dodge. We were really trying to take care of the car. We were just kinda riding there at the end. Jeff worked with me early, so I decided I was going to work with him and push with him. I knew he had taken tires, and I didn't take tires, so I had to run high. All-in-all it was a pretty good day. I think we're ready for a good Daytona 500."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It was not what we needed. We are not as comfortable as we need to be. We got a lot of work to do on the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. We'll keep working on it. We kind of know what direction we need to go in. We tried some stuff today, just to see if it would work for the 500, and we found out some good things. We learned a lot of things today -- some that helped and some that didn't help. We got two more days of practice left, and we'll keep tuning on it to get ready for Sunday."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger)
"I'm just glad we saved it. We did a good job on making some good adjustments on the pit stops and I think that the main thing we want to do is learn as much as we could and try to be there at the end. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to race for it at the end. We had to back down and try to save the car from tearing the left front fender off with the flat tire that we had. We made some big gains. The team did a great job considering what they had to overcome this past week. I think we just need to keep getting stronger all weekend."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"I felt we were good. We made a lot of good decisions that made the car better. Everything felt good, we just got screwed up there with trying to pass back through there with some cars that got sideways and slowed up, and I was right behind him so I had to get out of the gas. At that point we were screwed for a top five."
COMMENT ON LATE RACE PIT STOP "In hind-sight you would probably take two, but we took four and I think we still could have won the race from where we were. If a couple of situations didn't happen I think we had a shot at winning, because we had the best car on the track. It was just a matter of getting back to the front with four when everybody else either had zero or two. I felt it was a good decision. Two tires probably would have been better because of track position, but four didn't hurt us that is for sure."
-credit: dodge motorsports