Daytona Duel: GM teams race 2 notes, quotes

Team Chevy Shines in Gatorade Duel at Daytona Races to Set the Field for Daytona 500 Daytona Beach, Fla - Team Chevy drivers showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in Sunday's 52nd Annual Daytona 500 with outstanding runs in the...

Team Chevy Shines in Gatorade Duel at Daytona Races to Set the Field for Daytona 500

Daytona Beach, Fla - Team Chevy drivers showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in Sunday's 52nd Annual Daytona 500 with outstanding runs in the Gatorade Duel at Daytona qualifying races.

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala, beat fellow Chevrolet driver Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala, by a mere five one-thousandths of a second to win Duel No. 1. Johnson was in his backup car after being involved in a multi-car accident yesterday during practice.

Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala, finished second in Duel No. 2 by just 14 one-thousandths of a second.

Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Impala, also a backup car, finished fourth and Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Impala, finished fifth to give Team Chevy four of the top-five finishers in Duel No. 1.

In Duel No. 2, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala, was third behind Stewart.

Pole sitter Mark Martin, No. 5 Impala, and outside front row starter Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala, both finished 21st in their respective Duel race. With their starting positions secure for Sunday's Great American Race, both drivers chose to keep their Impala race cars out of harm's way.

Mike Bliss, No. 36 Wave Energy Impala, raced his way into the Daytona 500 with a 13th place finish in Duel No. 1.

A total of 13 Chevy Impala drivers will take the Daytona 500 green flag set to start at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.



HOW FUN WAS IT OUT THERE? "It was a lot of fun. It was fun until (Brian) Vickers screwed me, you know? We were running up front and Vickers, on the restart, got inside of me and it dropped me all the way to the back. Everybody on this Target Chevy team runs really good and ECR and everybody; we just keep working on it. We're getting there."



NO SLEEPING IN THAT SECOND ONE, HOW WAS YOUR DAY? "We've got a little bit of work to do but I'm proud of our guys. The first half of the race we weren't very good, obviously. And we made a lot of ground on it the second half of the race. We've still got a little bit of work to do but that's what we have two more days of practice for."



WHAT A WEEK. YOU'RE IN YOUR BACK-UP CAR. TALK ABOUT IT "That was a ride, I'm telling you. I like slipping and sliding. It's fun. It's better than being wide open all day. It was loose, but it didn't matter. I had to stay in front of all those guys. Tommy (Baldwin) and all the Wave Energy Drink guys worked really hard getting this car ready. It wasn't very close, but it handled just like the one I wrecked. I'm really fortunate that I had a really fast race car."

DESCRIBE THE LAST FEW LAPS "I was really loose in. But boy you got a run into the corner. Outside was the place to be. But I was way too loose in, so as soon as I took the white (flag), I took the bottom. I went to the bottom. I didn't want to wreck the thing and I knew they were way back there so I went to the bottom and that was a lot different race track on the bottom."


CASEY MEARS, NO. 90 KEYED-UP MOTORSPORTS IMPALA -- Did not make the field:

YOU WERE IN AND OUT OF THE TRANSFER SPOT THOSE FINAL LAPS, AND THEN THE FIELD GOT JUMBLED UP IN FRONT OF YOU. DESCRIBE THOSE FINAL LAPS: "Well, it looked like it was about a lap and a half to go. We had the momentum, enough to where the guys behind us weren't going to catch us and we were going to be in the show, but I couldn't see exactly who was in front of the No. 98 (Paul Menard), but they were up top and that guy got loose and he started coming down the hill and when I checked up, the No. 71 (Bobby Labonte) got underneath me and I really had to slow down and it just gave everybody behind us the momentum to get by.

"It's just disappointing because we were in great position to transfer and I think if we could have maybe got a second practice in we might have gotten the thing handling a little bit better. It was pretty tight.

"But I'm really proud of everybody. This deal was put together about a month ago and Randy Keyes dumped a whole bunch of his own money into this deal to come out and have some fun and I really wanted to make the show for him and obviously this is the first time I've never been in the Daytona 500 since I've started. So it's pretty disappointing and we knew the situation we were in when we came here. We tried as hard as we could. The car was a little tight. We were in position and the cars didn't fall where we needed them to in the end."



"Our car was good. We got banged around on the fenders a little bit. When we came down pit road, we saw that the fender was pushed in to the tire pretty bad. They wanted to work on it and that got us in the back a little bit, got us toward the back of the pack. We didn't want to get up in there and race too hard and risk tearing the car up and having to pull the backup car out, that is a lot of work. We felt like we learned about our AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy. We think it is going to be good when the money is on the line on Sunday. We should be prepared."

-source: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya