Daytona Duels: Ford teams race one quotes

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Fusion "That's the first win for Ford Fusion. That's pretty cool. It was pretty neat to following him across the finish line. Hopefully, our Office Depot Ford is that good on Sunday because it's a pretty good...

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Fusion

"That's the first win for Ford Fusion. That's pretty cool. It was pretty neat to following him across the finish line. Hopefully, our Office Depot Ford is that good on Sunday because it's a pretty good car."

WHAT WAS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE OUT THERE AFTER ALL OF THE TALK ABOUT BUMP DRAFTING? IT SEEMED PRETTY CALM OUT THERE. "Yeah, everybody did a good job. I think it went pretty well. I think if it goes like that for the 500 it'll be okay. I'm telling you, no matter what anybody says or tries to say or mandates, those last laps of the Daytona 500 are going to be exciting."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY? "I learned that there's a fine line between too loose and too tight. Our car was too tight. I told them to free it way up, and then it was too loose. It's still fun, though."


KEVIN LEPAGE -- No. 61 AMP Energy Drink Ford

WAS THAT A SMILE OF HAPPINESS OR RELIEF? "Both, I think. I can't thank everybody from AMP Energy Drinks for stepping up and helping us out. Greg Cotter made some great calls there, that first pit stop. I wanted to come in and put tires on and I watched everybody else come in there at the end, but he said, 'Look, stay out there, we'll be okay.' I used the mirror, I used everything I could. I used everything in my book to put this AMP Energy Ford into Victory Lane -- Victory Lane for us because we're in the 500. But, to be in the transfer spot two years in a row, man, what a testimony for what kind of race team we have here."

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS FOR THE TEAM, NOT ONLY FOR THIS WEEK BUT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON? "Obviously, we talked to AMP Energy Drink about a one-race deal, which was here, and they said, 'Hey, if you could put us in the 500 who knows what it's going to bring us,' so hopefully they'll step up and give us a few more races. This gets us going. To be in the 500, the Great American Race, my hat's off to all the guys working hard back at the shop, guys that can't be here. And, all my fans. They've been rooting for us all winter long. And, trying to get sponsorship and stuff. Maybe this is the start of a good year for me."


KEN SCHRADER -- No. 21 Little Debbie/Motorcraft/USAF Fusion

"One turn killed us. That one turn killed us. It's good, real good. And, it's all straight for Sunday. We don't have to thrash on it as far as to get it handled for Sunday. We don't have to thrash on it to get it handling good."



* Elliott Sadler became the first driver to take Fusion to Victory Lane with today's win in the first Gatorade 150 Duel race.

* The win was Sadler's second Duel victory with his first coming in 2004.

ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion

"Man, this is a great feeling. Tommy and the guys have been pumped up so much coming back down here. To get a win for M&M's is a great feeling. We were shut out last year and Tommy came on board and it gave us a new outlook on racing and new ideas about things. To get Ford Fusion's first win in NASCAR is great and something I will always remember."

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD AN EASY VICTORY UNTIL THE CAUTION CAME OUT. "Boy, I definitely didn't want to see the caution come out. Carl was working with me pretty good at that time, and I knew the guys were going to lay back and try to get a run. Of course, I could see the 8 car coming, so thank goodness the 99 blocked him pretty good and enabled us to get away and get the win. I'm just so happy for this race team. My guys deserve to win and they are practicing so hard on the pit stops. We beat everybody off pit road and that's why we won the race. It's just a great day for us. I do want to apologize to the fans. No burnouts today, but this could be the engine that I run in 500, and I didn't want to mess it up today."

WILL THE OUTSIDE LANE WORK ON SUNDAY? "Yeah, I think it's going to be a hot, slick day. Right now there's too much grip in the track. Tommy kept preaching to me to stay on the bottom and make these guys pass you on the high side. Nobody wanted to get off the bottom, and when one person went high, he'd just get left out to dry. I'm just proud of my guys. We had such a frustrating year last year and we had such hopes coming back into this season, so to come down here and get it started the right way and get some momentum on our side for a lot of great sponsors. It's a great feeling and it's hard to put into words right now what I'm feeling."


DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion

"We were way too tight at the beginning and the car just got to really pushing. When I fell back I totally lost the nose one time and almost took out a couple of times, so I had to cool that down. We made an adjustment on the pit stop and the car was a lot better. The car was still too tight, especially entering the corner. When I'd get in there trying to run hard and get a push, my car would slide up the race track a little bit. I wasn't bad off, but we've got a little work to do. It's great to see Elliott win. We know the Ford can get out front and lead some laps now, so that gives us all a little bit of encouragement."

HOW IS THE CAR? "It doesn't look too bad. It's the rear bumper and probably the least critical place on the whole car, so it didn't really look like it did that much. I'm sure they'll get on it and fix it."

SURPRISED? YOU. "Yeah, we were all slowing down even more because there was so much debris from the blown tire on the frontstretch and we were just trying to pick our way through there. The next thing I knew I got hit in the back. I wasn't even looking in the back. I was looking ahead of me making sure I didn't run over anything."


MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

"It's a little frustrating for running fifth. It's the best that we've ever run in the 150 Gatorade races, and we've got a good spot for Sunday. It's just frustrating. We didn't have a good stop, which is no big deal because they're awesome all the time. Then I was just trying to figure out what the right thing was to do, and I had it wrong. I was even with the 8 and everybody just piles in that line all the time. It's just frustrating because you don't know where to go. You can't do it by yourself and our car was so fast that all I needed was one or two guys. It seemed like I couldn't get in the right place."

IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE TALKING TO JIMMIE JOHNSON ABOUT? "No, not at all. I was just talking to him about the race and drafting together, just about different things. I'm trying to get better at it, too, and sometimes when you talk to people and see what they were thinking during the race."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler