Daytona Duels: GM teams race two quotes

JOE NEMECHEK, 01 US ARMY MONTE CARLO SS: Sidelined with engine failure. "We were just kind of riding fourth in line out there. That is the best my car has driven since we have been there. It was a little bit free there to start and was starting...


Sidelined with engine failure. "We were just kind of riding fourth in line out there. That is the best my car has driven since we have been there. It was a little bit free there to start and was starting to get a tick tight there toward the end of that run. The guys in front of me were having to start checking up, it was like they were all having to let off the gas going into the corner. We were just in the gray spot. It is very unfortunate. The Hendrick Motorsports engine built awesome power; the engine ran flawless up to that point. They will figure out what it is and we will have a great run in the 500, I will guarantee you that. It doesn't matter where you start for the 500, I just hope we get a decent pit stall. That is the tough thing, If you get boxed in between a couple of good cars, your pit stalls mess you up all day long and you can't overcome it. Once they drop the green flag, we will be going to the front, I will guarantee you that."



WAS THE RACING WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? "I thought it would be better than that, but it wasn't. We were good on the short runs, but bad on the long runs. We've got to do a little more work on it tomorrow and Saturday to be ready for Sunday."



"I really think we've got a good race car here. The first three-quarters of the race, the car was driving good. We were up in the front part of the group there around some really good race cars and just logging laps. We came in for a pit stop and everything was normal and it had a hood pin out. So we came back around. We didn't want the hood to get floppin' and tear up our race car (because) we knew we were in the (Daytona) 500. That lost us some track position. It's just all about track position. All these guys are so even. We got back in the pack a little bit and got three wide and got bounced around a little bit and damaged the right side. We could have definitely just beat it out and finished the race, but it was really nothing to gain for us. So we wanted to bring it home and work on it and make sure we get everything as right as we can for Sunday."

HOW HAPPY ARE YOU TO MAKE THE FIELD FOR THE DAYTONA 500? "I guess we've halfway accomplished our mission of what we set out to do today with not tearing the race car up and bringing it home. We have a little sheet metal damage and we can pound that out pretty good and get it back to where it was. More than anything, we got up there around some really good race cars. This Monte Carlo SS was driving really good and I could move around a little bit. We found our weaknesses with it being a little too tight. We figured out which adjustments worked and what didn't work and that gives us a head start into Sunday."



ON MAKING THE DAYTONA 500 "It's a long ways from where we were a year ago. I'm really happy to have the Jim Beam Chevrolet in the show. We were kind of in the race before this one started but we wanted to have a good starting spot for the 500 as well. We finished 10th. I'm pretty happy with that. I think we're probably one of the first cars that was on four tires. We probably didn't need that last caution. We probably could have finished a lot better than that."

"We were in the deal before this race started but we worked awfully hard on the Jim Bean Chevrolet. It's tough to make it here being a single-car team but I've got great sponsors, a great team, an awesome crew chief. I'm just really happy with all the hard work everybody at the shop did over the wintertime. I think we're going to be a force to be reckoned with this year. I know we're just 10th right here, but you have to remember I knew I was in the race so there was no reason to take a chance at it. We had a better car than 10th place."

ON WHAT THIS DOES TO START OFF THE '06 RACE SEASON "I'm really proud of all the guys on our race team, everybody back at the shop and especially Greg Erwin (crew chief). The guy has been so nervous the last few months worried about the Daytona 500. Now we're in the Daytona 500. The next thing we have to do is have a car capable of winning the Daytona 500. We have a couple days of practice, the next couple days coming. On Wednesday the car was really tight. Today the car was actually very loose. We were able to take the car from one extreme to the other and hopefully we'll be able to tonight."

ON BUMP DRAFTING AND IF MORE WAS MADE OF IT BECAUSE OF THE SHOOTOUT? "I think Shootout, (because) nothing matters there. Tony (Stewart) got everybody started and bam, they all ran. You know how it goes. You got one egg and before you know it, you've got chickens everywhere. The Shootout doesn't matter. It's not (for) points. It's all for fun and all for show. I didn't get into anybody until the very, very last corner they started stacking up. I think someone got on the apron coming to the checkered. It was a good run for the Jim Beam Chevrolet."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Erwin , Jim Beam