MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET ON GOING INTO THE PEPSI 400 "I feel real good. I feel real confident. The car ran great last week. The team's got an extra bump in their step because of the performance of the NAPA Chevy over the last month.
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET
ON GOING INTO THE PEPSI 400 "I feel real good. I feel real confident. The car ran great last week. The team's got an extra bump in their step because of the performance of the NAPA Chevy over the last month. It's a good time to stop at Daytona."
ON GETTING BACK IN THE TOP TEN "It's a long way from where we're at. It was a bad start. Over the last month we've been as good as anybody and that's a great feeling."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET
ON THE SAFER BARRIERS "I don't think about wrecks and I don't think about things like that. I don't worry about getting hurt when I'm out there. Not that it couldn't happen. When the big guy needs me, he's going to get me. He doesn't need a race car. I know he's going to protect me and I don't have worry about that. The safer barrier is great and I think it's needed but it's not something I really think about when I'm racing."
ON THE TONY STEWART INCIDENT "We're in Daytona now and that was last week in Sonoma. We're going to put it behind us and move on. What I said last week still stands as far what happened. Nothing has changed. That was the story and it's still the story. As far as what NASCAR has done, like I said last week, it's their series to police. I respect their decisions. They've made their decisions and I support them. Now we're in Daytona."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO TONY? "No, I haven't."
ARE YOU GOING TO? "It's fine with me. He's more than welcome to talk me at any point. We can sit down and try to figure out what happened. We can agree on what happened and we can agree to disagree. It doesn't matter. I'm going to go and approach this race like I do any other race. That situation doesn't bother me anymore. I'd be more than happy to talk with him if he wants to."
ON THE INCIDENT GENERATING MORE ATTENTION FOR HIM "Any publicity is good publicity but this is not exactly how we were looking for it. A win would be a much better way to get publicity or a pole like we had at Richmond. This is part of the game. We're going to take it in stride and go on."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET
ON THE PEPSI 400 "We always have a great car. We finished well in the 600, great at Talladega, so it should be business as usual. It's just a matter of cycling to the front and being the leader at the end of this thing. I think we're very competitive and very fast. It's really a matter of cycles. I hope we're at the front of the cycle when the checkered flag drops."
ON BEING THE POINTS LEADER AND IF IT HAS CHANGED HIS APPROACH "In years past it would. This year with the new points structure, it's a great position to be in, but you can't use philosophies of years past. We're just kind of rolling with it, seeing what we have every week and trying to make sure we have all our ducks in order for the final ten."
ON NASCAR'S POSITION WITH TONY STEWART "Lately there's been some different issues that have popped up and it's taken away their (NASCAR) credibility. They make decisions and we believe their reasoning and everything behind. Lately it's made us question it. I just assume there's speculation with Tony's penalty. A lot of people think it should have been more or less. From my standpoint, they made a decision. It's what it is. Tony is a great race car driver and a friend of mine. He had a confrontation with one of my teammates. I hate to see it happen. I know he's a professional and I know that he's smarter than that and bigger than this stuff that's been happening to him. I'm sure the fines and penalties that's been passed out will send a message to him. We'll all have to see what takes place."
WILL THIS HAPPEN MORE OFTEN WITH THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "We do it all the time. There's always little battles that are brewing. The 17 and the 29 have had one going. What's so funny to me is you look at our sport and everybody wants controversy. All the fans love it. The media loves it. Everybody loves it. Then it comes and you have it and everybody gets on NASCAR for not fining and keeping people from doing it. It's a catch 22 to me. Everybody wants it to happen. When the ultimate fine is passed out everybody is disappointed. We're going to have controversy. We're always racing hard against one another. You're going to have those flare ups that happen from time to time. As long we don't lose the ability to go and voice your opinion."