Daytona II: Rusty Wallace press conference

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 2nd) "Boy, we really had a good run all night long. The car handled very good. I don't know how in the heck I got that restart at the beginning of the race, but I went from 37th to 11th in two...

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 2nd)

"Boy, we really had a good run all night long. The car handled very good. I don't know how in the heck I got that restart at the beginning of the race, but I went from 37th to 11th in two laps. I was just flying up through the center. It was like I went through the center of the track and nobody was challenging it. I was really embarrassed by the way we qualified. We had a lot better car than that. We looked stupid out there, but we got the thing to the front and made myself feel a lot better. Once we got up there, it was just real strong. I think the 40 car, the 2 car, the 12 and a couple other cars were awfully equal tonight, but we didn't have anything for Michael or Junior. They were real strong."

SINCE '97 YOU'VE HAD GOOD SUCCESS HERE.

"Daytona has just been real good to me for some reason, I don't know. Ever since we put the two team thing together, it started off in '97 with all top five and top 10 finishes and chances to win a lot of races. The guys have built good restrictor plate cars every year. No doubt we've got to improve on our qualifying, that was really killing us, but I love Daytona. It's fun coming down here during the Fourth of July. I like the practice sessions and all the stuff we have. We didn't have any practice, that was cool, so we just got to hang out and do nothing. Other than that, I do like Daytona. It's been real good to me."

WHAT ABOUT THE FAN REACTION OFF TURN TWO?

"I've never seen anybody be so jubilant for Michael Waltrip winning in my life -- throwing all that stuff over the back straightaway. I saw all those Pepsi seat cushions come over and I said, 'What in the world is going on?' Then I saw all the beer cans and everything. I mean, I couldn't understand. It was only the back straightaway doing it, I didn't see it happening anywhere else. Evidently, something went crazy but we couldn't have restarted the race if we wanted to. The back straightaway was so littered with beer cans and Pepsi things, you couldn't have done nothing. That was pretty strange. I've never seen one like that before."

WHAT HAPPENED WITH TRYING TO WORK WITH RYAN AT THE END?

"I tried to work with him all day long. He did a real good job. I really don't know what happened at the back there. I was gonna stick my nose right up behind that 8 car and not move, and then I saw Ryan making a move and he went for it but he didn't really get the pass made. He tried to pass me and didn't get it made on me and then kind of fell back. Then the next thing I know there's a big crash there behind me, so I hate to see that happen, I really do. I don't know what happened. I feel bad that it happened. I know Mr. Penske feels bad, we all feel bad because we thought we were gonna bring 'em all home in the top five. It looked like a sure lock that we could do that, so it was pretty strange."

WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE THE 8 TRY TO PASS THE 15?

"No, I really thought that Junior would try to pass Michael, but I really thought he would have tried to pass him on the inside because there was nothing up top. The cars were sailing around the bottom of the track and when you went up top, you had to have a lot of cars with you to help you. When he shot up there I said, 'Man, I'm not going for it. I'm gonna stay down low. I know Sterling is gonna stay with me,' and he did and I finished second. It turned out really good. It was a gutsy move. His pop would have tried it just the way he tried it probably and maybe that's the reason he did it, I don't know."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip