Daytona Shootout: Dodge teams practice quotes

Originally-From: Denny Darnell <ddarnell@darnellcommunications.net> AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger) YOU WERE SECOND FASTEST IN THE FINAL PRACTICE SESSION TODAY, HOW IS YOUR CAR? "It was great to get back on the race ...

Originally-From: Denny Darnell <ddarnell@darnellcommunications.net>

AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger)

YOU WERE SECOND FASTEST IN THE FINAL PRACTICE SESSION TODAY, HOW IS YOUR CAR? "It was great to get back on the race track and get some drafting practice in again. I think that we're good. Our Valvoline Dodge was fast in traffic which is always good. Daytona is one of those race tracks where you have to make some friends and choose the right line. More importantly, I felt comfortable in the car and everyone is really excited for the Duels. I'm really just trying to focus on running with everyone and being able to race them hard."

WAS THE LACK OF TESTING HERE AT DAYTONA AN ISSUE AT ALL TODAY? "Not really. Everyone is a little concerned until you get to lap five and then everyone pretty much settles in and just starts to race each other again. I don't think that the lack of testing was an issue at all today."

YOU HAVEN'T HAD MUCH TIME ON RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS. DO YOU HAVE TO EARN THE RESPECT OF THE DRIVERS OUT HERE? "You really do have to (earn their respect). I feel like I've earned the respect of the guys on most of the other tracks that we race at, but Daytona is a different monster. Obviously, around here you need a lot of friends to get up to the front. Hopefully, I think that I did some good things out there today to make guys feel comfortable around me and know that I can get around this place."

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITES FOR TOMORROW? "Single car runs for the 500 is the priority. I just want to get a bit more comfortable and do everything that I can to be ready for next Sunday."

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KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

WHERE DID YOU MAKE CONTACT WITH THE WALL? "I got a little high off of turn four and rubbed it (the wall). The guys had to work a little harder to get me back out. It was good (the practice). We tried a couple of different carburetors to see where the engine was and definitely found that one was better than the other. So, that was a good thing. We have to work on the setup to see what we need tomorrow night, but I feel like the Budweiser Dodge is close and should have a good shot tomorrow night."

WAS THERE A LOT OF EXPERIMENTING GOING ON OUT THERE? "This is a great place to try some things, similar to the All-Star Race. No points, so you can try different things with the engines. The only thing we tried were some things with the carburetor. Other than that, we are similar to what we were last year other than the horsepower they gained over the off season."

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RICHARD PETTY (Co-owner, Richard Petty Motorsports)

WHAT IS IT ABOUT AJ ALLMENDINGER AS A RACER THAT APPEALS TO YOU? "I think that AJ is very aggressive and very dedicated to what he wants to do. Right now, the only thing that he's got going is that he wants to drive a racecar and that I like. I've seen a lot of improvement in him last year from the first of the season to the last of the season; I think he really matured a lot. I think that he understands that it's a 500 mile race now or 400 mile race. Before, I don't think that he understood that."

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT AJ (ALLMENDINGER) WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE 44 IN THE (DAYTONA) 500? "The only place that I worry about is Daytona because there is so (many) freaky things that can go bad here....bad qualifying deal...or just miss it by one position in the race (Duels). There are so many different elements here. Anywhere else, you just go qualify. I always looked at it that if you don't qualify in the top-35, you don't belong to be out there anyway."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports