KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Go ManGo! Dodge Charger) -- Finished 9th "We had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. It was a wild race and a wild ending. We definitely needed four tires on the pit stop. The car was pretty tight, so we definitely needed the four ...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Go ManGo! Dodge Charger) -- Finished 9th
"We had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. It was a wild race and a wild ending. We definitely needed four tires on the pit stop. The car was pretty tight, so we definitely needed the four tires. The Charger is a better piece than we had last year. It drafts up much better. We need to work on the 500 car a little more to get it to turn a little better, and I think we can have a decent 500. Tony tried to help me there a little bit, and I tried to help him when I could. It's just wherever you get in position and if you're fast maybe you can get some help. At times I thought we were crashing, so I guess ninth is pretty good. We got shuffled back a few times, but we managed to come back through. I think the Charger is going to be a good car, and I think our 500 car will be better than this one by next Sunday."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Finished 2nd
"We didn't have anybody to work with, so we couldn't stay out front. The 19 took two tires, too, but they got penalized. We came down pit road the last second, too. We were able to pull it off and got second. That's our best run here for sure. Doing it the way we did it was good, not having the same tires as everyone else. Matt (crew chief Borland) and everybody did a good job. We had a good pit stop and it was a pretty good debut for our Dodge Charger.
"I knew they were catching me. I asked Matt how fast they were catching me, and he said about seven tenths a lap. OK? I said, 'no, it's not OK, but I understand.' It was one of those situations where we had to run as hard as we could. Jimmie did good to get by me the first time without shaking me up. I got a hole there. If I had got a hole further back I don't think I could have made it back up as far as I did. As the way it turned out, it wasn't too bad for us. That was our best run here in quite awhile.
"Tony came up and gave me a good shove, but when he did it I shoved the 48, too, at the same time. I couldn't get a good run on Jimmie. Jimmie did a good job. When he was out front and had to take both lines when we were fighting over second, that was probably his toughest part of the race and he did a good job.
"I don't think anybody was hanging around. I came off turn two about three laps in a row and saw tire smoke behind me. I don't think anybody was just hanging around. It was a real good debut for the Charger. I wish we could have got it in victory lane, but we were second best and we learned some things. I hope we can carry it over to Thursday and into the 500 on Sunday.
"Casey Mears gave me a real good push. The 97 and 16 got to battling, and I think they just choked up. I just held it to the floor. I had to check up in the tri-oval because I was pushing so bad. I feel real good to run as well as we did, especially on two tires.
"It was definitely eventful, but I was happy to see everybody stay going in the right direction. It was a good run for us in our brand new ALLTEL Dodge Charger, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of Speedweeks. There was a little tire strategy there. (We took) two tires. That was Matt's call, and I think it was a good call. We got out front and put ourselves in the right position.
"I don't think I had a really good shot at winning the race until the No. 97 got the No. 16 loose there in the tri-oval. I had Casey Mears pushing me pretty hard. We got up through there and finally got up by the No. 16 car. I thought I had a really good shot and then I saw Stewart coming up. I thought he'd give me a pretty good shot, and he kind of did, but when he did it allowed me to push the No. 48 -- just the air on the No. 48 up ahead of us. And I never really got a good run at him to try. Jimmie did a great job of defensive driving, which you have to do when you're up front. I'm not satisfied with second, but I'm happy to have our best finish here so far in a stock car.
"That's kind of a good question because we don't plan on racing this car the rest of the time down here, barring any kind of situation with our 500 car. So, we'll have to adapt the things that we've learned from this car and put it on the other car if it's capable of doing that. We're really happy with this car, this engine and everything else. So, thank-you to everybody back at the engine shop for doing what they've done and having a good car to get in that position to be able to finish second."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Top Banana Dodge Charger) -- Finished 18th
"Things didn't turn out quite like we hoped today, but now we've got a race under our belts in the new Dodge Charger. The car was good, we just couldn't seem to make things work. Our tires were OK, so Goodyear made the right choice on those. We've got some work to do, but our 500 car is better than this one so we should be OK."
JOHN FERNANDEZ (Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations)
"It was exciting to finally see the Dodge Charger return to NASCAR competition. We've been working on the car a long time. We're pleased with the debut of the new Dodge Charger. It was pretty good in the draft. We've made a lot of progress on the car, but we've still got some work to do. Ryan Newman and Casey Mears had good cars, and Ryan had a chance to win. This race gives us some direction on what improvements we need to make for the Daytona 500. I'm sure all the teams learned something from tonight, and we look forward to getting back out here for the Daytona 500."