GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 5th) "It was nice to see Kurt come up there behind me. I was looking for Kurt and he really gave me a good shove. The one positive thing about tonight is my 500 car is better than...
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 5th)
"It was nice to see Kurt come up there behind me. I was looking for Kurt and he really gave me a good shove. The one positive thing about tonight is my 500 car is better than this Bud Shootout car, so that's pretty exciting for the whole National Guard team. We're looking forward to the 500. We know we've got a really, really good car. It was fun working with those guys out there. I didn't think I left the 24 enough room on the bottom there to pass me without going below the yellow, but I must have left him just enough and he snuck in there on me. It's tough to pass the leader here. You're gonna have to make a big run and get two or three guys lined up to try and pass the leader here at this track."
IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE TALKING TO JEFF ABOUT AFTER THE RACE? "Yeah, I shoved him coming back to the stripe here. I shoved him through the short stretch pretty hard and shot him out there. We would have made a little better run across there, but I figured he was a little bit loose and couldn't keep the throttle down. It was a lot of fun. There was a big save on the frontstretch there. I don't know what happened. I'll have to watch the tape and see how the car got loose, but I'm just excited to bring this home and get ready for the 500 for tomorrow."
DID YOU LEARN MORE IN THE SECOND SEGMENT BECAUSE YOU LED VIRTUALLY THE WHOLE FIRST? "Yeah, absolutely. I felt what my car was like. The car handled really, really good. It was turning on the bottom like I needed it to. It did everything I needed it to do. We were a little bit off on speed, but my 500 car is better."
ARE YOU HAPPY OR DISAPPOINTED? "I'm really pretty happy to kind of get my feet wet and get back in the race car. We wanted to win that. We wanted to win the Bud Shootout, but we want to win the 500 and we've got a better car for the 500."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Crown Royal Taurus (Finished 6th)
"We really made a great effort on building this car and driving it to what I thought it was capable of. It just seemed like it would drive right to the front. It would get to fifth place, fourth place or third place - right in that bunch - but I just couldn't break through that threshold. It might be inexperience on my part as far as what to do, but it was a great Crown Royal Ford. It was a great debut for the car. Anytime I made a big mistake and got in trouble, the car would find its way back to the front. I just couldn't break through to lead."
YOU WERE BEHIND BIFFLE RUNNING IN FOURTH AND THEN GOT SHUFFLED BACK. WHAT HAPPENED THERE? "I was trying to help Biffle move forward and when you get that close on old tires the 97 has gotten the 16 loose before in the tri-oval and I wanted to push him going down into one so we could get a nice draft, but it didn't turn out. The cars were a bit loose and we were all sliding for life. We just didn't quite have the inside lane where the cars were more stable."
DID YOU LEARN A LOT FOR NEXT WEEK? "Definitely. This was a car that we didn't know we were gonna run up until we tested here because our B car was so bad, so we had to bring this car back and it did great."
THERE ARE A LOT OF SMILES ON PIT ROAD AFTER THIS RACE. "There are a lot of smiles because we didn't wreck and everybody has their car to show for it is my guess. But the way that the race played out, it did get very anxious at the end, which is normal for the Bud Shootout, and just the way that teammates worked together it was what it was meant to be for the first race of the year."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Kraft Taurus (Finished 8th)
"I would have liked to have watched it because it should have been a good show. I want to thank Kraft for their support of this thing and Ford and my race team - Pat Tryson and everybody at Roush Racing. We had a giant motor under the hood and I guess we did good to finish eighth. We had a flat tire in that first segment and really were lucky that it didn't tear the car all to pieces and we stayed on the lead lap. There were a couple of times when I had a chance to get up there and get in the mix, but I never quite got into position where I got enough good cars behind me that they would wind up staying behind me. Each time I got near the front I would wind up at the tail end of the line on the outside. I had to do all my business on the outside and I just didn't have enough pals back there."
WERE YOU SURPRISED THERE WAS NO BIG WRECK? "Yeah, that was dangerous." DID YOU LEARN SOMETHING FOR NEXT WEEK? "I've been coming here 20 years and I didn't learn anything tonight that I hadn't already learned five times over. It's the same old Daytona and everything is the same to me. The thing I look forward to is we've got some big engines under the hood and we've got a great race team on pit road there for us, so I look forward to racing."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Finished 12th)
"We were getting in a real good position to do something well and I followed Bobby. I guess I'd run with Bobby for part of the day and we kind of got going up through there. I don't know how far up we got. It was just side-by-side racing and then we finally got some daylight and I got greedy. I tried to go up through the middle with Bobby and Bobby was going but all of a sudden he stopped. I don't know how he got sideways because I didn't see it, but we lost momentum and everybody went by us on both sides. That killed the end of the race for us. I got up to sixth and I was going for third, but when I got greedy and went for third that's when I went up through the middle. I had been doing that, but Bobby stopped. I don't know what happened to Bobby. He might have had something going wrong, but all of a sudden he just stopped. I had gotten up to fourth or fifth in that line and then went all the way back to last when Bobby stopped. I don't know what happened to him."
WHAT ABOUT THE 500? "It looks like a lot of even race cars to me. It just depends on where you come out on the race track is where you run. It reminded me more of Talladega than it did Daytona. Usually Daytona is separated with the handling, but with these small fuel cells you'd run out of tire grip - Goodyear has done a good job on the tires - you'd run out of tire grip right about the time you needed fuel, so I didn't see anybody with really any major handling issues."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 15th)
YOU WERE TIGHT ALL NIGHT? "We just couldn't get it out. It didn't drive a lot different than it did last year, we just got ourselves in the right position last year. But we were tight. We made some adjustments and as I got around cars and obviously we were in a pack all night, trying to get a run off the corner it just killed our momentum. There's only so much speed we could carry there and we just fought that. Everytime time I'd make a little headway, I'd use up the tires a little bit and it would start pushing off the corner again. It wasn't a total loss tonight. Hopefully it gives us an idea of some things we can try before Thursday."
IT'S A DIFFERENT CAR FOR THE 500 SO IS IT SOMETHING YOU CAN GET OUT OF THAT CAR? "Yeah, Mike and I were just talking about some ideas that we have and what we might do because we feel like we're gonna fight some of the same stuff. It's a different race track during daylight hours, but you're still gonna fight a little bit of that same thing, so it did at least give us the chance to see and feel what may happen. That way we can be thinking and preparing for our first practice on Wednesday."