KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "There's a lot going on out there. There's a lot to learn. The tires fall off so quick, and it seemed like they fell off quicker on the second run. We were loose. It was a little bit tight on the front...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"There's a lot going on out there. There's a lot to learn. The tires fall off so quick, and it seemed like they fell off quicker on the second run. We were loose. It was a little bit tight on the front end, but the back was really loose. It was a learning experience."
ON PIT ROAD INCIDENT -- "There was a white car, I think it was the 23, and it checked up when he went to go to his pits. I took my eyes off him and swerved to miss him to the right. When I swerved to the right, I took my eyes off my pit and drove by it. I had to hit the brakes and Gordon ran into me when I hit the brakes. He wasn't expecting me to hit the brakes. It was my fault.
"I think we learned a lot today. I know I learned a lot as a driver. We'll keep working, and I'll talk to Jeremy after the next race and see if we can make our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge better."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"It was OK, but the car really didn't feel very good. It was really tight, and the back end would just jump out every now and then. We were a little bit worse than we were in practice. It was a good test, but I know we don't want to do that for the race. It got us that much further ahead for the big race, but that wasn't the way we needed to be today."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"I think we had the best car on the first run. I don't know if the track got tighter or what. I'm happy, and we're looking forward to the 500. We were just a little bit tight after the pit stop. I could really get through turns one and two well, but I couldn't get a run off three and four. We put a pound of air in the right rear, and that really didn't do a lot. I had more fun today than I've ever had superspeedway racing. I know Tony knows what I'm talking about because he knocked the hell out of me once. That was a qualifying engine, and it was real loose, a lot of cylinder oil clearance. It's not a big deal. It just killed all the bugs in Florida. I got a good run on the 8 car. The 15 car I didn't think was going to take a chance on wrecking his teammate, so he pretty much had to let him go. My car, like everyone else, the handling went away and I was tight in three and four. We struggled here last year in both races. Man, after our run in the Shootout and here today, I'm really looking forward to the Daytona 500. I really don't think we'll practice very much more though because the car is pretty close."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share/Eckerd Drugs Dodge) --
"For the Kodak folks it's the No. 77's first race under the new Penske/Jasper banner and the new sponsorship, and hopefully we made those folks proud. The guys over the wall gave us a decent stop. I had to come back in and put a little tape on because we took too much off by accident. So, we had to come stick a little bit back on. We went from the back of the field and learned a lot. We were able to draft our way back up and get ourselves a decent start in the Daytona 500. I'm excited.
"I learned a ton. One of the other Raybestos Rookies, Kasey Kahne, he and I ended up teaming up for about 10 laps there. He helped me a little bit, and we moved up together. I don't know where Kasey ended up finishing. We got ourselves nicely tucked away in that draft and caught up with 'em. A couple of guys pulled out. Buddy Baker, thanks to him he wasn't on the radio so much this race. We had Billy Wilburn and my spotter Billy Holbrook, they were kind of coaching me on the grooves where they wanted me. I know Buddy Baker was up there smacking Wilburn on the head telling and pointing where to go. The coaching paid off. We drafted in the right groove at the end. Daytona is definitely about putting this Dodge in the right groove.
"Actually they (the veterans) were all pretty good to me. Terry Labonte -- I hooked up with him for a few laps there. We worked our way around some guys pretty good. It's pretty nice, since I'm a little bit older than a Raybestos Rookie it adds a little bit of experience. I got to race with a lot of these guys who stepped over to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series too. So, hopefully I had a little bit of respect there and earned a little bit more today. They all worked pretty good with us. Daytona is kind of like an organized chaos. You go out there, look around and just try to find one line to work with. Buddy Baker did yell at me once for kind of picking and choosing two different people. He told me to stick with one, and I ended up sticking with a fellow Raybestos Rookie, Kasey Kahne."