First Gatorade 125 STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid) Finished Fourth "They need to put wickers on them or something so we can pass. It's just follow the leader now. You can't pass. Guys would get on the outside and get shot...
First Gatorade 125
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid)
"They need to put wickers on them or something so we can pass. It's just follow the leader now. You can't pass. Guys would get on the outside and get shot to the back. I think we need to run a little faster and mix it up a little bit. The 500 is going to come down to who will follow who for 180 laps and then race the last 20. They need to do something to bust it up. We had a good car. I think our car was as good as the one that won the race, but we just never could get up there. Finally D.J. hung with us and got us back up to fourth.
"I had a good run on Ricky a couple of times. I was running fourth, but I came here to win. I had a good run to pass him and got hung out. It looked like everybody that went high got hung out. They need to speed us up. We need to run 195 in race trim. You just can't pass. It's frustrating to sit there and follow the leader. I guess I learned not to pass anybody on the outside unless you're the 8 car."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge Intrepid)
Finished 10th, top Raybestos Rookie Finisher.
"We qualified well. I feel like we had a good car here. Maybe we just experimented too much with our setup. It wasn't that it didn't work. It just wasn't what we needed. We'll work at it the next couple of practices and hopefully have it working right on Sunday. Those guys are a lot more aggressive than the guys in the Busch Series. It's just a completely different group of guys to race with. You learn a little bit. I'm having a good time and that's what matters."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid)
"It was good. Actually they were a lot cleaner than the Busch guys were here in the 300 last year. I feel a lot safer running around a lot of these guys just because they're a lot more experienced. We thought we had a good car after yesterday morning, but the temperatures are quite a bit higher now. Our car wasn't handling well at all. You run harder when you're in a big pack like that and the car slides around more. After that first pit stop the car came back and drove a little bit better, and I was able to come back there at the end."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Stacker2 Dodge Intrepid)
"When I was a kid I came here and watched all these races. That's what I wanted to do. We had a car that was a little too tight, but I could turn the wheel left. All in all we finished 11th, and that's a good starting spot. It wasn't really that crazy. Everybody seemed to be handling good enough. If you made that three-wide move you had to get it done quick. Three wide worked good for half a lap, then you had to get back in line and make it two wide."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid)
"Greg Biffle really helped me there. We all got together and it was just a racing deal. I just thank him for pushing me across the line. The car handled absolutely incredible all day long. Jeff Gordon was pushing pretty bad, and I tried to get a run at him and I did. It's over. I'm not worried about it."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid)
"I learned my car needs a lot of handling help. I don't think we know what to do to fix it. That's the problem. It's more than a handful. I almost caused a couple of wrecks and had to really get off the throttle. I don't like the way the car is behaving at all. It's not close to being a top 10 car for Sunday. We're going to work really hard tomorrow and Saturday and get this thing to behave a little better. We used some of what we used last year on the car. The thing is the aero package is different every time we come here because the rules have changed. We might be a little bit behind on that. We didn't get to test this car or take it to the windtunnel. I think it's a combination of aero and mechanical, so we've got to figure out where to go to fix it. We're not going to fix it sitting in the garage. We've thrown a lot at it. We just haven't made any progress with it."
Second Gatorade 125
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid)
"The car handled good. I was tight in the first half of the race. I'd have to breathe it pretty good off turn two. We got right sides and took two rounds of wedge out of it on the pit stop. It was good. You just had to guard that bottom lane. There wasn't enough horsepower up top in that 125 to get the job done. Qualifying is over, and I can forget about that. I've got a good starting position. I'm happy now. Those DEI cars look tough, but we ran 'em down and got right to their bumper. I really think if I had got in front of Todd Bodine..... We weren't racing in the 500, and we didn't take any chances. You just had to stay in line. I feel good about it."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid)
"That was a lot closer than we were in the 125s last year, so that wasn't bad. All the guys drove a great race, a heads up race. That's what these 125s are all about. You've just got to get through them to get to the 500."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We've improved since the Shootout. We had a good run going, and then we got shuffled back. We had to work our way back up, and we got a decent finish out of it. We'll work hard on handling and try to improve on that Sunday in the Daytona 500."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We didn't win the race, but we've made gains. The engine guys are working hard to give us what we need. The car is handling great, and that's all you can ask for. We ran up high most of the time. I think we were better up high than on the bottom. We've got some other things we're tuning on. The main thing is my car is handling good, and that's what's going to pay off in the 500."
MIKE WALLACE (No. 09 Miccosukee Resort Dodge Intrepid)
"It wouldn't turn off turn two, but everything worked out. Now we can race in the Daytona 500. I get to run all three races here this weekend. I'm going to run the truck, Busch and Cup races. I was as nervous as I could be before this race started. I sat over in the truck and watched the first race. It showed you could stick to the bottom, and that's what I did the first part of the race. We got shuffled back a little bit, but all-in-all it was great. This Ernie Elliott motor did a great job. We're good for Sunday now."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
"We had some problems coming into the pits and that cost us. We lost the draft, and it was a long race after that. Maybe we've used up all our bad luck and everything will go smooth for us in the 500."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid)
"The car handled well. We've got a little work left to do for the race, but we'll be OK. The team worked real hard all winter, and the proof is in Kyle's qualifying. He did everything right, and we didn't get everything right for qualifying. My guys didn't quit. I didn't sleep much since Monday. I wish we'd had second-round qualifying. When you come from the back it's tough, and when you come to pit road and have to drive through the grass it slows you down. This is the best chance we've had at Daytona in the past few years. We should have a good shot at it. Some cars are really strong, but anything can happen. We'll be OK. We just need to keep the car handling good and we'll keep moving forward."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 49 1-800-CallATT Dodge Intrepid)
"It might not have been the prettiest thing, but hey, call the 1-800-Call ATT people. We're in the race. We knew we had to race in. Running 15th or better was the plan. Guess it worked out. We had a good pit stop. We came down pit road and Kurt Busch had a problem. We dodged that bullet and moved in. We worked hard, but everybody works hard. This is the Daytona 500. You're supposed to work hard. Most of the time it pays off when you work hard, and it paid off for us today."