Dodge Daytona 2 race notes

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) "The plan was to come home in one piece. We got the car home in one piece and I'm in one piece. I think we had the best race car out there. I just couldn't get it to handle like it...

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"The plan was to come home in one piece. We got the car home in one piece and I'm in one piece. I think we had the best race car out there. I just couldn't get it to handle like it needed to. Tommy (crew chief Baldwin) and the guys kept working and made improvements the whole race.

"The Caterpillar Dodge was awesome all night, but we just missed the handling package on it. We had to sit back there and ride and take what they would give me. Tommy and the guys kept working hard and made it better and that allowed us to race pretty hard at the end.

"We had to make a few of them (holes), but we need a little bit wider race track. There were some holes being made and it's a wonder we made it out of 'em. Everybody drove a good, clean race and my hat's off to all the drivers.

"I didn't think he (teammate Dave Blaney) was going to be able to run with us just having two new tires. The cars were so critical as it is with four. We learned down here a couple of years ago what we could do with four tires.

"I was so loose it felt like the rear end was stuck out the right side three or four inches. They did a good job working on the car and making adjustments, what little we could under the green flags. I'm just happy we got a top five and our car is in one piece. We'll go to Chicago to see what we can do there.

"To win right here where his dad grew into a legend is pretty awesome for Dale Jr. He led a bunch of laps and it looked like his car was handling exceptionally well, even in the long runs. It's pretty neat for the race fans and his family."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"I was right on the bottom of the race track, and he (Tony Stewart) must have ran across the apron and smashed into the side of me. It turned my car clear sideways. I had to lift and catch it and 20th (after lining up second on the last restart). It was the stupidest thing I've seen on his part. I don't know what he was thinking. You can't get away with it. It messed both of us up. Me and Johnny Benson had pitted under green right before the caution came out, so that's how we got up there. It was just a wasted opportunity to do something good."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"Somebody was coming off turn four spinning. I hate it happened. Our car was a little tight and a little loose at time, but that's what happens with these rules you've got. Everybody is on top of each other, and it's just really hard to race. I hope we can get something changed. At times somebody would check up tonight off turn two and you'd have to check up and two or three guys would get by. I would check up because we'd get tight and two or three would get by me. It's just typical racing here.

"It looked like Skinner was trying to get in the pits and I don't really know what happened. They just went everywhere. Somebody ran into the back of me and ran me down into him, but we hate it for all the guys. We were trying to work on the car, but we knew it was coming. They've got to change these rules so we can drive these cars and run fast and get out of these big packs. You knew it was going to happen, and it ain't over yet, so don't go buy no popcorn.

"I was on the brakes going to go high and then somebody hit me and knocked me into the 97.

"I couldn't get the car to go. It wouldn't drive good. It was too loose. You go to places like Michigan and if you have to get out of the gas, you can race. Here, it just depends on who goes with you, if you guess right, if you get in the right line and go or go through the middle and risk bouncing off two or three. It's just ridiculous racing. I love racing here, but we need to run about 195 and take these wickers off so we can race.

"It's disappointing, but it's probably not as disappointing as Michigan. I don't think we had a car to win here. It just didn't drive good. We could run wide open, but if I could ever got up to the top three or four, we might could have done something, but I'd get to fifth or sixth and have to lift off turn two and three or four would get by me. One of them would lift and I'd get back by them.

"I'm tickled to death for Dale Jr. That was a big win for him, and I'm sure he really wanted it tonight. He had a good car and drove a great race.

"I never saw a bunch of guys all night that ended up in the top 10, but that's just restrictor-plate racing with these wickers."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"My car was so loose at the first of the race, that's why we lost a lap. Then we stopped short again and lost another lap. It's a joke. It's just a joke. I don't know what you've got to do. People got strung out too bad with ill handling cars. I was so loose at first I just couldn't do anything. It's disappointing as hard as these guys work. I'm just glad to get out of here safely and go on to Chicago."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: Leffler was the highest finishing Raybestos rookie of the race. All six rookies have now taken top honors in at least one race this season.

"We had a bad night, but the other rookies had a worse night than us. We ended up 25th and we got through that wreck pretty good. Slowing down to miss it, I locked up the right front tire and it blew out coming into the pits and knocked the right fender off. It was just one of those nights, but I'm pretty excited to be the highest finishing rookie. Something good came out of a bad night. Hopefully we can do it more and do it with better finishes. I didn't see how the wreck started or anything. I was just concentrating on missing it. We were loose at the start. We ran hot most of the night, so I had to stay out pack. I thought we were going to be OK through that wreck, but the tire blew out and that was it."

-Dodge Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Johnny Benson , Dave Blaney