Pontiac Racing Daytona race notes

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON WHAT HAPPENED IN HIS INCIDENT "I was just collected in it. I saw all the smoke and tried to slow down. Actually I got hit and got turned sideways. The '20' car landed on my...

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

ON WHAT HAPPENED IN HIS INCIDENT
"I was just collected in it. I saw all the smoke and tried to slow down. Actually I got hit and got turned sideways. The '20' car landed on my windshield. I hate to think what would have happened if I had kept going a little faster. It's just unfortunate. "We were riding around at the back all day until there at the end because there wasn't any sense in it. If it did happen, we wanted to miss the wreck. That is what our game plan was. But when it comes time to go, everybody wants to race and we all get up there and do the same thing. We all want to finish as good as possible. But unfortunately, with all the cars bunched up like that, if something happens that close there are only a few that are going to get through. I don't know how many cars got in (the accident) - probably 15 or so. But that's part of it. What can you do?" IS THERE ANY WAY WITH THIS AERO PACKAGE TO GET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER ON THE RACETRACK?
"No, not really. There just isn't. You're just stuck right there together." ON HIS CONVERSATION WITH TONY STEWART IN THE AMBULANCE
"We talked about who was the President. He remembered, even though we're in the state of Florida, who the President was, so that was pretty good." ON HAVING SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN TO A TEAMMATE
"It hurts, no doubt - especially here. Everything happens so fast here and there are so many cars here. What can you do?" ON THE CLOSENESS OF THE RACING TODAY
"This is close racing, right here - as close as you can get. When you get real close like that, anything that happens, it's hard to avoid sometimes. Like in the '125s' - in our race - there were a couple of guys that got in the wreck and everybody missed it. But sometimes it doesn't happen and sometimes it does." HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT?
"We just thought we were in good shape today to miss all that stuff and it ended up we weren't with a few laps to go. It's a shame for all the guys that got in it. You hate it for everybody. There is a lot of work that goes into these cars and for something like that to happen and knock out 13 or 14 cars - I don't know how many cars will be left at the finish, but we sure would have liked to have been there.

"We take licks like this sometimes. Tony's was a lot worse than mine. But it's tough when sometimes you don't have a whole of control over what is going to happen." BEFORE THE WRECK, DID YOU SEE THIS AS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING DAYTONA 500s?
"It might have been. But from my point of view, it is what it is. We're out there just trying to miss something in case it did happen. We knew with 38 laps to go that we had to go race. Before that, we were just trying to get to the end of the race. It didn't work out for us and that's just part of it. HOW SCARY WAS THIS ACCIDENT FOR YOU?
"It's not very much fun when you see a 3,400 pound car fixing to land on your head."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: DID YOU SEE ANY OF THE INCDIENT INVOLVING TONY STEWART?
"I didn't see any of it. All I saw was debris. I was kind of hanging back. We ran into a little problem with the engine and we were kind of hanging back. All I saw was smoke and I stopped." ON HIS RACE OVERALL
"We just had a little something wrong with the engine somewhere and dropped a valve or something. But, I couldn't be any happier. The guys did a tremendous job. Hendrick Engines are still great. Those things are awesome. They put us in a position, running fifth, but then we had a little problem. You've got to expect those things when you're trying to get as much out of these engines as you can."

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON THE INCIDENT WITH DALE EARNHARDT
"I don't know for sure what happened. We all spread out going down the back straightaway. I knew that was going to happen. I was just hoping we'd get someone to go with us. They spread out, so I just hung with the guys on the outside.

"I guess someone got into Dale because Dale got into me and then we went up. We hit pretty hard and Dale hit harder.

"I don't know what happened. All of a sudden we were all crashing."

DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOW DALE IS?
"I don't know how Dale is. I didn't get to talk to Dale (at the car). I went over there and then they got there real quick, so I got the hell out of the way."

DID RUSTY WALLACE HIT DALE?
"It was all behind me. I don't know. I don't have a clue."

HOW ARE YOU?
"I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm just thinking about Dale and those guys."

KENNY WALLACE, NO. 27 HILLS BROTHERS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON THE INCIDENT INVOLVING TONY STEWART
"All I saw was a car flipping through up in the air. We were right there and we just couldn't do anything. I was so close on it. I just saw a car in the air and knew I was in trouble. There is nothing you can do." ON HIS RACE
"The car was strong all day. We were right in there, but just got wrapped up in one of those speedway accidents. There was nothing you could do."

RON HORNADAY, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

ON BEING HIGHEST FINISHING RAYBESTOS ROOKIE IN HIS FIRST DAYTONA 500
"We had a great car. These guys put a great Conseco Pontiac underneath me. I don't know if it (the pit road speeding penalty) was a rookie mistake, but I think what happened is that since we started so far back I was really trying to get a good handle on the RPM on the pit road speed. I had 4,200 (RPM) in second gear, but that wasn't it and our car didn't like that, so we got penalized.

"We started racing our way back to the front, but it just didn't work out for us. We got a lap down and tangled up in the back. Luckily the thing came out right.

"This is the strongest car I've ever ran here. That thing would draft. I made a lot of friends in this race because they definitely wanted to push this Pontiac to the front."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GAINED A LOT OF RESPECT TODAY?
"I try to push who I can. A couple guys left me out, so I left them out. But I've learned a bunch, and I'm just glad that I get to drive a Pontiac the rest of this year."

-GM Racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup