BUSCH: Daytona Race Notes

NAPA AUTO PARTS 300 NOTES AND QUOTES DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Chevrolet) -- We've had a strong car all week. The Amoco car's been fast. The motor was awesome all week. I can't believe something like that happened on the first lap. We didn't...


DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Chevrolet) -- We've had a strong car all week. The Amoco car's been fast. The motor was awesome all week. I can't believe something like that happened on the first lap. We didn't even have a chance to go out and race.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 21 Band-Aid Chevrolet) -- I ran to the top back there between one and two. There was a big piece of something. I ran over it, tore up the bottom of my car. I had been running on the bottom all day, and went up high. I thought I'd try that out, and the guys behind me wanted to try it. As soon as we got there we ran over a big chunk of something. It bounced off the bottom of my car, and then cut my right rear tire. I tried to hang on, but couldn't. I got stopped, and then got clobbered. It was a bad deal.

BOBBY HAMILTON JR. (No. 95 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Chevrolet) -- On pit road, I hit the 37 car. He was leaving, I was coming in. It broke the spindle. We're trying to get back out.

KEN SCHRADER (No. 15 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet) -- We broke a rear end gear. You wouldn't think a think a thing like this would happen in restrictor plate racing. I feel sorry for the guys on the Oakwood team. The car was running, but it didn't run all day.

KEVIN LEPAGE (No. 99 Red Man Chevrolet) -- We didn't have a top 10 race car. We worked on it all day long, caught some breaks, and never gave up. The car was tight, and we couldn't do anything after 20 laps. But I can't say too much about how hard all the guys on the Red Man Chevrolet worked all day.

JIMMY KITCHENS (No. 22 Air Jamaica Vacation Chevrolet) -- We were coming off turn four for the green flag and some cars got together at the start/finish line. I felt my best way to avoid the accident -- as much as I hate to go through Mr. France's nice green grass -- but that didn't seem to work. Some cars came off the race track and collected myself and a couple other cars. The crew worked real hard to get the car back out on the track, but it didn't want to stay in the bottom lane so I felt it was in everyone's best interest to retire for the day.

KEVIN GRUBB (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) -- The guys at Brewco gave me a great car. On the first pit stop, we had a little accident that bent up the right side of the car a little bit. That hurt us some, but my spotter did a good job and kept us up there in the draft.

JEFF BURTON (No. 9 Track Gear Ford) -- We had a problem with our shifter. The thing didn't want to go into gear, and that hurt us a lot. We're a little disappointed. But at the same time, we set out early in the race to ride at the back and stay out of trouble. We did that, missed a couple of wrecks by doing that. Everytime we'd get good track position, the thing wouldn't go into third gear so we'd lose a lot of spots on restarts. That was disappointing. But all in all, not a bad day for us. We'd like to be able to get up there and mix it up for the win.

CHUCK BOWN (No. 63 Exxon Superflo Chevrolet) -- Considering we didn't get to test this (backup) car, I'm tickled. I think the guys did a heck of a job with a car that never turned a lap at Daytona. We put the motor and setup out of the car we wrecked yesterday, and I believe we had a top-10 finish. I told the guys after the wreck yesterday that now we'll see what we're made of, and I'm proud of these guys. It was rough out there. I had a tough time up on the outside, but other than that, it was pretty good.

BRAD LONEY (No. 90 Coyne Textiles Chevrolet) -- We had a pretty decent car. The guys did a good job helping me out, working the traffic. But after that first pit stop, the guys on this Coyne Textiles car did a good job changing what we needed to make the car go faster. Things seemed to work out from there. Towards the latter end of the race, Bob (Johnson) made a decision to take gas and no tires, and it certainly paid off for us.

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 3 AC Delco Chevrolet) -- We were just trying to be patient coming up though the field. We finally got up to second, and the 35 car broke a tranny or missed a shift and paused for a moment. I tried to keep from hitting him. I got into him a little bit, didn't spin him out, but the 44 (Terry Labonte) had nowhere to go and he punted me and turned me around. I didn't think we got hit hard until right there at the end. It's a shame, because the AC Delco Chevrolet was running good. We rolled out a backup car, and it just proves how good a job our guys do. That car was just as fast as my primary car. I feel good, knowing if you make a mistake prior to the race you're going to whip out another car that's just as good. It's a tough day at Daytona, but at least we got to the checkered flag, which is something I have not accomplished before in a restrictor plate race. I feel real confident about my chances from here on out.

KERRY EARNHARDT (No. 40 Channel Lock Chevrolet) -- We were running pretty good. I just ended up getting pinched up into the wall coming off turn four, and got turned around. A lot of guys got bumped around today.

JASON KELLER (No. 57 IGA Chevrolet) -- Bad day. We were running up front there, and a piece on top of the motor broke, and that's the way it goes.

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 27 Castrol GTX Chevrolet) -- We just got a little help from behind. He was trying to give me a little boost, and it picked the car up, actually, and turned me around. I started flipping. I just thank God everybody is OK. When that happens, it's out of your control. I got upside down, I just sat there and hung on tight. It feels like you're upside down forever. You just want it to stop. When the car finally stopped and I was alright, I felt a lot better. I was just going to stay right in Randy's tracks till that last lap. I just got a little help from behind, nothing I can do. I can't wait to get to Rockingham. I think we're going to be strong all year.

MARK MARTIN (No. 60 Winn Dixie Taurus) -- "The Winn Dixie car was working pretty well, but I kind of made a mistake coming off two and I got down the race track just enough that somebody behind me got up on the outside of me and that put us three-wide at the exit of the corner. Under the situation the only way we were not gonna wreck was if he backed out and he didn't, so we smashed the car but that kind of thing happens. I'm just really glad it wasn't a big wreck."

HOW DID THE TWO-TIRE CHANGE WORK? "Well, it's OK but I wouldn't recommend it. It was gonna work fine for us, we had a great handling car and it was gonna be OK. My crew chief told me that he thought everybody was gonna do two and I told him I though we should do four. It was gonna be fine. We were gonna make it to the next stop. Our car was handling better than most of them out there, it was getting through the corners real well. There wasn't really any need to have a wreck there, everybody just needs to cooperate a little bit more and I guess I need to watch my mirror a little closer."

JEFF BURTON (No. 9 Track Gear Taurus) -- "We set out early in the race just to ride in the back and missed a couple wrecks and we did that pretty well. We then got up to the front and the car would run with whoever was around it. It was fast and it got to where it drove good, but the shifter wouldn't go into gear, so on every re-start I'd go from sixth to 20th, from ninth to 30th. It really hurt us, but, all in all, with a backup car, we had a chance. With the transmission not messed up we had a chance to be in the mix there at the end and that's what we asked for." SOURCE: ISC/DIS & Ford Racing

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Drivers Terry Labonte