Race Weekend Central

Quotes to Remember: Daytona 500

“We basically just had a body issue. The nose caved in, the hood caved in a little bit, but the guys did an awesome job with the Quicken Loans Chevrolet to get it fixed. You are rightm we did a lot of pit stops and I kind of lost track of what was going on. I had to worry more about my position than watching the race and educating myself. First of all congratulations to Jimmie (Johnson) those guys did an awesome job, put themselves in position and a good way to start the season for us with our Quicken Loans No. 39 team.” Ryan Newman, finished fifth.

“I spent most of the day running half-throttle in the line. So I spent a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to do when that opportunity comes. And it’s just tough to tell. I kept asking up above what it looked like and what was working. You needed a hole. You needed people to help you out. I had a little bit of help here today here and there. But I felt like if I were to dive low, I had a feeling I was going to get freight-trained. It was tough to tell. Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) did a good job of backing it up because it did look like we were getting away and it felt like it too because we were flat. We were not lifting those laps. And when you’re second and third and so on, you do. And so we weren’t. So I thought we were just pulling away a little bit. At the end of the day, it was a solid day for the GoDaddy car and the GoDaddy crew. They did a nice job in the pits and we stayed basically in the top 10 all day long. So I can’t really complain about that. It was nice. It was calm most of the time but it was fun when it got a little exciting.” Danica Patrick, finished eighth.

“It’s tough, really tough race. I love the start that we got and we were up front there and in great shape. We lost track position and it didn’t seem like we were ever going to get it back. Then we finally did and those last two restarts just didn’t go very well.” Jeff Gordon, finished 20th.

“I’m not really happy right now. We had a CAT Chevrolet that was pretty good today. We lost track position because we had that tire cut. We were going around one of those cars and he just hung a right on me on the straightaway, just hung a right. I had to turn right to keep from hitting him and the thing hung a right, head-on into the wall. It’s pathetic to race like that. You’ve got to be smarter than that. I understand it is plate racing, you’ve got to try to block, but you can’t block somebody that is coming 20 mile an hour faster than you are. It’s just completely uncalled for. … That thing hit really hard. I haven’t hit that hard in a long time. Broke the block in the car. It hit really hard. Like I said you have wrecks on plate races that are going to happen, but that is the kind of wreck that shouldn’t have happened.” Jeff Burton, finished 30th (Crashed out after 176 laps).

“The car is actually less stable in a big pack than what we’ve had. We had to keep ourselves separated a little bit more for good measure until it came down to the end and then nobody cared. Wrecking was okay. You had to give each other a little more room — that’s due to the little spoiler. When we get in these things next week, they are going to be stuck like glue and we’re going to be breaking track records. Kudos to the Gen-6.” Mark Martin, finished third.

“It was a great day. We got up front and we were able to use some strategy and get up in the top-5 and top-10. I know when we led that lap I heard a big cheer and I think it came all the way from Newtown, Connecticut. That was special for me to give those folks something to smile about. I hope running up front today made them happy. I have to thank everyone for letting me do this. It’s been a fun couple of weeks for me down here. You don’t get to do stuff like this forever so I don’t take it for granted. I’m thankful.” Michael Waltrip, finished 22nd.

“We had a shot at it. We were in the hunt and that’s all any driver can ask for. We were in position there. I am not sure what else we could have done. Up until then, everything was perfect. Toyota has been a great partner to us so I am sure they will look at our car as well as the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) cars who had trouble too and get us all back up and running for next week. It was a lot of fun out there driving this new NAPA Toyota. NASCAR’s Gen-6 is raising the bar for us so hopefully Phoenix will be our race. Time to go racing.” Martin Truex Jr., finished 24th.

“Just broke something inside the motor. There’s pieces that are supposed to stay together and they didn’t stay together. I hate it for this whole team. These guys — they do a great job and work too hard and it sounds a lot like 2012 already.” Kyle Busch, finished 34th (Blew an engine after 151 laps).

“It could have been worse — we could have ran last all day and be sitting in the garage. There’s a lot to look forward to. As disappointed as I am, it would be easy to be disappointed and throw my Gatorade at you or whatever. Man, there’s a lot to look forward to. I just can’t help sitting here thinking how thankful I am that they put this together for me and just can’t wait to get to Phoenix.” Matt Kenseth, finished 37th (Blew an engine after 149 laps).

“It seemed like the high lane was where all the speed was. I kept trying everything I could to make a pass on the lower lanes but it wasn’t going to work. I could tell you that I didn’t want to run single file but when you try to make a move and go to the bottom you just go backwards. The only thing worse than running single file is running single file in the back of the pack.” Brad Keselowski, finished fourth

“Our car was a good drafting car and the only thing I could do is stay in line. I was gonna make my move in the middle of three in four. Off of four I was gonna back up to Danica. I knew Junior was backing up and then they said Junior is coming on the bottom, but I knew he was by himself. I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way he’s gonna have enough momentum to get by us lined up on the top in the second groove.’ Plus, he was coming so fast I don’t think I could have blocked him. We would have had a wreck like yesterday. I would have never thought the bottom lane would have gotten a run like that at the end. That’s what’s so frustrating. I figured the 48 would side draft the 88 and then I’d have a chance to pass them both. That’s what I was thinking was going to happen. That was my plan. I had it figured out, but my plan didn’t quite come together.” Greg Biffle, finished sixth.

“This kind of racing was pretty boring from the driver’s seat. I kept trying to pull down to the bottom to try to make something happen, but anytime I pulled out of line I got freight-trained. I just had to stay up top and hang out and wait until the end. I thought we were cruising and then all of a sudden I don’t know what happened in front of us but the 2 was about stopped and I slowed down a lot and then whoever was behind me, I think it was the 35, wasn’t able to get it slowed down. Then somebody hit him and it was a domino effect. The next thing I knew we were turned looking at the infield.” Trevor Bayne, finished 27th.

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