Thursday, February 11, 2010

Duel at Daytona Notes and Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER -- No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Duel 1, Finished 7th)
"The Best Buy Ford was really fast. The driver did a pretty decent job on the race track, but not very good in the pits. We got to second and I missed our pit box coming in. I lost the pit sign and it just honestly blended in with everything. I guess it was first pit stop jitters and that got us behind. The guys did a great job. The car was really good and I felt like if we could get back in the clean air and get back up front, we had a chance to win the race, but we've got some good notes for the 500 and that's what pays all the points and all the money."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FOR SUNDAY? "It seems like the track is getting bumpier and bumpier every year and our car is bottoming out a lot, so if we can get the front of the race car off the race track, the thing is gonna be really good. I hope the fans enjoyed it because it's gonna be a great 500 and it's gonna be a lot of fun in the driver's seat."

IS IT ANY KIND OF BLESSING WHEN YOU MISS THE STALL AND FIND YOURSELF IN THE BACK AS FAR AS SEEING HOW YOUR CAR HANDLES IN TRAFFIC FOR SUNDAY? "Maybe, but I like being up front. I'm trying to get used to being up front more and hopefully that's what we do all year, so I wanted to start as early as possible. I'm just upset with myself. I knew that pit road was gonna be slick and I honestly just lost the pit sign and overshot it by a mile. You just never know how these races are gonna play out. I started 12th and got a great run on the outside and was third before I even knew it. That last time, I didn't get the right line and kind of got up to seventh or eighth and got stuck there before getting shuffled back to 16th again. It was tough, but, all in all, we came out fairly unscathed. We've got to work on the bumper a little bit. I think the 78's bumper bar was out at the end of the race and I kept bump drafting him, but, for the most part, we came out unscathed. The car is really fast and we learned some things, so hopefully we get that pit road mistake out of the way early and we're good."

WILL YOU GET A NEW PIT SIGN ON SUNDAY? "I hope so because when I drove by on the first pace lap I thought to myself, 'That's small.' Unfortunately, we were pitted with Carl and his is bright pink, so it just blended in. It was my fault, but we worked hard and showed we have a fast car. We got back up through the field and I really thought if we got around the 78 with two to go, I had a chance to win the race because those guys were on two tires. I'll beat myself up overnight for it, but we'll be ready tomorrow."


KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser/Team USA Ford Fusion (Duel 2, Winner)

Full Winning Team Press Conference here -

*Today's win by Kasey Kahne was the first win for Ford's new FR9 engine.

*The win also marked the first for Richard Petty Motorsports since joining Ford at the beginning of this season.

*Kasey Kahne's win was his first at Daytona International Speedway, the first with Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the 20th win for Ford in a Gatorade Duel qualifying race.

*Kahne becomes the third active Ford driver to ever win a Gatorade Duel, joining Bill Elliott (4) and Elliott Sadler (2).


ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 19 Stanley's Ford Fusion (Duel 2, Finished 5th)
"I feel great. The car drove really good. We feel like we learned some things today for Sunday's race. We finished fifth and my teammate won the race, so it was a great day all in all for Richard Petty Motorsports, Ford and Stanley. I feel like I've got a pretty good piece for Sunday. It handled good and ran good on long runs, and that's what it's gonna have to have."

WHAT KIND OF A BOOST IS IT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION TO WIN A RACE RIGHT OFF THE BAT WITH FORD? "It's a big boost. Doug Yates and his engine staff have given us a lot of horsepower here this weekend. It drafts good. It cools good, so those guys did a good job."


PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 Peak/Menards Ford Fusion (Duel 2, Finished 15th)
"I learned a lot for Sunday. We started off and were pretty good, but it seemed when the sun went down or things cooled off the track got a little freer. I was kind of hanging on at the end. The top line was the line you needed to be in, but I was a little bit too loose to run up there. I could run the middle and bottom good, but the car would bog down too much to get a good run off, so I learned some things and we'll be ready for Sunday."

HOW SLICK WAS THE TRACK? "It's been a slick race track since we unloaded last week. I don't know if it's the rear shock package or what, but it's definitely a lot slicker than it has been."

Credit: Ford Racing

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