BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified 9th
“I think our Dodges are pretty fast. We were fast here last year with the Discount Tire Dodge Challenger and so far, we had pretty good pickup from where we were earlier in practice today. Sam (Hornish) looks like his car is plenty fast which is good. It’s a good start for the team. It’s not the race, but we’ll take that effort heading into tomorrow. It’s nice to know that we have some good speed.”
THE TEMPERATURE WILL BE MUCH COOLER TOMORROW. HOW WILL THAT AFFECT THE HANDLING OF YOUR DODGE? “I’m sure the car will tighten up for sure. It can be slick out there in this heat and I think everyone would welcome cooler temperatures. We’ll see how it goes.”
JEREMY BULLINS (Crew Chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T)
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “The Discount Tire Dodge his good. We’ve made some nice gains on it since practice in race and qualifying trim. The car was good in race trim yesterday and think that it’s only going to get faster as the temperatures cool off.”
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified 6th
As long as you’re in the race, you’ve got a chance to win it. Our big thing is just knowing that when we come here, we’ve got the points to be in the race. The big thing for us is to just to get through the first 95 percent of the race tomorrow so that we can race for the win in our Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger. I feel really good about going into the season. If we can get out of here with a top 10 starting spot, that wouldn’t be bad. We’ll see where we end up at and go racing tomorrow.”
HOW BIG OF A FACTOR WAS THE WIND?
“It’s huge. It doesn’t really affect us as far as what the car really does, but how much wind you have during a run is the bigger factor so going out at the right time, I’m sure the guys will plot a map and find out who had the most wind and who had the least. The biggest gust going down the back straightaway with the least gust going up the front is going to be the person who had the best opportunity. You can win from anywhere you start here. The biggest thing is just getting towards the end so that we can have the opportunity to race it out there at the end.”
IS IT ODD HERE AT DAYTONA THAT THERE IS SO LITTLE EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING?
“Well, last year we had a lot more practice time and we didn’t have enough, yesterday I think we only ran eight laps combined. We felt really good. We felt like we had good horsepower from my Dodge Challenger. The car handled well and we just wanted to make sure that the cars looked as pretty as they could be going out there and just make sure we didn’t take any chances to where somebody got into a problem ahead of us and we ended up in it. Brad and I worked together a little bit yesterday and hopefully we’ll able to get a 1-2 (finish) for Dodge.”
THE FORECAST IS FOR COOLER TEMPERATURES FOR TOMORROW’S RACE. “We’re set up the same today as we were yesterday and as we will be for tomorrow. We’re going to take as much drag as we can off the car and felt like the car handled well. The cooler conditions are only going to make us a little bit more stuck to the ground. That’s obviously good. And then from there on out, we’ll see what we can do. Just be smart about getting towards the end of the race. Cooler temperatures are going to make the cars handle better. Hopefully, it’ll allow us to draft a little bit better and not have to worry about overheating the car as much.”
WAS HIGH WATER TEMPERATURE A CONCERN FOR YOU IN DRAFTING PRACTICE?
“No, but I only spent a lap and a half pushing. The other four laps I was out there, I was getting pushed or by myself. We only got to 235 and that was right now in qualifying. We taped it up as much as we could. It’s only the guy that’s pushing that has to really worry about it. It’s going to take some heads-up there between myself and whoever I work with to make sure that we’re making good decisions about how long we push and switching off, so that we don’t get the car too hot before we get the opportunity to switch out. Brad and I know there’s no point in fighting until the end here, because we’d love to go up there and lead every lap between the two of us. We’re going to try to be as smart as we can about how we approach it. If we have to make a switch on the straightaway and we lose a little bit of time, so be it.”
CHAD WALTER (Crew Chief, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T)
“I think we have a good idea of where we stand because one of the things we do here is just make a single-car run to make sure that you have no vibrations and there’s no body rubs and things like that. Everybody does it. So I felt like we were in pretty decent shape to be somewhere up there when we were practicing yesterday in the first practice. It probably is kind of odd really just the testing in what the engine shop, the chassis shop, and the guys that hang the bodies back in the shop do because we don’t have a chance to test. We really don’t do a whole lot of things to change the car and here we are sitting in pretty good position to start the race.”
HOW BIG OF A FACTOR WILL WATER TEMPERATURE BE DURING THE RACE? “Well, you know, we don’t really know what this race is going to look like. I mean, if it’s going to end up being like the Cup race is going to do, there’s nothing that we can do. We’ve got their rules applied to our car and we’ve maximized everything just like everyone else, so it’s really just a matter of the driver paying attention and managing his distance and getting clean air to the radiator. How important is it? With two laps to go, it’s time to go. It doesn’t really matter what the water temperature is anymore. We just have to make sure that we get to that point.”