Each week, we'll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
“(Sunday) wasn’t the best day for our car, (but) circumstances at the end really worked out for us. We were able to capitalize on a great pit call, but we need to make the most of every race because I know it’s going to be a shootout to the end.” Jimmie Johnson
“I would have loved to have had a shot (at Jimmie Johnson). I hate to see a race end like that. I think it would have been great. The No. 8 car and the No. 48 were both really fast, and we were gonna be pretty good on two tires and Matt had four; so, it was gonna be one heck of a finish. We just had a good day all around. We finished way better than we ran, and I appreciate the fans coming out here. It's a great place to race, and a really exciting place to be." Carl Edwards, finished 2nd
“I feel like we’ve got the team and the equipment to do it, but those guys are tough, and they’re showing it every weekend. All I’m focusing on right now is trying not to have the bad day and, for a while, it looked like (Sunday) was going to be the bad day. We struggled there for awhile and, to come back and finish seventh, it was a great day, even though Jimmie won.” Jeff Gordon
“I guess we were a little short, but we were both slowing down a lot, so I don't know if we would have made it. If we made it, it would have been fun to find out. If we didn't, it wouldn't have been, but we had a pretty good car. The guys did a great job on pit road. I thought we had the car on that last long green flag run, but the cautions just didn't fly quite right for us, and we just couldn't quite get it done.” Matt Kenseth, finished 4th
“We got two tires there at the end. I think three and four (cars) got four, which is kind of strange with only three green flag laps. So, we got two, and so did a lot of other people. We had a good car all day, about a fifth place car all day. So it's pretty good to come out of here in third.” Reed Sorenson
“With what’s going on in Southern California, if we don’t get involved and help as fellow Americans, we’re going to have a large part of our society in dire straits. Every cent is going to help; every cent is going to matter. I know how many homes have been lost there. It was important to give back to some families that may have been involved with fire, and whatever that was going on out there with the tragedies we’ve had.” Jimmie Johnson, who donated his winnings to fire relief in California
_Editor’s Note: To learn about how you can donate to the California wildfires, please click “here”.
“I'm happy. It was fun to drive a car like that again. We were one of the top three of four cars all day long. I had a blast. You could drive it sideways if you wanted, it was so fast. It was something that we haven't had all year. It was nice to be on a track like this, like we did last year, and like this team can run. We still finished ninth, which is good. A few guys got lucky taking two tires and got good runs out of it. We still had a Top 10, and we were definitely a Top 10 car all day.” Kasey Kahne
“Man, that was a HIT! It was hard and loud! BAM into that wall. I knew when I was sliding up there, it was gonna be big, and it was. Loud and hard. We lost a left rear wheel. We must have had an issue with the hubs or something, because we had loose lugs and a loose rear wheel several times through the day. When that wasn’t a problem – we were fast as hell. All I know is I have a headache, and I’m going to my bus to rest up.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 25th
“This is the best we have been at Atlanta in four years, so it was a step in the right direction for us. We are going to take this car to Texas because it ran so well here for us.” Kevin Harvick, finished 15th
“I'm okay. I'm fine. David (Gilliland) is fine. That's the main thing. It's a disappointment, but that's what happens sometimes. I should have missed it. I told David I should have missed him. You're going so fast and I couldn't see him in the smoke and I really didn't feel comfortable driving into the smoke not knowing where he was. It was a pretty hard hit…I have had harder. You know, thank God I am not racing for points. “ Mark Martin, finished 43rd
“I'm all right. I'm just disappointed for all our guys. Our M&M's Ford Fusion was really strong all weekend. I had a great run going, but I just ran out of room out there. We've got a great car we're taking to Texas next week, but I'm real proud of all the guys. I was looking at the inside of the car at all the stuff that gets moved around when you get hit like that, and it's a testament to how good everything works. I'm 100 percent fine. I didn't see it, but it felt like a hard hit." David Gilliland, finished 42nd
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