The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth : Aaron's 499 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday April 29, 2008

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Running Their Mouth : Aaron's 499

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday April 29, 2008

 

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint 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 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway:

“First Jeff Gordon and then Juan [Pablo Montoya]— those guys behind us were just awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever finished here without wrecking, or at least, without getting torn up. The No. 42 [Montoya] was just my savior [Sunday]. He pushed me all the way to the front.” Kyle Busch

Juan Pablo Montoya had his best ever restrictor plate finish Sunday, finishing runner-up in the Aaron’s 499.

“I made a couple of moves to get to second, and then I managed to get on [Busch’s] bumper. When you can get on someone’s bumper, you can push him all the way around the lap and really make up some ground.” Juan Pablo Montoya

“I had a car that could do whatever I wanted it to. We were right there in the lead with 20 [laps] to go and made a bad move there and got shuffled back. With all the cautions [three in the final 16 laps], we could only make it back to third, but that just shows you how strong the car was.” Denny Hamlin, finished 3rd

“I was probably being as conservative as anybody out there, because I probably didn’t have that many friends that would go with me. [This] being only my second year and only my third or fourth time down here at Talladega, they probably weren’t going to stick with me like they would Stewart or the No. 24 [Jeff Gordon] or the No. 88 [Dale Earnhardt, Jr.]. Just a good, solid day and a lot of fun.” David Ragan, finished 4th

“Early in the race, I made a mistake and got turned leaving the pits under green, trying to dodge an official and not hit the No. 20 [Tony Stewart]. The caution at the end of the race hurt us. I really think we would have had a chance at the win. I’m extremely happy with a Top 5 finish, though, and we were able to gain back a couple of spots in the points. I’m so proud of this team.” Brian Vickers, finished 5th

“That was awesome. Really, I just logged 490 miles worth of learning the moves I could make and what I couldn’t make, and who would or wouldn’t go with me. That’s our second Top 10 out of nine races. We’re gaining momentum, and I think by midseason or so we should really start to be a regular Top 15 car.” Travis Kvapil, finished 6th

“We had a good car. We had a car capable of running in the Top 5, and got an eighth out of it. That’s not so horrible, not the results we wanted, but we’ll take it. It was a good points day for us.” Ryan Newman

“I was hating it there for Tony [Stewart] that he got that flat tire and got in the crash and all. I was upset because we had worked so hard there at the end to stay together. It would have been a nice finish, and he would have finished up there with me there at the end. The wins will come. I know that. I want them to, and we are going to have to keep talking about it until they do.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 10th

“I just couldn’t make a good decision all day long. I just made bad decisions left and right. With this new package, it is just bumper cars. You are just getting beat to heck around every corner, every straightaway. You just keep going straight.” Jeff Gordon, finished 19th

“We rode around in the back most of the day. It’s just really weird. We lost the draft by virtue of just not going fast enough. I never saw the big draft 80 percent of the day and when I got in it [draft], trouble happened, I guess.” Bobby Labonte, finished 34th

“I just went to the second lane there and was there for a short amount of time. I was as close to Bobby [Labonte] as I could get right there, and the hole closed up. It’s just what happens late in these races. If it was my fault, I’m sorry. By looking at the video, though, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, really.” Tony Stewart, finished 38th

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Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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Robert Eastman
04/29/2008 07:07 AM
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ONE GREAT RACE!!! Best “Dega” race ever? Possibly! Only one complaint, the continual “dirty driving” by Montoya!
Without a doubt, JPM spun Menard on purpose. It was “plain as day!” They were nose to tail on the yellow line and he turned below the line, got his front bumber alongside Menard and turned right and spun him out. With the front and rear bumper alignment the way it is, if JPM was bumped from behind into Menard, “no harm, no foul!”
Of course this is JPM’s “M-O”. Who can forget that he lost his $18 Million (?) a year job ($50,000 per day) for these same antics in Formula 1. Someone really should take him behind the “woodshed” and give him an education. I know that I would think twice about “screwing over” the son of one of the richest men in the world.
Revenge is cheap. Of course JPM is “SO ARROGANT” that he has become “just plain STUPID!” With all the wrecks that he has purposely caused, I wish they would throw him out of NASCAR!!!

Johnboy60
04/29/2008 08:55 AM
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Mr. Eastman, you are 100% correct. JPM is a jerk, always has been, always will be. However he is in nascrap because his owner is also a idiot and loves JPM’s antics. They both need to go!!

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
04/29/2008 12:21 PM
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I like both Menard and Juan Montoya. Blame that stupid yellow line rule for that one. He can’t really just slam on the brakes so Menard can get back in line. One of them racin’ deals as The King would say. As for Montoya being a dirty driver….no more dirtier than a certain black Monte Carlo that used to be out there. He is number 42. What number comes between 4 and 2? Woooohhh….spooky….

Robert Eastman
04/30/2008 06:32 AM
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Concerning the Menard/JPM incident. The replays never show that Menard was out of line. Actually, I am not a Menard fan. I am still angry over JPM spinning out Scott Pruett in Mexico over a year ago. That encounter proved That JPM cares about no one but himself. Why would anyone spin-out a team mate with 8 laps to go on a roadcourse, when there was no competitive pressures from behind? JPM clearly had the fastest car that day and had lots of opportunity to easily pass Pruett cleanly. Scott Pruett is “one of the nice guys in racing” who needs all the great finishes he can earn, so I don’t believe there were any “paybacks” that Montoya was administering that day. I’ve come to the conclusion that JPM is just a bad/mean person at his very core and he seems to prove me right on a regular basis. (Guys like DE and Tony sometimes do/did things that seem “off the wall” and jerky, but they continually show{ed} that at their core they are/were generous and kind people.)
The reason that NASCAR has prospered over the last 60 years is because it generally is “one great big happy family” with everyone looking out for each others best interests, while at the same time maintaining an intense and competitive rivalry. NASCAR does not need “bad apples” in the sport! I guess I will just have to “boycott” JPM’s sponsors and hope that others will do the same!

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