The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth : Coke Zero 400 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday July 8, 2008

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Running Their Mouth : Coke Zero 400

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday July 8, 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 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway:

“Man, I can’t believe that we’re here right now. We didn’t have the best car tonight, but these guys never gave up and we never gave up out there on the race track. We just had to get up to the front, and luckily, we were leading there when it mattered the most — when the caution came out. I’m glad to have this Interstate Batteries Toyota up front [every week].” Kyle Busch

“Man, I’d have given anything to be able to run at least down to the end of the back straightaway, but that’s the way it went and Kyle [Busch] did a great job. They were real fast. That was a little nerve-wracking there, before they announced the winner, but I don’t know what to tell you. Second place is second place. I really wanted to win. [At least] Matt [Kenseth] did a great job helping me… That was very cool.” Carl Edwards

“It was crazy. You never know what’s going to happen on one of those green-white-checkers. You’re pretty sure at a plate race with a green-white-checkered there’s going to be a wreck, and you hope that you’re not in it, basically. The restart was really odd. Kyle went about 20 car lengths late, and everybody was just running into each other like crazy. So, anyway, happy with the finish. I think that’s the best I ever finished at Daytona.” Matt Kenseth, finished 3rd

“A great finish for our Miller Lite Dodge. It was a hard fought day. We just fought all day with making changes, trying to make our car better. Our Miller Lite Dodge really was running at the end when everybody was bumping and grinding. Our car pushed well and got pushed well. It was a good day for us. To finish with two Top 5s in a row is a good twist of fate for our team, and we’ll try to build on it.” Kurt Busch, finished 4th

After wrecking his car in Thursday practice, Kurt Busch looked like he was down for the count; but he recovered nicely with his backup car to post a Top 5 finish with his Miller Lite Dodge on Saturday night.

“I know everybody is out to win this thing. I definitely think if we had some help there at the end, we had a shot at the win. We have been very fast lately. We seem to mess it up when it comes to race time, but we’ve been eliminating those mistakes lately. We didn’t mess up tonight.” Robby Gordon, finished 6th

“That was unbelievable! We were fifth or sixth when that last wreck happened, and I had to use the wall to hold on to the old girl. I’m still not exactly sure where we finished. The Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet was fast all night. We had good pit stops, made good adjustments, and came out of here with a good points night. Anytime you can leave Daytona with a Top 10 and four fenders still on the car, you’ve got something to be proud of.” Clint Bowyer, finished 9th

“It was a good points day — the car’s in one piece. It’s better than a lot of people can say. It was definitely a wreckfest. It was a different race, completely different than what we are used to here. To be honest, they were fun to drive. I actually enjoyed driving these cars tonight more so than in the Nationwide cars [Friday] night, but what made them fun also made them wreck a lot.” Brian Vickers, finished 11th

“Today, I had a real severe headache and some other flu-like symptoms. I haven’t really felt great for about two weeks, but it really didn’t bother me. It was just more of a nuisance. But somewhere between last night and when we started today, it got to where I started feeling worse and worse. I felt nauseated, and I was dehydrated. They ended up putting five bags of I.V. fluids in me, just to get me comfortable. I’ll go home and go to the doctor and see if we can figure out what the cause of this was.” Tony Stewart, after being replaced by relief driver J.J. Yeley

“For me, it’s a big disappointment. This Home Depot team had a really, really good race car. The Toyota power was great. We ran in the Top 10 two or three times pretty easy — passing cars. We were going to have a good finish. At the end, I chose to go to the bottom, and the No. 55 [Michael Waltrip] got up right behind me and got me loose.” J.J. Yeley, finished 20th

“Well, we didn’t give up; we were at the mercy of a lot of untalented drivers. Three times, I was either hit or got hit by somebody that ran out of talent, that was disappointing — but the guys did a good job fighting back. In the end [though] that’s not going to make a difference; we lost a lot of points today.” Ryan Newman, finished 36th

Contact Beth Lunkenheimer

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