The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth : Pepsi 500 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday September 2, 2008

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Running Their Mouth : Pepsi 500

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday September 2, 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 Pepsi 500 presented at Auto Club Speedway:

“It is amazing. To have the fan base that I do here and fans of this sport that we do here means the world to me. Being in my home state the [Jimmie Johnson] Foundation on the side of the car, this is an awesome race. To do it with style like that and have the dominant car all night long; the longest it took me to do anything tonight was to get out of the car and I apologize for that.” Jimmie Johnson

“The 48 [Jimmie Johnson] was phenomenal. We see that happen every once in a while, a guy gets it set up right, gets the car running good. My guys, what a phenomenal job. I feel bad. I let them down. They were the fastest guys on pit road tonight and I’ve never had that before in my life. We’re so glad to be in the Chase. That’s so exciting for us as a team. To come back. We missed it in ’06 and ’07 and to come back and get in in ’08, we’re pretty excited.” Greg Biffle, finished 2nd

“We had a good run. It’s definitely what we needed. We needed to come out of here with a Top 5 finish and beat the guys that we were racing in the points. Definitely this is a good finish for us. We had a Top 5 car really from the get-go, and it’s pretty rare that you can have a car that’s as consistent from the day to the night. So just it was a good run for us, that’s what we needed.” Denny Hamlin, finished 3rd

Greg Biffle was the only driver that could come close to staying with Jimmie Johnson on Sunday night, but even his best fell short.

“I tell you, our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was really good tonight at the beginning of the race. We have been on a roll and it seems like we are peaking at the right time. This is supposed to be our worst place here. To come away with a Top 5 speaks a lot for Todd Berrier and what they have done over the last couple of months to get our car to where they need to be.” Kevin Harvick, finished 4th

“We ran pretty good. It’s just that these things are pretty frustrating. You can’t ever really go anywhere. Those top bunch of cars start there and they run there all day. It’s just hard to do anything with these cars, so it gets a little frustrating, but we had a great day on pit road. We were able to pass some cars and we got a good finish.” Matt Kenseth, finished 5th

“We ran alright. It’s great to be disappointed as hell with sixth place. That’s wonderful, but we really wanted three in a row. But we can go win the next three in a row, too. Sixth place is definitely not a win, but it’s not running terrible. Sometimes you hit it [the car setup] and sometimes you miss it. We just missed it tonight.” Carl Edwards

“I guess it’s saying something when you leave here and you’re disappointed with a Top 10. I felt like we were a Top 5 car. We didn’t luck into anything. We just fought hard all night and ended up with a pretty good finish. I enjoyed it —it was a lot of fun. On nights like tonight it doesn’t seem all that hard when the cars drive like they do. I’m proud of my guys, they did a good job.” David Reutimann, finished 9th

“We’re getting better on these big tracks. We’re just kind of inching forward on it. These guys have been working hard and I am really proud of this 10th place finish but we’ve gotta get better. We are still in it. Its going to be a battle right down to the end and anything can happen at Richmond but none-the-less there is a little bit of confidence knowing that we have come off of a win there.” Clint Bowyer, finished 10th

“We ran good. We just didn’t have track position at the end. We had it early in the race and we were running with those guys but we had a good car, we just weren’t able to capitalize on it. We did have a good car. I was happy about that.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr, finished 11th

“To be honest, I’m just getting tired of being beat off of pit road. I like the guys we have on our crew. They are good people and I know they work really hard. They put the effort behind and that is what really counts but this is becoming an every week thing where we are losing 10 or 15 spots off of pit road — not one, like 10 or 15. No matter how good of a car you have, when you get in traffic like that it’s just hard. You can only do so much.” Brian Vickers, finished 12th

“We dug ourselves a bigger hole, but we just didn’t have the speed all night and battled poor track position. We got it decent there at the end. If it would have been a 600-mile race, maybe we could have picked up a few more spots, but we were just adjusting it seemed like every run and just didn’t have the speed.” David Ragan, finished 13th

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