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 Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:
“It’s one thing to get back to Victory Lane, but to do it at Talladega… I’ve wanted to win here for so long. I have so many friends down here — Red Farmer and Donnie Allison and all these fans. Man, there’s so much orange up there. This hasn’t been one of my favorite places on the fan side — people haven’t always liked me here. But this one is for those guys up in the stands today.” Tony Stewart
“It’s plate racing. It’s hard to make a move. I thought Regan [Smith] had it. That was cool to see him beat him to the line, but I guess he went underneath the yellow line or whatever. Very cool day for DEI [though] and I’m definitely looking forward to finishing out the year with these guys.” Paul Menard, finished 2nd
“We’re happy with a Top 5, and fortunately, we didn’t get caught up in that wreck in three and four… but I’m a little disappointed. We had a car that could have won today.” David Ragan, finished 3rd
“I thought we did a good job today. Any time you get a Top 5 at Talladega, you’ve got to be happy with it. [I’d] certainly rather win, but this was a tough place, and just getting out of here with a Top 5 is always a good thing. We had a very good points day today. There is still a lot of good racing left. Now, we head to Charlotte.” Jeff Burton, finished 4th
“The last 20 laps, you are just digging, you just keep getting closer and closer to the eye of the storm. Then right there, the last five, it is wild. The green-white-checkered, there just weren’t enough cars to get bunched back up to have much of a race there. Regan [Smith] tried to make a good race out of it. [Anyways,] The Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet lived to race another day.” Clint Bowyer, finished 5th
“I was afraid the horseshoe was going to fall out at some point [laughs]. I missed a lot of wrecks. We got our lap back. It was just a very emotional day, draining across the board. But this team has a lot of fight, and we fought hard all day long to put ourselves in contention at the end — and we got a good finish out of it. I felt comfortable being aggressive in the end with such a small group of guys. I had a feeling to stay single file and maybe if we get an outside lane going, I could get a Top 5 or something out of it. But it just didn’t accelerate on that restart. I couldn’t go anywhere.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 9th
“We just watched the tape. I can argue about it for five years, they’re not going to change the decision. That’s not how NASCAR works. I totally disagree with them 110 percent. I clearly moved to the outside, moved back to the inside. Tony made a move to the high side and made a move to the bottom side. My nose was in there. The only other option I had was to wreck him.” Regan Smith, finished 18th, on NASCAR’s decision he made an illegal pass below the yellow line on the final lap
“You do the best you can to move as far forward as possible. I was just pushing Greg as hard as I could. It’s my fault, and I apologize to everybody caught up in that wreck. I was worried about the idiots here, and I was the guy that caused that one.” Carl Edwards, finished 29th
“Maybe when he came down to push a little bit it just instantly slid. I had my foot in the gas, and it just spun the tires and went around and that’s all she wrote. Carl didn’t mean to do it, it wasn’t his fault. He caused it, but he was just trying to help and he pushed me all the way down the back and did everything he could to help.” Greg Biffle, finished 24th
“You knew it was going to be crazy, but I actually felt like we were almost home free. Biffle got wiped out, and he wiped me out somehow.” Matt Kenseth, finished 26th
“I’m a truck driver, that’s how we roll over there.” Mike Skinner, finished 31st, on why he was working on his wrecked race car
“It was quite a shot — kind of hurt his ankle a little bit, but that should be OK. He’s got a little headache, so they’re just going to watch him. The good news is that he feels pretty good, but we’re just going to take precautions and make sure he’s OK. I talked to his family and just let them know what was going on. It was a scary deal, but it’s at least nice that he’s alert and with it.” J.D. Gibbs on Denny Hamlin
Author’s Note: Denny Hamlin was kept overnight for observation at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital, but was released this morning and is now back resting at home in North Carolina.
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