The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth : Ford 400 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Monday November 17, 2008

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Running Their Mouth : Ford 400

Beth Lunkenheimer · Monday November 17, 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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

“I’m sure glad we won today’s race because it will make it a little bit easier to deal with the off-season and coming so close to that championship. We ran really well this season and it’s something I wanted to make sure my guys understood is they did their jobs. My guys performed well enough to win a championship this season, and considering how well Jimmie [Johnson] performed, I don’t think that’s a small feat. I’m proud of what we did this year.” Carl Edwards

“It is over. What a special year. I am so proud of this race team. We got off to a slow start and we really worked hard to get back in championship form. I am really proud of Hendrick Motorsports. I can’t thank my teammates enough. Lowe’s and all their support. Kobalt Tools. I have to thank the fans, the fans have been amazing in this sport. I have to congratulate Chevrolet on their manufacturers’ championship as well.” Jimmie Johnson, 2008 Nextel Cup Champion, finished 15th

“We were about a lap short on fuel after we came in and pitted and topped off. The Shell-Pennzoil guys made a great call on pit road to come in and top off the thing off. We were here to try to win the race and get fourth in points. We got half of that accomplished. I didn’t think we were even racing the No. 99 [Carl Edwards], I was just going as fast as I had to keep the No. 26 [Jamie McMurray] back there. But the No. 99 made it.” Kevin Harvick, finished 2nd

“That was good. I’m just amazed that Carl [Edwards] was able to get that kind of fuel mileage. That’s incredible to have one of the fastest cars and get the best fuel mileage, a really good combination for him. But, it was a good night for our Crown Royal Ford Fusion. We had a fast car, but the way the pit sequence worked out, we got shuffled back, and it wasn’t because we had bad pit stops or because we did anything wrong, it’s just the way it worked out.” Jamie McMurray, finished 3rd

Jeff Gordon went winless for the first time since his rookie season but it wasn’t for a lack of effort on the part of his team.

“I have to thank my guys on this DuPont Chevrolet team for an awesome year. It wasn’t from lack of effort that we didn’t win any races or be more competitive in the championship. I am still proud of everything that they did and a great top-five here today. Coming from 37th, I couldn’t be more proud of all my guys. We had alot of fun out there racing today.” Jeff Gordon, finished 4th

“Kind of an emotional night really. Gil (Martin, crew chief) and all the guys, we have had a lot of fun together and a lot of success. We had a good car. We had to take two tires and do a lot of things to get track position, which was what we had to do. I didn’t qualify good and Gil made a good call there to stay out and we stuck with it and we knew we were three or four laps shy, so we just tried to save as much as we could and it worked out.” Clint Bowyer, finished 5th

“A great result for our Budweiser Dodge tonight. They crew guys did a great job and Kenny (Francis, Team Director) made a great call to get us track position and give us a top 10. We didn’t have the fastest car during the heat of the day, but once the sun went down and the track tightened up, we seemed to get faster and faster. To get a top-10 at Homestead at the last race of the season is a great way to end the year.” Kasey Kahne, finished 6th

“We had a good car, but started off really loose. We qualified 19th, which wasn’t a bad start for us, but at the start of the race we were just too loose and it took us half the race to get it to where we needed. We were at the tail-end of the lead lap and we were really close to making it, so we topped off and were able to get it to the end. Even saving gas we passed a few cars right at the end, so it was a good car. We’re really proud of our Yates team for the whole year.” Travis Kvapil, finished 7th

“We did everything we could do. The good thing is that we finished competitive tonight and we didn’t win the race so we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish, but they knew we were here and we showed why we’ve been champions and won 33 races with this team. These guys are my family. When you’ve been with a group of guys for 10 years and the sponsor for 10 years like this — that’s a long time. I know people that haven’t been married that long. It’s just one of them rough nights. We had a shot to win and it didn’t work out for us.” Tony Stewart, finished 9th

“[I’m] really excited about getting Rookie of the Year. It’s a big deal. First driver from DEI to be able to get it. Not knowing what I’m doing next year, if I’m going to be part of the Ganassi DEI thing or not. At least I’ve got that to take to them. Let Theresa put it in the trophy room. She gave me a great opportunity this year. Happy for Principal Financial, Chevrolet, and all my guys. Looking forward to what next year brings for me.” Regan Smith, Raybestos Rookie of the Year, finished 34th

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