The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Food City 500 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday March 24, 2009

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Running Their Mouth: Food City 500

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday March 24, 2009


Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all of 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 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:

“This thing really came to life today. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter where you start here [at Bristol]. You have to bide your time and take it easy when you have a car that’s good. It was a very satisfying day today. We had a great run there. We really enjoyed it. The Mars family is happy today. Bringing home the Snickers brand to Victory Lane was cool.” Kyle Busch

“We had a long run car. We didn’t have that short run car. There were about 200,000 FedEx employees hoping that we were going to get a win today. I’m just trying to get a win for them, but we came up a little bit short. Congratulations to Kyle [Busch]. It’s great to get a one-two finish for Joe Gibbs Racing, and I just can’t thank this whole team enough.” Denny Hamlin, finished 2nd

“I think in general we needed a weekend like this here. It started two weeks ago when we went to work on the setup for this race. We created a plan, stuck to it. Off the truck, the car was quick. We were right on par with everybody. Had confidence going into qualifying, and the weekend just kept building.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 3rd

“Oh my gosh, what a battle it was. I really thought our DuPont Chevrolet was going to be a lot better than that based on practice yesterday. We just were off, but I tell you what, I’ve got to give this team a ton of credit. They kept in the game on pit road — great pit stops.” Jeff Gordon, finished 4th

“The car went away a touch there at the end of that last segment, but it was still a good run for our Budweiser Dodge. The guys did a great job in the pits. Kenny (Francis, crew chief) gave me a solid car all day, and we ended up with a top 5 run and another great day in the points. Today was a good day for us.” Kasey Kahne, finished 5th

“We started the race and we really weren’t very good. One little change and on the long run, that car was on fire. I had a blast all the rest of the run. We made one last adjustment trying to get good enough to win and we stepped over the edge and wasn’t so good that last run. It is just great for this team to get some forward momentum.” Mark Martin, finished 6th

“This is huge for team morale. We got the monkey off our back. We knew that we were capable of this type of performance going into Daytona, but ran into a string of bad luck. It was a strong performance for our soldiers who know what it’s like to overcome bad breaks and adversity.” Ryan Newman, finished 7th

Following four races of poor luck, Ryan Newman was ecstatic to record his first top 10 in the No. 39 car this week at Bristol to move up to 27th in points.

“Yeah, it’s about time. We were missing a top 10 for awhile, and to get the first one with Chevy is pretty exciting. I want to thank everybody at Earnhardt Ganassi. They’ve done an amazing job. It really shows where the team is going. I think there is a lot more potential there. I think we’re a lot closer than where we were, but I still feel we are missing that last bit to be even greater.” Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 9th

“It just feels great to be up there racing with those guys, passing Jeff Gordon. I mean, he’s just a hero of mine. I’ve just watched him forever and just admired him so much. I’m learning the craft, and hopefully, these kind of runs will help me cement my reputation in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with my fellow drivers to show that I can do it.” Marcos Ambrose, finished 10th

“We qualified 11th, so obviously we wanted to be a little bit better. Once we got the car the way I wanted it, we were much better and that’s important — so we just need to start there next time. I tried not to hit anything.” Scott Speed, Raybestos Rookie of the Race, finished 28th

Contact Beth Lunkenheimer

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