The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Samsung 500 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday April 7, 2009

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Running Their Mouth: Samsung 500

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday April 7, 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 Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:

A late-race pit stop helped Jeff Gordon put an end to a 47-race winless skid this weekend in Texas.

“If you’re in this sport long enough — and whether or not you’ve had success — you’re gonna have ups and downs. When you don’t win and have to hear about it every weekend, you feel like you’ve never won. If I hadn’t gotten out first, I wouldn’t have won. We had a great stop, and that was all the difference. That’s how important track position is with this car.” Jeff Gordon

“We were both driving as hard as we could. I’m very proud of the team. Another five laps and we would have been racing with him. I’m not sure what would have happened, but it was a great race altogether, and I’m very happy for Jeff. Now he’s got a victory, and he’s going to be tough this year — awfully tough.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 2nd

“The car just handled extremely well today. I wasn’t probably as good in traffic as I needed to be. I could get by lapped cars pretty quick; it looked like the other guys had trouble. But, when it was side-by-side and kind of jumbled up a little bit, I had just a little bit of trouble.” Greg Biffle, finished 3rd

“The car owner is happy… the driver is ticked off. I wanted to win this thing. I felt like we had a shot at it and we did. We were good all day, and we were good all weekend here — just have to figure out some little things to make it quicker earlier in the day and earlier in the run. Everybody on this Old Spice / Office Depot Chevy team did a great job today and kept digging.” Tony Stewart, finished 4th

“It was a really good run for the Miller Lite Dodge. We felt like we couldn’t run with the big dogs today, but could have a good points day. That’s exactly what we needed. I felt that our car was better on the long runs. The short green runs weren’t good for us. We needed to be out there as long as we could and stretch it out. The green flag pit stops helped us move our way forward.” Kurt Busch, finished 9th

“We just had that trouble on pit road there. I slid it out of the box, which is my fault, and they started changing tires before they got it back. That cost us a lap. We just spent the rest of the day trying to battle back and we were able to do that. I’m proud of my guys, they did a great job on pit road with great stops.” Pole sitter David Reutimann, finished 11th

“We salvaged that [run], for sure, and we did it through perseverance. The guys did a good job in the pits and had a good strategy. We have some work to do on these mile and a half tracks. I was driving as hard as I could and seemed to be going nowhere. I am not happy with 15th — but I am happy that the guys did a good job.” Ryan Newman

“Nothing was really wrong with the car after we hit the wall. It was frustrating at the time, but I was running real, real hard all day. Those cars are built pretty tough. It didn’t bend anything in the car. We were just running real hard there, trying to get the best finish we could. Just got us in there a little deep and got in the fence. My mistake.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 20th

“That wasn’t much fun. We had a fuel pump issue that sent us behind the wall and ruined our day.” Reed Sorenson, finished 36th

“It’s a shame because we had a top 10 car. The engine started running hot, and then we had an issue with the throttle sticking. The engine dropped a valve and eventually blew up. We were very competitive out there passing guys like Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. It’s unfortunate that we had our fair share of issues.” Marcos Ambrose, finished 41st

“Yes! You guys got me a win in Texas. I love you!” Jeff Gordon on his radio after the checkered flag flew

Contact Beth Lunkenheimer

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