The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Tuesday May 5, 2009

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Running Their Mouth: Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400

Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday May 5, 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 peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Russ Friedman 400 presented by Crown Royal at Richmond International Raceway:

“I really want to thank Combos, M&M’s, Interstate Batteries, Toyota and the fans for coming out tonight. I know they were all supporting me for my birthday, and we pulled out the win for them. The Combos Toyota wasn’t great, but it was good enough to matter most when we needed to win here. I know this is another big win this year. I hope the team enjoys it as much as I do. It’s amazing.” Kyle Busch

“It was awesome. I’m not sure we had a second place car, but we got there at the end. The guys did a really good job all night in the pits. They really made us up a lot of spots, and that got us some track position. I can’t wait to get to the shop Monday and see the smiles on the guys’ faces. That’s the payoff for me.” Tony Stewart

“You know [Dale Earnhardt] Junior and I got together and after that, my car took off. We got in the wall and I don’t know what happened to make it better. So, I’m really proud of everybody. This team just fights really hard and that’s who we are, right there. We just get down and never quit and keep fighting. I’m just real proud to be a part of this team.” Jeff Burton, finished 3rd

“We had a winning race car, and I think the guy out front typically had a winning race car. But the bottom line was we didn’t get out front when we needed to. We were inspired all weekend by the many soldiers who attended the event, and I am happy we gave them a strong performance. I told the guys if we keep doing this, we’ll get what we want, and obviously we want to be in Victory Lane.” Ryan Newman, finished 4th

After a difficult start to the season, Sam Hornish, Jr. has turned it on as of late with two top 10s in his last three races — including a 6th place run on Saturday.

“Our Mobil 1 Dodge was outstanding pretty much all night long. I’m real proud of these guys and how hard they worked. We tried to stay out of trouble the best we could. We got into the normal short track stuff tonight. I’m just glad we persevered. I feel like I’m learning all the time. Penske Racing as a whole is getting stronger. It was a good day for us in the points, and hopefully we’ll get ourselves a couple more spots closer to being in the Top 20.” Sam Hornish, Jr., finished 6th

“I’m frustrated with the way we ran. It’s important to be up there in the points so that we don’t get ourselves in jeopardy of getting out of the Chase. But we’ve got to be racing that No. 18 (Kyle Busch) for the wins. He’s the guy to beat. We started so good, and I really thought we were going to have something for them… but it wasn’t the case.” Jeff Gordon, finished 8th

“Sam Hornish got into us and then we were in the wall. We had a lot of damage to the rear end, but the crew worked on it and didn’t give up. Thankfully, we were able to stay on the lead lap and have a good finish.” Marcos Ambrose, finished 11th

“We were a solid top 5 car with the Miller Lite Dodge until we messed with the track bar during a stop with just over 100 laps to go. We changed [our setup] back, but it was too late because we fell out of contention with the guys who took tires with 50 laps to go. At the end, we were sitting ducks trying to hang on to all we could. We just didn’t have anything at all left for them.” Kurt Busch, finished 12th

“What a long night. The car was inconsistent and unpredictable the entire time. With about 50 to go, the car finally started to come to us a bit. We got our lap back and made up some spots. We fought back and ended up with a solid 15th place finish. The guys did a great job. It is not the finish we were hoping for after starting on the pole, but it ended up being a decent points day.” Brian Vickers

“We started off decent. We had one of the best runs going that we had since probably Vegas, and I felt like I had a shot at a top 10 there. That final pit stop thing always gets you, always. Everyone worked hard and did a great job. I’m happy about the way we ran, and I think we’ll be better the next time we come here.” Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race, finished 19th

“It seemed like everything that could go wrong tonight did go wrong. We made some gains with the adjustments Kenny (Francis, crew chief) made, but overall, a frustrating night for the Budweiser team. The guys did another great job on pit road; it just wasn’t our night.” Kasey Kahne, finished 29th

“Despite what the finish says, it was a real solid night for the Penske Racing Dodge. We had a good race car but had some problems on pit road. Then [I] got hit in the back and just got wrecked to put us out of the race. We had a top 15 car, probably a top 10 car, and just got taken out.” David Stremme, finished 38th

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