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 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire International Speedway:
“This is so special. I think your first win, no matter where it’s at, is huge. Obviously it’s not the way you want to win your first race, in the rain, but 20 years down the road when you look in the record books, no one will know the difference. I’ll take them any way I can. This is my home track and where I watched my first Cup race. A lot of guys at Joe Gibbs Racing are from the northeast, so it’s cool to get a win here.” Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race
“I sure would have loved to have given it a shot at a win. I thought we had it; I didn’t even know the No. 20 (Joey Logano) was still out there running and [crew chief] Steve Letarte was telling me what was going on. It was just a phenomenal day in the pits and by this whole crew. You’ve got to give credit to the guys on the No. 20. It’s a gutsy call.” Jeff Gordon, finished 2nd
“It’s tough for me to really feel awful about a third place finish because of the way we won here last year, under the same circumstances. Yes, we had a fast car today. That’s the big picture for us. We look strong heading into this race in September. That’s the best we can take out of it.” Kurt Busch
“I’m really proud of our guys. We were just a little bit off, but we had sparks of brilliance during the day where we were really decent. So we can’t be too disappointed with that. I’m happy for Zippy (Greg Zippadelli, crew chief, No. 20) and Joey [Logano] and all the guys on that team.” Tony Stewart, finished 5th
“We played the strategy the whole time anticipating this [rain]. We kept pitting under the yellows to top off, even if we didn’t need it. We had probably a better car than where we were running. We put ourselves in position to take advantage of it, and here we are. Good finish out of it.” Brad Keselowski, finished 6th
“Unfortunately, I have to apologize to all those guys. We got bottled up there in turn one — especially Martin (Truex, Jr.) and Jeff Burton and those guys. The (No.) 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and I got together a little bit, and I spun the (No.) 1 out and it was just mayhem from there. I hate it for all those guys because I know they’ve got ‘Chase’ contentions too. We were just battling for every spot out there today.” Kyle Busch, finished 7th
“We had a decent finish and a decent run. We led laps early and hoped to be in contention for the win. I think we may have even led the most laps. But the contact with the (No.) 2 car (Kurt Busch) took us out of the running. We just never could rebound from that, but still a decent day.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 9th
“The Budweiser Dodge ran great today, and we were working our way back toward the front when the rain came. There were a lot of cars that got lucky at the end when the rain came in. The guys gave me another great car and something to build on for the upcoming weeks.” Kasey Kahne, finished 10th
“We ran good today. I want to thank Lance (McGrew, crew chief) and the team. Seeing the leaders most of the day in your windshield is better than where we have been.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 13th
“I’m not sure what happened in front of us. Either the (No.) 88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) or the (No.) 2 (Kurt Busch) spun the tires. I’m not sure who it was. I was just staying in line doing what I could do to get going. Obviously, you can’t pass before the start/finish line, and I guess Kyle [Busch] just decided he didn’t want to lift. I’m just the innocent victim today. We’ve had a tough season, and this don’t help much.” Martin Truex, Jr, finished 37th
“Everything you do has a positive and a negative, and you hope there’s more positives and negatives. There’s no question that the double-file restarts are going to make [for] more excitement and more aggressive racing. We’ve wrecked here on single-file restarts too. Let’s be clear about that. There’s no question there’s going to be more aggression. That’s what racing’s all about, and it was our turn today to get in it.” Jeff Burton, finished 31st, on the multi-car wreck that caused a red flag on Lap 176 and eliminated his chance on a solid finish
“While I was in the Care Center I saw the replay, and it looked like the (No.) 18 (Kyle Busch) was just completely impatient — very normal. If you wreck somebody on the straightaway, you kind of should be black-flagged for it, but that’s NASCAR’s call, not my call. That’s the second week in a row that stupidity has cost us a race and it’s frustrating.” Brian Vickers, finished 35th
“I spun out. I think the car behind us got into us a little bit and it spun us out. Other than that, I really can’t tell you. Maybe Brian (Vickers) paid someone off for yesterday. I don’t know.” Scott Speed, finished 36th, referring to a last lap incident in the Nationwide Race
“Tell that (No.) 2 car (Kurt Busch) if he pushes me up out of the groove, he better make sure he does it all the way because he’s not going to make the next corner.” Jeff Gordon on his radio under the red flag on lap 176
“Here’s my definition of a crew chief: A guy that works seven days a week that doesn’t get paid a lot of money. He comes to the race track three days a week to listen to a guy that makes millions tell you how bad everything is.” Larry McReynolds
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