Beth Lunkenheimer · Tuesday August 11, 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 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen:
“I was watching (Ambrose). There were parts of the track where we were stronger than he was, and there were parts of the track where he was stronger than us. I think we were stronger in the parts of the track that we needed to be in order to hold him off if he got any closer.” Race winner Tony Stewart
“It was just great. The Cup car was just a little aggressive to drive, and I had to work really hard to keep up with Smoke there. I was closing in, but he just didn’t make a mistake. What a fantastic driver he is; he’s just unbelievable. I just feel privileged to be racing against him and to drive for my team. As long as the team will have me, I’ll drive for them.” Marcos Ambrose, finished second
“That wore me out right there. I could barely hang on to fourth. It was great for all the M&M’s team guys. They did a great job this weekend. We fought hard. It was three times harder than I had to drive here last year, and last year we spanked them.” Kyle Busch
“It was a great run for us. I could’ve gotten the No. 18 (Kyle Busch). He was running out of brakes, and my brakes were awesome. My fuel light was on every time I went around the carousel, so I just had to save, you know. We were as fast as the No. 47 (Marcos Ambrose), I think, maybe not the No. 14 (Tony Stewart), but we’re getting there.” Greg Biffle, finished fifth
“We had a game plan that was attacking from the first lap. I think that’s what we did. I got awesome restarts in the beginning. I think I put the GEICO car in the position to be able to be a contender. My guys did an insane strategy. We were fantastic on fuel. We ran out of gas 300 feet after the start/finish line when we got the checkered flag. That’s not luck; that’s calculation.” Max Papis, finished eighth
“I am just happy to get out of here with a Top 10. That is what we need to do. We needed a better points day, but as bad as I struggle here, that was a good finish for us.” Clint Bowyer, finished ninth
“We just kept getting looser and looser. We thought the track would tighten up and come to us; it just went the other way. But, we are getting smarter and I am learning a lot. It wasn’t the performance we wanted today, but we fought hard and we got our first [road course] pole so we had some bright sports. We will just move forward. I just have to keep working on it.” Polesitter Jimmie Johnson, finished 12th
“We were biding our time today and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I think (Dale Earnhardt), Jr. had a brake problem and just got us; nothing he could do. The crew worked really hard and got the car back on the track, and I think we made up three positions in the final lap. We didn’t have a good day in the McDonald’s Dodge, but we made it better than what it could have been.” Reed Sorenson, finished 31st
“I just messed up. It was 100 percent driver error. The car wheel-hopped getting into (Turn) One. I’m sorry for my guys and Best Buy. I should have had at least a 13th or 14th like we usually run here. It put us in a hole today. I’m man enough to say it was 100 percent my fault. I just have to make up for it next week.” Elliott Sadler, finished 32nd
“From what I can see the driver of the No. 12 (David Stremme) just ran out of talent, drove through the grass and spun out. You have got guys that qualify well up there that are probably well over their means of their experience level. It is just one of those deals. Just got caught up in somebody else’s mess.” Kevin Harvick, finished 35th
“It wasn’t that hard of a hit; my back can’t stand too many hits. I really was concerned for Sam (Hornish, Jr.). He took a heavy hit into the wall, a heavy hit by me and Jeff Burton. I saw him go off into the grass, and I knew he was going to come out in front of me. I was just hoping to squeeze by and didn’t make it. Now we just leave here and focus on Michigan.” Jeff Gordon, finished 37th
“It’s really disappointing. That was a hard hit. I’m too old for this. It hurts too much. That was a big hit for everybody. When I saw Sam (Hornish, Jr.) go out, I knew he was coming back. There was nothing I could do. So I wasn’t real sure which one I hit or if I hit both of them, but it was a bigger hit than I want to have for awhile.” Jeff Burton, finished 38th
“Going into (Turn) 3 I mashed the brake; it worked for a split second, and then went to the floor like it blew a hose. I tried to miss the No. 43 and could do a good job at that. I ain’t never had the brakes just completely fail on a car like that, so that was really an experience. We can’t give up. I’m seen some high spots, but we’ve had some pretty bad luck. We’ll just keep trying.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr, finished 39th
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