The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: AMP Energy 500 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Monday November 2, 2009

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Running Their Mouth: AMP Energy 500

Beth Lunkenheimer · Monday November 2, 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 they all were thinking following the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:

“I saw the guys wreck behind me, and I didn’t know if you had to take the white in order, and the (No.) 9 (Kasey Kahne) went to the outside because he saw the same issue. But I just moved up and kind of tried to block him. It’s been a long time since I’ve won, and I want to assure every fan out there that I appreciate this as much as anybody, so thanks to all my fans who have stuck with me. I just can’t believe it’s here again.” Jamie McMurray

“The team did a good job with our Budweiser Dodge. It unfolded well for us at the end. If we got back in the pack, we’d lose the draft. We needed to have cars around us and tried to keep cars behind us mainly. We just kind of shot up through there, had great track position on that restart and ran second. It was good for our Budweiser team.” Kasey Kahne, finished second

“It was a good run — battled hard all day. These races are interesting. You ride around in the first part and you just really make sure you don’t wreck. Just trying to find friends and maybe make decisions you wouldn’t make at the end of the race just to make some friends. That was my game plan most of the time, and hopefully that all lined up good.” Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race, finished third

“It all depends on where you’re at and where you’re running. We got out track position at the end and we knew they were all gonna wreck, so we just played it smart and got through that stuff. We had a good car; I’m glad we avoided the big wreck.” Greg Biffle, finished fourth

By avoiding disaster at Talladega, fans and competitors alike are expecting to see a similar scene as this later this month at Homestead.

“I really have to give Chad (Knaus, crew chief) credit for coming in and pitting and putting fuel in the car. That’s what set us up for this great finish. To be far enough ahead on the race track that I wasn’t caught up in that big wreck. With the green-white-checker restart I thought we were 20th at the best and we came home with a top 10.” Jimmie Johnson, finished sixth

“I think NASCAR and all the drivers should sit in a private room, lock the doors and have a discussion and try to fix this together. That’s what I’d like to see.” Elliott Sadler, finished ninth, on what would fix racing at Talladega Superspeedway

“I don’t think anybody wants to be out there and involved in what happens at the end. Dodging cars, seeing people flip upside down. Obviously there is something else that needs to be thought about. I am sure NASCAR will figure it out. They are pretty hard headed over there, don’t like to admit they’re wrong sometimes.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr, finished 11th

“It wasn’t a big deal, but did it prevent ‘the big one?’ Obviously not—it was alot calmer out there. It made the middle part of the race a little more boring. Maybe what’s what they want, I’m not sure. We crashed as much today on the straight-away as we’ve ever done and the new rule was in place. I don’t know what the intent was.” Brian Vickers, finished 13th, on the no bump drafting rule announced in the driver’s meeting

“Our UPS Ford was pretty fast, but we were just at the mercy of everyone around us. It was just kind of a terrible race today in general. There was alot of single-file racing. It’s a shame to tear up alot of good race cars like that for kind of being stupid, but that’s restrictor plate racing. I’m glad we only have to do it three or four times a year.” David Ragan, finished 17th

“It’s no surprise to me. I think we all know that’s what’s going to happen when we come to Talladega. You know everybody is pretty patient throughout the day and just waiting to get crazy at the end. You know it’s going to happen eventually. I don’t know what the solution is. I look forward to the day when I can watch this on TV instead of being inside of it.” Jeff Gordon, finished 20th

“It was just a wreck. I hope everybody enjoyed the show. I don’t know what it looked like. It looked pretty exciting from my view point. Congratulations to Jamie McMurray, and that’s about all I know about the whole race. I’ll find out later I guess, I don’t know.” Mark Martin, finished 28th

“They checked up in front of me, and I got hit from behind. I don’t know what started it all, don’t know what caused it. I’m just thankful Ryan’s (Newman) okay.” Marcos Ambrose, finished 34th

“We had this race back here in the spring and complained about cars getting airborne and now ironically I’m the guy that gets upside down. I had the roll bars down on top of my helmet. I wish NASCAR would do something. It was a boring race for the fans. That’s not something anybody wants to see—at least I hope not. If they do, go home because you don’t belong here. Drivers used to be able to respect each other and race around each other. I guess they (NASCAR) don’t think much of us anymore.” Ryan Newman, finished 36th

“Let us race. They gave us a car to race, now let the drivers handle it. That’s the way I see it. If you want to make a rule, then say that we can’t all line up. That’s the only rule that we should have is we can’t line up and we have to race. It’s just a tough spot because we want to put on a good show, we really do and I’m more in favor of us going all out. But if you want us to go all out then you need to make this a 50-lap race.” Denny Hamlin, finished 38th

Contact Beth Lunkenheimer

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