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 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“I promise you the next couple of years, we’re going to win a championship. I’ve just got to thank everyone. I’ve got to thank Sprint. I’ve got to thank FedEx, the fans. They’re stuck it out this year. And congratulations to Michael Waltrip on a great career. I was trying to keep him close the last couple laps so I could show some dignity and give him his lap back. He’s done a lot for our sport, and I’ve got to say congratulations on a great career for him.” Denny Hamlin
“Just real proud of everyone at Richard Childress Racing. Obviously, it has been a really good four weeks. We’re real proud of everybody’s effort. That is one thing, even though we haven’t been running like we need to, everybody has been working really hard and putting a lot of effort out there — and that is all I can ask for. Everybody did their part, and I came up a little short.” Jeff Burton, finished second
“At the end, our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy was loose just like everybody else’s. It was fun. Everybody was kind of bouncing off the walls there and sideways and having a good time there at the end. We’ve had the speed in the cars over the last few weeks, few months really. We just have to get that consistency back that we’ve always had. So, the speed is there and tonight showed it.” Kevin Harvick, finished third
“We had a great car and we put together a great effort. We finished fourth tonight, we got behind on pit strategy at the end. [But] We finished fourth overall in the season standings and we fought hard every race, every lap of the way. What defines our year was the perseverance, hard work, and just being first in class this year. We fought hard to be fourth overall because those Hendrick cars are tough to beat.” Kurt Busch
“Our thoughts certainly are going out to Rick [Hendrick] and his family right now. I know how much he’d like to be here. I never thought I’d see anybody win four in a row. And who’s to say they won’t go win five in a row next season? As a competitor, it’s a little bit frustrating as well as inspiring for us to try to figure out how we could go out there and win a championship for ourselves.” Jeff Gordon, finished sixth
“It started out really bad. I’d like to be happy with seventh place, but I’m not. We needed two or three more positions to beat Kasey [Kahne] for 10th in the points. I really wanted to be there are the banquet, but I’ll give a quick version of my speech. Thank you Aflac and Ford and all of my fans for sticking with us. I know it’s been a tough year, but we’ll be back next year. We’re gonna be alright. It’s just frustrating.” Carl Edwards
“I just got beat on the restart. We had a chance to win the race, and I feel like I let the guys down. They deserved to win. I was trying to catch Denny [Hamlin] after that and ended up overdriving the car and scraped the fences. The guys were flawless on pit road all night long, and I really wanted to finish the season right with a win for M&M’s and Toyota. It’s just disappointing because we had a shot to win and we didn’t get it done.” Kyle Busch, finished eighth
“I’m just proud of everybody on the [No.] 44 team to get two Top 10s and three Top 15s in three races. That’s good. I wish we could’ve had this all year. It was a lot of fun. I thank Ford for allowing this to happen and everybody that sponsored this [No.] 44 car to keep us going, and I’m looking forward to next year.” A.J. Allmendinger, finished 10th
“It’s really cool to get the Raybestos Rookie of the Year. It was obviously one of our big goals. I’ve got thank The Home Depot for sticking behind me throughout the year. We did what we had to do tonight, and I just want to thank all of my guys for sticking with me throughout the year.” Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Year, finished 25th
“Wow, I’m not sure what happened. We were coming to pit road and all that you can see is the guy in front of you, so I was pretty close to the [No.] 98 (Paul Menard). I saw him check up, and I got on the brakes hard. Elliott [Sadler] was behind me, and it looks like he got hit from behind, then hit me from behind. Elliott told me that the [No.] 96 (Erik Darnell) was trying to come into the garage. It’s a shame that something that stupid had to wreck this many cars.” Reed Sorenson, finished 40th
“That was crazy. We were coming to pit road and the [No.] 43 (Reed Sorenson) looked like he stopped right in front of me. It looks like the [No.] 96 (Erik Darnell) was trying to get into the garage when everyone was pitting. I’m not sure what they were doing or why they were doing that right in front of everybody. That’s tough luck for our race team. I hate to end our season like this. That’s kind of how our season has gone.” Elliott Sadler, finished 41st
“I kinda laughed. I thought it was a little funny. I don’t really hold any grudges, and I’m ready to move on. I’ve already moved on, and hopefully he feels the same way. I have a feeling that when he wakes up in the morning, he’s not going to feel any better about himself. He’s got a lot of problems on and off the race track, and I don’t think spinning me is going to make him feel any better. That’s just my take on it, and I’ve moved on.” Brad Keselowski following the Ford 300
“I feel great right now. It was well worth it. The sun was bad at that point, and I’ll use that as my excuse. The fact is I wasn’t going to give him an inch. I thought after I went down pit road I’d won the race. I’ve never seen so many crews applaud and give the thumbs up on the way by. It just shows you all the cars he’s torn up in the past. There’s going to be days when we’ll be racing, and he’s going to be thinking about it when I’m in his rear-view mirror.” Denny Hamlin following the Ford 300
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