Editor's Note : Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and our own stuff to find the best quotes from Sunday's race that best captures the story of how the weekend unfoldedâ€¦straight from the drivers themselves. This week, here’s a peek at what drivers were thinking after the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400.
“Man, there was a lot of great competition on the track. When we unloaded Friday that we didn’t have the right setup under the car. I just want to thank everybody on this Lowe’s team for working as hard as they did. We got the car right yesterday in practice, and we felt good about today. Overcame some adversity today. I got in the wall coming off turn four and thought I hurt the car. But we kept adjusting until we got this thing right. I can’t thank all the Lowe’s employee owners for their support. Wish the Boss (Rick Hendrick) was here, this is the 150th win for Hendrick Motorsports, but unfortunately he isn’t here.” Race Winner Jimmie Johnson
“It all changed as soon as we had that unfortunate pit stop and had to get a little more aggressive than we wanted to at that point to get back to the front of the race. The car was really good yesterday in practice. Coming into the day, we had a pretty good plan of what we wanted to do and how to maintain track position. Once we got to the back we had to get a little aggressive for a couple of pit stops, but once we got back in the top five, we felt pretty confident that we were going to stay in the top five and then we just had to fine-tune and work on the car to get him comfortable for the end of the race. I thought the sun was going to set a pinch sooner than it did and was surprised about that, so we had to adjust a little more midway through the race. But it all worked out okay.” No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus
“You just had to be a lot more cautious than normal. You knew that if you pushed too hard and got over the edge that it was going to cost you. Just look at how many guys early in the race were wrecked. It was just one of those days where you had to be very, very careful because of the circumstances. You raced as hard as you could with what you had. Everybody did that. I went as hard as I could go without crashing. With the exception of a couple of guys, all the drivers did a great job of give-and-take. It wasn’t just in situations with me. I could see situations in front of me and behind me where everybody was giving each other room and trying to be courteous to each other. I think the drivers made the best out of a bad situation here. I’m glad to have this one behind me and even happier knowing what’s ahead of us. The car we ran today is the car we ran last year at Atlanta, and we wanted to make sure we had it for our return trip.” Tony Stewart
“I wasn’t sure what happened. I thought I just lost power. But when I came into the pit so the guys could change the battery they discovered that the motor had let go. It’s frustrating for everyone. To work so hard all weekend and then to have such a good day today— it’s just really disappointing when things go down hill with 16 laps to go. But I’m proud of everyone on the team and how good the Waste Management Chevrolet was today. We’ll just have to get them next week.” Sterling Marlin after a disappointing DNF following a strong run
“We got it as good as we could get it, and I thought we could run in the top 10. Our McDonald’s Dodge Charger was pretty decent, but we just couldn’t go much better than eighth. I don’t know what the 38 was doing. First off he’s hard to pass. Then you get by him and he’s two laps down and he starts battling. I let him him go and he still didn’t pass me. I have no idea what he was thinking, but that’s the way it goes. I was the tightest I’d been all day on that final run there, and then I got loose and spun out. It was just a bad situation. I’d been on the inside of a lot of cars all day and nothing happened. I don’t understand it, but it’s just a bad way to end a pretty good day. “ Polesitter Kasey Kahne
“We’re happy based on what we’ve been running in the past. It was a good run for us. We’re happy to have the Alltel Dodge in the top 10 on an intermediate track at the end of 400 miles. We’ve got more things to work on. We were by far not the fastest car, but we’ve made huge improvements. Michael Nelson (crew chief) and the guys are doing a great job. The Penske/Jasper engines are strong. We’ve just got to keep on working making it stick in the corners. It’s turning around. We’ve just got to get it back up to the top. We didn’t have a good Friday here for sure. I was disappointed, but I didn’t let it get me down. I knew we were a lot better than we qualified. It was a good effort for us to fight back the way we did. We avoided a lot of accidents. A lot of crazy things were happening today, but overall it was a good run for us. We needed a couple of good points races to get the season started off right and get the boys in the shop pumped up. That’s big.” Ryan Newman who finished 8th
"I really thought we had this one. I gave it everything I had and I know my team did as well. You cannot find a group of more deserving guys. The early qualifying draw hurt us because the track gained speed later in the afternoon as it cooled off. All we can do is keep our heads up and move forward to Atlanta. We know we are capable of being competitive in a Cup race." A.J. Allmendinger
“It’s a shame. The Texaco/Havoline Dodge car was really fast today. When we went a lap down we were checking the 48 and the M&M’s car just got in the way. I had damage on my fender and from there a grille broke and we just went backwards from there and the car became undriveable. The car was good from the beginning. When you damage the fenders at a track like this you’re done. We’ve just got to keep working on the cars and making them faster.” Highest Finishing Rookie Juan Pablo Montoya
"I wish I could do it again. To be honest with you, Cup racing is a lot more giving than taking. And I'm going to say that I'm fortunate that I spent the majority of my time in the Busch Series because I have learned to take a lot and not give a lot, and it's easier to give than take. So, getting into a Cup car now, I know how to race respectfully - at least I think I do, I didn't touch anyone all day. I did everything they asked me to do. I could've raced harder, I could've forced some issues that I didn't, but I did what they told me to do, and that's it." Jon Wood on his Nextel Cup debut
“It was a good day, a good points day. That's all we could do. We ran well all day and that's a good step for our team. The tires got better all day, so by the end it was fairly normal race. I really enjoyed it." Carl Edwards
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