The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Pocono 500 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Monday June 11, 2007

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Running Their Mouth: Pocono 500

Beth Lunkenheimer · Monday June 11, 2007

 

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 the Nextel Cup race that best captures the story of how the weekend unfolded, straight from the drivers themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what the drivers were thinking after the rain-shortened Pocono 500.

“It was certainly bizarre walking to Victory Lane. Extremely bizarre for many reasons. I didn’t know if we were going to get on the track today. And, we were floating around there in 8th, 9th, or 10th, and every time we’d start to move forward, I’d start to have brake issues. At one point, I just wanted to finish the race. I think we knew from the beginning of the race that this was going to be a shorter race. We knew making it to the halfway point was very important because the rain was around us.”

“On one side, I feel guilty for even taking this win. On the other hand, I don’t because Steve made a great call that worked out in our favor. Other people had that same opportunity to make that call.” Jeff Gordon, race winner

“Yeah, he (Darian Grubb) thought the rain might come four or five laps earlier, and they started getting worried because the rain actually started to split the track a little bit and we didn’t know if we were going to get it. But it actually worked out very good. These guys have learned over the years how to read those weather things. Darian did an excellent job (and) Stevie (LeTarte, No. 24 crew chief) is also on the same page.” Casey Mears, finished 4th

“I had a good day. I wish I would have stayed out. We talked about staying out on that one caution where Jeff got the lead, but everybody else in front of us came and I didn’t want to make a bad mistake and stay out and have it hurt us. We played it safe.” Tony Stewart, finished 5th

"It was a strange race, but I think we did all right. Winning the ARCA race on Saturday gave me a lot of confidence, and I think we did what we set out to do today in our first Cup race." Chad McCumbee, who finished 25th in his first start for Petty Enterprises

“We're still having a problem getting the car to turn in the corners. The car was tight from the start. It handled better if I was 40 car lengths away from other cars than if I was 20 car lengths away. I think we could have improved our finish if the race had gone the full distance because we had made adjustments that had helped the handling. We've made improvements, but we're not totally there yet. (At least) we qualified well and had some good laps in practice. The weather was a major factor today, (but) we expected a better finish." Kasey Kahne, finished 22nd

“Our car was tight at the start but really good on the long run. We didn’t have to make many adjustments. The over the wall crew was awesome all day. This helps us move closer to the Top 35 in points, so all in all it was a good race." Scott Riggs, finished 18th

"We just fought track position, and Bob [Osborne, crew chief] gambled and we stayed out real long there, and the rain didn't come early enough for us. Still, this is fine. We were probably about a fifth-place car, finished 14th, so that's not good, but it's not terrible." Carl Edwards

"Drove all the way inside the Top 15, and got a flat left-front tire…there's nothing you can do about that. You saw it happen to Jimmie Johnson, too. It took us three laps to put a sway bar arm on it, and we find ourselves sitting here 41st, three laps down. It's a big disappointment." Robby Gordon

“I was about halfway through the corner and (Greg) Biffle was under me — I guess he got loose and got up into me. We were struggling with the handle on the car, but we were working on it and adjusting on it. I think we would have had a decent day because we were going to keep getting the car better, but we won’t have that chance.” Dave Blaney, finished 43rd

"I don't mind. I just get in the car and drive it [smiles]. It was funny. I told my wife earlier ‘I hope it doesn't rain because every time we run on Monday, we get wrecked.' All three cars are in one piece (so) it was good." Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 20th

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