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 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway:
“They want to kick me out already and get sick again! Got to thank everybody from the [No. 29] team, Clint and Jeff for driving my cars, and all the guys back at the shop for already fixing our car, having it ready for next Wednesday to be sitting back at the racetrack in case something else happens.” Kevin Harvick, race winner
“These guys deserve to win. It is just a great way to start the season. It is just great to win here at Daytona. I was telling everybody that this is my 21st season coming here, and I have been looking forward to a win here – it couldn’t be better.” Gil Martin, winning crew chief on his first Daytona triumph
“You know, when you can drive in the corner and the car doesn’t wash up, you can run wide open on the bottom with guys on your outside, it’s really hard to do that. I could run pretty much flat out the whole night. The car was really loose, but you were able to hold it wide open. That’s what you work for in practice, is to be able to do that. I’m hoping I can make some Twitter page at this point, too, so you know, if you want to send the highlight out, I’d appreciate it.” Jamie McMurray, finished third
“Somebody turned the 51 and, boom, there he was (Michael Waltrip) right in front of me. It happened that quick.” John Andretti, finished 22nd
“Yeah, that actually worked out great for us (not pitting under the final caution). We had a great Budweiser Ford the entire race. I was having a blast out there. The racing was good, it was side-by-side, and there was a lot going on. We were right there. Even on the restart, Harvick got in front of me, and I was pushing him and I was right on the white line. I was like, ‘Man, the tires aren’t too bad.’ So I was happy. The Roush-Yates Ford engine is definitely an improvement. That’s nice to have.” Kasey Kahne, finished second
“Matt Kenseth was pushing me. I got to Greg and I was just pushing and pushing and pushing, almost had to move to the inside of him; he kind of closed the door there, and I was just pushing. We went into the corner and he just spun right out. They said that bumpdrafting is OK now, so that’s what it’s going to take to win the race. He was thanking me for the push and I was trying to push him up there to win the race, or finish right there behind him, anyway.” Jeff Gordon, finished sixth
“It is hard, because you can only really run two-wide, so when people went three-wide on the last lap, that didn’t come out too good. But it is OK. We learned a lot.” Juan Pablo Montoya, finished tenth
“I have to apologize to some of our fans. The M&M’s Camry just didn’t quite have enough in order to be able to turn on the exit of the corners. I couldn’t keep the throttle down the way that I wanted. We’ll go to work and Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and I will go to work and fix it up to get it ready for the (Daytona) 500. This isn’t the same car, but we know what we need to do, or at least we have some ideas, anyway. Real proud of the way the guys worked. We just have to go back to the drawing board a little bit.” Kyle Busch, finished fourth
“I tested [my knee] right before this race started. I pressed down on the brake just as hard as I could; [then, I] had some pit stops and was able to take off with the clutch and everything was smooth. Really, I didn’t even think about it until I went to get out of the car and I remembered, ‘Hey, I’ve got to be a little cautious getting out.’” Denny Hamlin, finished fifth, on his torn ACL
“The good thing is that I’m pretty sure this is the first race in the Cup car that I finished here without wrecking. I finished a race before, but I was torn to pieces. This is the first car that I actually drove to the pits, so that’s a plus. I feel like I’m making progress. We’ll just keep pressing along here.” Joey Logano, finished seventh
“We were all driving up to the top of the race track and hanging on and sliding around. Nobody was really full throttle there on the long runs. It was a lot of fun.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 11th
“I’m making more laps in the ambulance than I am on the track.” Kurt Busch, finished 23rd after being involved in his second crash in two days at Daytona
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