The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Auto Club 500 by Summer Bedgood -- Monday February 22, 2010

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Running Their Mouth: Auto Club 500

Running Their Mouth · Summer Bedgood · Monday February 22, 2010

 

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 Auto Club 500:

“I won my first race here, and to come back and win my 48th… I can’t thank the fans enough for supporting our great sport and being behind us. It has just been a great nine years, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.” Jimmie Johnson, Auto Club 500 winner

“Jimmie is a good friend of mine, but there’s no way of getting around how lucky they are. You don’t win four championships and do all the things they’ve done. They did a good job today in winning the race, but they have a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass. I mean, there’s no way to get around that.” Kevin Harvick, finished 2nd, on Jimmie Johnson’s luck

“We felt good about what happened in the fall, over the winter. Until you start racing, you don’t know where you are honestly. You feel good about it. I had quite a bit of confidence coming in. But until everybody gets out here and they’re going to give somebody a trophy, you don’t really know where you stand.” Jeff Burton, finished 3rd, on the rebuilding effort with Richard Childress

“It was a great run. Alan [Gustafson] and everybody on the GoDaddy.com Chevy did awesome. They gave me a great race car. It was fun, man. What a great track to race on. There was a lot of racing going on out there, and a lot of passing, side-by-side, and fighting. I had a blast today.” Mark Martin, finished 4th

“The first time I came here was last year and we sucked. We ran 35th to 40th the whole time. Last time we came here, we ran probably 20th to 25th, and this time around we were within the top 10 and sneaked out a top 5 there at the end. You got to be pleased with that. That was really cool.” Joey Logano, finished 5th

“I’m feeling great as far as the two finishes that we’ve had. It sounds dumb, me saying that since we won the first two last year, but to get out of Daytona with all the troubles we had and finish eighth, and then to come here in Todd (Parrott)‘s first weekend and finish seventh is pretty good.” Matt Kenseth, finished 7th

“That’s some crummy luck there. But it just wasn’t our day, you know? We got up there, and there was just so much trash blowing around unfortunately. This wind was blowing it right into that front straightaway wall and the catchfence, and it just kind of spins and twirls right there. It’s just a frustrating day.” Clint Bowyer, finished 8th after a long pit stop to clean off his grill for overheating

“I swear — we almost pulled a Joey Logano there, as well. I would have laughed my ass off if we would have won that race under rain like he did.” Scott Speed, finished 11th

“The one time we stayed out because it was raining, we kept running and everybody short-pitted. They should have thrown the caution because it was raining pretty hard, and they didn’t. And we lost a lot of ground with everybody short-pitting.” Brian Vickers, finished 12th

California native Jimmie Johnson won his 48th career Sprint Cup race on Sunday at the Auto Club Speedway – the same track where he won his first.

“We were running legitimately in the top 10 until I messed up on pit road on the last stop (overshot the pit box). That really hurt us — it’s on me. Once you lose track position in dirty air, it’s tough to make up ground. It was a huge confidence builder when you see the [No.] 48 car and run with him (Jimmie Johnson). It makes you feel you belong there, and the team believes what they’re doing is right. I am really proud of this team.” Regan Smith, finished 19th

“I tell you we had no luck today. We battled the weather and the other competitors, and most of them beat us today.” Denny Hamlin, finished 29th

“We tore up an axle or a drive plate, one of the two. Down in the center of [Turns] 1 and 2, I just got back to the gas and the car felt like it had a flat tire. I don’t know. Something’s going on there where we’re chewing that stuff up and tearing it up. We’ve got to figure out why that’s happening; they think it’s a material issue, so we’ll just have to see.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 32nd

“I can’t build the cars. What do you want me to do? I just drive them.” Earnhardt, Jr. on why his performance was so far below that of his Hendrick teammates Sunday

“It was fun running against the wall. I don’t do that a whole lot here. I thought the racing was pretty good. We were mixing it up, and that is the most competitive I have been here in a long time. We’ll just keep on going.” Ryan Newman, finished 36th

Contact Summer Dreyer

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Blu
02/22/2010 09:51 AM
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I agree with Harvick, that 48 team is very “lucky”.

“Lucky” that the fastest car in the field (the 29) is penalized a lap, along with a lot of other front runners.
(Gee, Sure makes holding a lead a lot easier without that pesky competition pressuring you like that)

“Lucky” that cautions seem to appear whenever they really need them the most, like after just losing the lead and falling back rapidly..“LUCKY!”,I tell you. AND ..

VERY “lucky” that the pace car went just slow enough to allow the 48 (in the pit) to beat the leader (the 31 as I recall) across the line to regain the lead.

“Lucky” that the timing of caution lights coming on seem to fall at just the right time.

Hey…Wouldnt it be something if that wasnt really “luck” and maybe controlled by someone?

What?? NASCAR controls ALL that?? The devil you say!

Now THAT is “lucky”!!

Did I mention that was JJ’s 48th win?? WOW! The 48 wins his 48th race AT his home track.. Now THAT folks..is “LUCK

Johnboy60
02/22/2010 12:43 PM
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I am glad to see that I am not the only one that sees what is going on in nascrap with jimmy. I just keep wondering when Jeff Gordon is gonna get a belly full and wreck his driver!!…..Guess I am dreaming

Bob
02/23/2010 12:16 AM
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Looks like Jimmie Johnson is back. Luck was on his side with that pit stop, but he ran a good race and had a strong enough car to hold off Harvick at the end.

Blu
02/23/2010 11:15 AM
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Yeah Bob..Gee,that was really “lucky” wasnt it?

About as lucky as me flipping heads on a two headed coin!

POINT..NASCAR did anything and everything to make sure the 48 won that race!
NOBODY,but NOBODY, is THAT lucky all the times!
Too much “coincidence” and “luck” makes something smell in “NASCRAP”.

Johnboy, That’ll never happen. Gordon takes orders from God..err I mean “Mr.” Hendrick. Lord I hate when the official HMS brownoser DW says that!

“Mr.” Hendrick Indeed!!

Itd be a cold day in really hot place if you EVER heard me calling that cheatin bugger that!

Ill just come right out and say it…HMS is the crookedest outfit out there, AND NASCAR (specifically France and Helton) is in collusion with them!

Kevin
02/23/2010 01:05 PM
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Let’s not forget to use a little common sense here…

“Lucky” that the fastest car in the field (the 29) is penalized a lap, along with a lot of other front runners.

That’s just the rule. And actually the new wave-around rule helped all those teams; they were towards the back of the lead lap cars but were not a lap down.

“Lucky” that cautions seem to appear whenever they really need them the most, like after just losing the lead and falling back rapidly..“LUCKY!”,I tell you.

Yes, obviously nascar told Brad Keselowski to wreck and he complied so that they could help out one of his former teammates.

VERY “lucky” that the pace car went just slow enough to allow the 48 (in the pit) to beat the leader (the 31 as I recall) across the line to regain the lead.

It didn’t have anything to do with the pace car; it wasn’t even leading the field at that time. Jeff Burton was in control…and per his comments, he wishes he’d gone just a bit faster.

“Lucky” that the timing of caution lights coming on seem to fall at just the right time.

That is irrelevant in this case; several other teams also benefited, coming onto pit road after Johnson did and before the caution lights came on.

If anything, I’m sure Nascar would prefer that the 48 stop winning so much because that would probably increase interest in the sport. And if Nascar were conspiring to help Hendrick, don’t you think the 88 would be doing a lot better? Come on…please use some common sense. Next time you accuse Nascar of showing favortism, please use an argument that is at least plausible. And for the record I’m no big fan of Johnson. I don’t dislike him, either, but I do wish he’d stop winning so much and give other drivers more of a chance.

Blu
02/24/2010 02:37 PM
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Sorry that didnt meet with your approval Kevin,but,
I think Ive got a heck of a lot of “common sense “ as you call it.

Ive also seen a LOT of races over the past 22 years (Including the past..whatever many JJ, JG and HMS has been involved in) Ive watched NASCAR.

At any rate..In response to your post…

“Lucky” that the fastest car in the field (the 29) is penalized a lap, along with a lot of other front runners.
“That’s just the rule. And actually the new wave-around rule helped all those teams; they were towards the back of the lead lap cars but were not a lap down.”

My apologies..Harvick went back to 31st place then is THAT better?
Ohh..and helped WHO?? The cars put int the back?? I guess maybe it was slightly better than being a lap down but not by much. At any rate It Still doesnt make my point any less valid. It WAS sure a LOT easier without the fastest car
in the field (the 29)back up there in front pestering the 48 for the lead.

“Lucky” that cautions seem to appear whenever they really need them the most, like after just losing the lead and falling back rapidly..“LUCKY!”,I tell you.
Yes, obviously nascar told Brad Keselowski to wreck and he complied so that they could help out one of his former teammates.”

Sigh..Kevin,Of course not.BUT there were (and have been in the past) several incidents in nearly the exact same situations, that a yellow either (a) failed to be thrown OR (b)fell immediately, OR © was thrown very late, IF it directly benefitted an HMS car.

Ive SEEN that with my own eyes,its not conjecture man! I also believe Harvick’s “golden Horseshoe” comment wasnt merely commenting on THIS particular race alone.

VERY “lucky” that the pace car went just slow enough to allow the 48 (in the pit) to beat the leader (the 31 as I recall) across the line to regain the lead.
It didn’t have anything to do with the pace car; it wasn’t even leading the field at that time. Jeff Burton was in control…and per his comments, he wishes he’d gone just a bit faster.”

My mistake, it was rather hard to tell if the pace car was out there leading the field..we were to busy being shown the 48 in the pits.
Im still not sure it wasnt, but Ill take your word for it. Where did Burton comment on that BTW? Just curious as id like to read it.

“Lucky” that the timing of caution lights coming on seem to fall at just the right time.
That is irrelevant in this case; several other teams also benefited, coming onto pit road after Johnson did and before the caution lights came on.”

Irrelevant? Hardly IMHO! Im not talking about the one pit road incident (although THAT caution light did come on awfully quick. In fact, just quick enough for JJ to make the pits as he approached pit road). Im referencing what I said above about cautions flying/not flying and the quickness, or slowness of them being thrown.

Look, if you wanna try and argue on how even handed/timely NASCAR is on throwing cautions..well..I dont know what to say other than weve ALL seen cars racing towards wrecked cars still in the racing groove several times, and yet, in other eerily similar wrecks, the flag falls nearly immediately. No?

Not to mention those “invisible debris” cautions that seem to fall at often opportune times for HMS.

If you see things differently then thats your opinion. That’s My take and my opinion, and Im entitled to it, as are you.

“If anything, I’m sure Nascar would prefer that the 48 stop winning so much because that would probably increase interest in the sport.”

Were just gonna have to agree to disagree here. Although I do agree it isnt good for the sport.

“And if Nascar were conspiring to help Hendrick, don’t you think the 88 would be doing a lot better?”

No, but thats another subject entirely.

“Come on…please use some common sense. Next time you accuse Nascar of showing favortism, please use an argument that is at least plausible.” Well…I hope I made that so you could understand what im trying to say and I think I brought up plenty of examples. We wont even get into all those “gray areas” Knauss seems to get away with that other teams get penalties and fines for that bolster my (and many others) opinion. There is not one shred of doubt in my mind that NASCAR shows favoritsm.

If you dont agree, then thats just fine.Thats your right and opinion…and this is mine.