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 Shelby American 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
“If people are trying to find a way not to accept the quality of race team we have, that’s cool. We’ll just come back this week and take the trophy again.” Jimmie Johnson, race winner
“We were told on the radio there were ‘accidental’ cautions, at least one was an accidental caution. I’m not sure what ‘accidental’ means, but maybe somebody leaned up against the switch and turned the lights on.” Johnson on the two yellow flags for caution light malfunctions, occurring within 60 laps of each other during the race
“You just got to be liquid and willing to change as the race goes. That’s the one thing about our sport I don’t think a lot of people understand – you can’t set a strategy. You don’t have a two-minute warning. You don’t have quarters. You don’t have periods. You don’t have that stuff. You don’t know when the cautions are going to fall.” Chad Knaus, race-winning crew chief
“You know, there at the end, I knew Jimmie and Jeff were going to run each other clean. But like Jimmie said, when you dive in the corner, you try to slide up in front of a guy… I was fearful they were going to get together and we’d have a problem.” Rick Hendrick, winning car owner
“Well, you know, I feel like the beginning of the run they got [away] from us. I felt like at the end of the run, we were just as good as they were. We can run with them, and they know it.” Kevin Harvick, finished second, on competing against Hendrick’s Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon
“It was so incredible to be out there driving a car that was that fast, and to be able to maintain the lead and be able to do the things that we did today. We certainly showed them that we were here. I think that you are going to see a lot more out of us this year.” Jeff Gordon, finished third
“Today I do [regret bringing Jimmie Johnson to Rick Hendrick]. You know, five, 10 years from now when I’m cashing in on it, I’m not [laughs]. You know, somebody once told me that, you know, if you’re gonna get beat, make sure you’re getting a piece of it. That’s one positive to take out of it.” Gordon on losing to his teammate
“Another good Home Depot Toyota — two weeks in a row, I am really excited about that. I tell you, if you keep getting top 10’s, you’ll get closer to the top 5, and eventually the wins are going to come.” Joey Logano, finished sixth
“How do you stop them when they just do it every week? I don’t know what their deal is. They’re just that good. I don’t know how they keep doing it. I think everybody is probably in awe of it like, ‘Wow, what the heck is going on here?’ Maybe NASCAR needs to take some power just away from their car and nobody else’s and help us out a little bit. (Smiling)” Kasey Kahne, finished ninth
“We ran a really patient race, but on our last stop there was too much rear brake and I slid across the line coming in. Totally my fault. I’m just sorry for the guys, since we had a decent car but didn’t finish where we ran all day long.” Kyle Busch, finished 15th
“Track position is so important here, and it seemed like most of the afternoon we ran in the 20’s. We just never had a good enough car to move up and pass many people. We need to regroup this week and focus on getting to the front in Atlanta. We belong up front, and we need to be there in Atlanta.” Denny Hamlin, finished 19th
“We had a set of tires yesterday in practice that we were pretty tight on, and kept adjusting the car thinking the track was getting tighter and tighter. When the race started and we realized we had made adjustments on a bad set of tires, the car was too free. We tried to hold onto it as long as we could. I turned right more than I did left today.” Sam Hornish, Jr., finished 28th
“Jamie [McMurray], plain and simple, just wrecked us. Every time I am around him, he wants to run the sh*t out of me. I don’t know if it is OK to say that, but I just did [LAUGHS]. I’m sure on the radio it was ‘Ah, I didn’t mean that.’ He is just trying to prove to people he can drive a race car, and I guess he isn’t doing too many favors on this team.” Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 37th
“You’re probably just frustrated for what happened on the race track, so you guys [the media] probably shouldn’t put a lot of stock into what he said when you ask somebody something immediately after getting crashed. They typically don’t have nice things to say.” Jamie McMurray, finished 34th, on Montoya’s comments
“It was a really long day.” Kevin Conway, finished 36th
“We got caught up in the wreck with the No. 1 (McMurray) and No. 42 (Montoya) on Lap 93 that basically ended our day. It was a bit confusing, and I’m still not sure what happened. We were 11th on the board on the restart, and the next thing I knew we’re positioned on the outside of Row 6 in 12th. I was a sitting duck for the wreck in front of us. Do we get collected if we’re on the inside lane? Who knows?” Pole-sitter Kurt Busch, finished 35th
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