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 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:
“This is not the type of race track that people characterize us being strong at. They always say we’re a short track team. When we won Homestead (Fla.) last year, it was a sign of things to come. I know we have some good race cars in our stable, and we’re going to keep getting better and working towards the Chase. Hopefully, by the time we get there, we’ll peak.” Denny Hamlin, race winner
“I think it’s just my driving style is so conservative and not wanting to get in a wreck most of the times that that style doesn’t pay off in shootouts like this. Obviously, styles like Kyle [Busch] do. It gets you more wins. But it also gets you in a little bit more trouble.” Race winner Denny Hamlin on late-race restarts
“I am pretty disappointed in how he was racing me today, but we will get to the bottom of it and sort it out. No need to play it out in the press, and we’ll get it taken care of at the shop and during the week and come back to the next race and do it again. I think we are both pretty frustrated with how we have been racing each other. There was some things today I wasn’t real pleased with, so when I had a chance to express myself, I kinda did. We’ll get it all sorted out. We don’t need to drag it out and make too much out of it. We will get it sorted out during the week.” Jimmie Johnson on contact with Jeff Gordon, finished second
“I am disappointed. But, I’ll get over it and so will he. We’ll talk about it. We are good enough friends, good enough teammates. It is more just the competitors in us coming out there and the aggressiveness of wanting to win. Not anything against one another.” Jeff Gordon in response to above incident, finished 31st
“The car seemed to be a lot more consistent and a lot more drivable. So you know on restarts, it seems like there’s a lot more chaos going on. A lot of guys are really comfortable, can run side-by-side and really, you know, push each other a little bit down the straightaways and what not. So, it feels like they’re going for broke even more than what we used to. At least with the old car, the way the noses and tails were you couldn’t bump anybody. If you ever got really close to somebody on the outside to the inside car, that inside car would get loose. So these cars are pretty comfortable. A lot of guys are taking advantage of it.” Kyle Busch on the spoiler, finished third
“I’m glad to see our teammate (Denny Hamlin) win, hopefully he gets out gingerly.” Kyle Busch on Denny Hamlin’s knee
“I felt like [the spoiler] was stable and it seemed to provide a better comfort zone versus the rear wing. Where it seems to have a slight difference that I can’t figure out yet is the drag. I feel like I’m going so slow down the straightaways, but then the speeds seemed to be up in the center of the corners. I don’t run many Nationwide races, but I think that our car drove like a Nationwide car.” Kurt Busch on the spoiler, finished fourth
“About six [cars] disappeared in front of me and we were left. We had a decent car. It was real loose. The front was pretty good, but the back was really loose the whole race in our Budweiser Ford so it was just kind of a struggle. Once you get back there, you’re pretty equal with a lot of cars, so we needed some cars to disappear.” Kasey Kahne, finished fifth
“I was having fun until all those cautions kept coming at the end. We run 450 miles to sit there and settle it in a bunch of mess there at the end of the race and it is kind of stupid but, that is the way it went down so we will see what happens next week.” Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished eighth
“Merry Christmas to us. We have more work to do. That last run was tough. The NAPA Toyota wanted to go straight on exit when it hit the bumps. The whole race, our car was good for two laps and then the handling would go away. We’ll figure it out. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) and I are still getting to know one another, and that’s part of the process when building a new team. We’ll get it worked out. We’ll take ninth and keep digging.” Martin Truex, Jr., finished ninth
“Considering how we struggled for a good portion of the race, I thought we made a nice rebound to finish 11th. It was like taking a chapter from our Soldiers playbook — keep on battling, never give up, and good things will happen.” Ryan Newman, finished 11th
“When that red flag came out with 17 laps to go, I was able to hydrate and grab something to eat inside the car, which should give me plenty of energy for the next race. Physically, I feel good. Mentally, I’m ready to go. I’m young, another 300 miles is good for me (smile).” Brad Keselowski on running the Nationwide race following the Cup race, finished 14th
“We started off pretty good, but we still have to work on our communication a little bit. We’re still a young team and Wally [Brown] is crew chiefing a lot of times for the first time at these tracks, so he and I still have to work on our communication. We just couldn’t get the car better. We started off decent at the beginning and felt like we had something to work with, but we just never could get it better and get it in the race track like we needed to.” Elliott Sadler, finished 18th
“I didn’t really see anything. Those guys got two or three-wide… I think someone got tangled up. Those guys that had two tires, I think it is really hard for them to hold on with as many laps as we had on the left sides. It is the way it goes. I would have bet a million dollars they would have wrecked last week at Phoenix and they never did, and I wouldn’t have thought we would have wrecked here, but we were able to. Had a good Bass Pro Shops Chevy, we were just not able to make it to the end again. ” Jamie McMurray on lap 317 pileup, finished 30th
“[The lap 317 wreck] was 50-50 between [Jeff Gordon] and I. I thought he was gonna stay up there in the third lane, so I was gonna follow Jeff through the middle. He started down a little bit, but there really wasn’t enough time probably for his spotter – he probably had no clue I was sticking my nose in there. It was just too much. I thought he was gonna save it and it’s just too bad that we tore up all those race cars, but it’s hard racing. It’s a double-file restart and there are guys with four tires and guys with two tires and every once in awhile, you’ll have a wreck like that. That’s definitely not what we needed there.” Carl Edwards, finished 33rd
“That’s about as frustrating as it gets. We had a great car all day, ran with the leaders, and we have a problem with 30 laps to go and can’t finish the race. That, unfortunately, has been the story of our season so far. I don’t know what we need to do to turn it around, but this is getting old. We’ve had some good finishes go up in smoke … literally.” David Reutimann after blowing an engine, finished 37th
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