The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 by Summer Bedgood -- Monday May 3, 2010

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Welcome to Running Their Mouth! 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 Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond International Raceway:

“I don’t even remember what happened. Where was I? Was I on the outside? I just drove it down into turn one and hoped it stuck. I drove it too far, but I got it pointed just in time and had a major drive up off the corner. I knew I needed to baby it into turn three and try to get a good launch off of turn four, as well. Finally, got to clear Jeff (Gordon) and got down to the bottom and set sail from there. Those guys got racing (Gordon and Kevin Harvick). It’s the best thing when you get out front and see the guys behind you racing and let you lead out there.” Kyle Busch, race winner

“We’re going to have to figure out how to win these ones with these late cautions. It’s not where we’re strong right now. But it’s something we’ll continue to get better at as the season goes on. We’re certainly getting plenty of practice at it.” Jeff Gordon, finished 2nd

“I think that the couple of extra fresh laps on [Kyle Busch’s] tires just allowed him to maneuver around the outside than our Reese’s Chevrolet could or (Jeff) Gordon or (Jeff) Burton. Good day for the Reese’s Chevrolet. Just glad to run good when the car was orange.” Kevin Harvick, finished 3rd

“All right! Only 25 to go.” Harvick in reaction to being the points leader

“That’s one of the things I’ve done a good job of in my career is getting finishes and not making mistakes. This year, I’ve looked like a rookie on a lot of occasions and have been really disappointed in myself on a few occasions. Again, I wanted to be more aggressive at the end, but we just couldn’t afford to right now.” Jeff Burton, finished 4th

“I cannot get over how bad our NAPA Toyota was at the start of the race. And then Pat (Tryson, crew chief) started adjusting on it and bam — it came to life. In the history of my career, I’ve never had a car turn around that well.” Martin Truex, Jr., finished 7th

Kyle Busch might be a little fuzzy on how he got there, but he’ll be sure to remember his 17th trip to Sprint Cup’s Victory Lane.

“Tough night to earn points where we had competitive speed, not dominant speed where we could run with the leaders. There at the end, we had guys on tires, and I wasn’t on tires, and we were just fighting really hard for that spot. Clint (Bowyer) got inside of me off of four, I could hear him in the gas and I wasn’t going to let off. We touched tires, around we went, and luckily, I don’t think anyone hit anything hard. Exciting finish for the fans.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 10th

“The car was exactly the same all weekend, right when we unloaded. It was terrible and slow, and we ended terrible and slow. For a lot of guys, it’s a decent finish and it’s a good finish. For us, it’s a short track and it’s unacceptable.” Denny Hamlin, finished 11th

“You’re always learning about these cars. They’re different animals, different beasts. Certainly, handling is a big takeaway. I think we got some good notes from Richmond that we can apply to Darlington. I’m sure we’ll take a look at our corner speed and drive off. Darlington is a different monster, real fast. We’ll just try and unload with a fast car and work on it from there all weekend.” Brad Keselowski, finished 14th

I was hoping to get a little better finish out of that, but all in all, for as much as I was complaining and as much as I was hanging on, 15th is respectable.” A.J. Allmendinger

“That is the nature of this race. I was more surprised that it was the guys behind us that were wrecking. I was hoping it would be the guys in front of us.” Allmendinger on the late-race mayhem

“One of the keys to Richmond is to be able to get your car to turn in the center of the corners, and we just couldn’t all night. No grip at all for us. It felt like I was on four banana peels at times with this tire.” Kurt Busch, finished 18th

Contact Summer Dreyer

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DansMom
05/03/2010 12:47 AM
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“I finished 8th in this race so the points definitely should count at Richmond. As for whether or not the points should count at Darlington, well, let’s just wait until Sunday morning to figure that out. After all, I’m the only NASCAR driver with a college degree – so people think I’m smart about this stuff” -Ryan Newman