The Frontstretch: Running Their Mouth: Coca-Cola 600 by Summer Bedgood -- Monday May 31, 2010

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Running Their Mouth: Coca-Cola 600

Summer Bedgood · Monday May 31, 2010


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 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

“It’s unbelievable how much this is a team effort. I get the spoil job of driving an awesome Miller Lite Dodge like this. This is a great team. Everybody pulls the rope in the same direction. It’s unbelievable to have a car that would stick that good. This being Memorial Day, I thought about the troops all day long. To all the men and women that serve and protect our freedom, thank you. We’ll be celebrating on the lake tomorrow.” Kurt Busch, race winner

“I’m still excited from where I was last year and not knowing what was going to happen to get to be here right now with Bass Pro Shops and McDonald’s being a part of our team. I’m still really happy. I think we had the best car tonight. Certainly on the long runs, we had the best car toward the end and that is all you can ask for. You can’t win every time you have a fast car, and the No. 2 bunch put themselves in position and they were able to win. I’m really happy with our finish.” Jamie McMurray, finished second

“That last caution fell our way. It came when we were able to run the same lap times, but couldn’t catch him. It was the same at the end there; he could run the same lap times, but couldn’t catch Kurt. To come here, win the All-Star race and the 600, that’s awesome.” Steve Addington, winning crew chief

Jeff Gordon and Steve Letarte struggled for most of Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600, but used pit strategy late to steal a top-10 finish.

“It was definitely a long, long 600 miles for us. We struggled at the beginning in the daytime and luckily stayed on the lead lap. We fought hard, got some track position, and did our best to maintain it, but we just never really had it tonight. So we know we’ve got to work on some things for when we come back.” Jeff Gordon, finished 6th

“It was a good points day. I wasn’t happy with the way we finished, but it was a points night and we have to look at the big picture. That’s racing. I’m just glad I finished.” Ryan Newman, finished 9th

“It was good to get up front, but we don’t have anything that can run with those guys. Everybody is working on it as hard as they can, but we just have to keep working on it. We don’t have anything that can possibly win against those guys right now, but we will keep working on it.” Matt Kenseth, finished 10th

“I think tonight we had a fourth, fifth, sixth-place car. Dover we ran in the top 5, the whole month of May was really good. Can’t complain. Just a huge testament to how good these cars are now. I’m good now until September, so I’m happy. Happy that June has started.” Points leader Kevin Harvick, finished 11th

“I am proud of my guys for taking a 25th-place car and getting 15th out of it. Because of that, I am really proud of my guys. That was a really long night. Overall, I am just proud of my crew chief Mike Shiplett and my engineer Phil and all my guys … they fought hard. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t fun. We got a decent day out of something that wasn’t good.” A.J. Allmendinger, finished 14th

“We were pretty good on the short run; we just struggled on the longer runs tonight. We got ourselves behind early in the race; I got caught speeding on pit road, and a bunch of little things that just didn’t go our way. It was a good thing that we had 600 miles tonight (laughs).” Sam Hornish, Jr., finished 17th

“To come back like we did after the pit road incident is a credit to all the guys on this team. They worked their butts off to keep our car on the lead lap despite the left-side damage. The pit road deal was just one of those racing deals. Nobody’s fault, really. The No. 18 and I came out at the same time, just racing. That’s what happens when you have 43 cars trying to pit sometimes.” Brad Keselowski, finished 20th

“The last restart, Kyle (Busch) made it three-wide on the restart because the guys on the bottom didn’t have tires and he was trying to make something happen, which I don’t have a problem with. So he run into me and cuts my left-rear tire… then I have a problem with it. He’s real aggressive. That’s cool. But when he starts affecting me with his aggressiveness, I just will not put up with it. I’ve been around here long enough. I just will not tolerate it.” Jeff Burton, finished 25th

“I don’t know if I touched him or got into him, cut his left-rear tire. After the race, he was just real mad at me. He said I didn’t race him with enough respect, if I’m not going to give him respect, he’s not going to show me any. I said, ‘Look, man, last restart of the race. You have to go, make some bold moves. It wasn’t me that made it three-wide, it was your teammate. Have a chat with him.’ I would be more than happy to sit with Jeff Burton and talk with him about it, and for him to point out on a replay to me [what I did wrong].” Kyle Busch on the above incident, finished 3rd

“We just can’t get our car to drive right. I was over driving it, though. We just want to run up front so bad and we were good, then bad. We were very hit and miss tonight. The car just wandered around a lot out there tonight.” Greg Biffle, finished 32nd

“That first one was just a racing deal. I got in the fence and did some damage. [Then], we were trying to recover from that and I was trying to run from the leader, trying to be respectful of the leader, and I had the leader on my tail coming through. We made some big adjustments to the car, basically adjusted it to free it up there, and I just spun out off of (Turn) 2.” Jimmie Johnson, finished 37th

Contact Summer Dreyer

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06/03/2010 03:41 AM

Jeff Burton could’ve gotten so much more out of this race. Hard luck! Harvick’s doing pretty good so far. Bowyer needs to get back into action quick. The
Richard Childress Racing team should end up strong IMO.