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 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway:
“A fast race car and starting up front. It was fun to lead. No wonder Jimmie is smiling so much. It’s actually a lot of fun to lead.” A.J. Allmendinger, finished 10th
How many guys do you hear saying, “Man, it was just fun to lead?!” Was Allmendinger disappointed he didn’t win? Absolutely, and he should have been. But the open-wheel convert isn’t usually up front, and it was nice to see a guy who truly appreciated a good racecar just have fun. He wasn’t satisfied with 10th, but he still enjoyed the view from the front. It seems quite a few drivers take that for granted, so it was refreshing to see someone who realizes just how fleeting that experience can be.
“Nobody was around me all day, so it was kind of uneventful. If somebody would come up, I would let them pass.” Denny Hamlin, finished 9th
Yeah, that’s OK. I had to read it twice, too. It’s true that Dover isn’t typically a good racetrack for Hamlin, but it sounded like he almost wasn’t trying at all. He’s not a lapped car, he’s a Chase contender! He shouldn’t just be moving out of other drivers’ ways. Somehow, he ended up with a ninth-place finish, and he was surprised he even maintained the points lead following the race. With that kind of approach, so am I.
Controversy of the Week:
“All we’re caring about right now is focusing on just getting top-5s and top-10s from here on out – and wins at the tracks that we know we can win at. For me, I think it’s important that we just move on from this and it’s a learning lesson.” Denny Hamlin
This was Hamlin’s response when asked if he thought the issue with Kevin Harvick is behind them now. For those that were under a rock this past weekend, Harvick and Hamlin had a run-in in final practice on Saturday that stemmed from comments Hamlin had made about Richard Childress Racing the day before. Harvick intentionally rammed the right side of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota and the two teams — who happened to be side-by-side in the garage area — confronted each other after the fact. Harvick never commented on the situation, and the two never had any issues during the race, so Hamlin is probably right. The point has been made and taken. It’s time to move on.
“I have my daughter here in a car carrier here and I don’t know what to do with her yet.” Jimmie Johnson, race winner
Oh, dear. Johnson still has his rookie stripe when it comes to fatherhood. Genevieve, be easy on your daddy!
Crew Chief Quote of the Week:
“It wasn’t easy on Friday and Saturday. It looked like it was pretty fast today, but we were pretty far off when we got here. A lot of hard work by all the guys. Can’t say enough about all the guys at the shop, prep and everything, so we had the information we needed when we got here. I am glad Mr. Hendrick came here. I wish his Mom was here with us. I sent her some flowers a couple of weeks ago, so I hope she is still enjoying those. Just couldn’t be prouder of this whole team.” Chad Knaus, winning crew chief
I’m not gonna say it. I’m not gonna say it! OK, fine. AWWWWW!
Best of the Rest:
“I’m just trying to catch my breath. That was a long race. We had a good Home Depot Toyota – a really good car. We had a good car in practice, too. We had to start in the back, but felt like we did a good job working our way up there today and made good adjustments on this race car. Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) did a good job. Pretty happy with it. I feel like we were close to winning that thing. Came up a little bit short, but either way it’s better than last year.” Joey Logano, finished 3rd
“We had a pit road speeding penalty and it was my fault. The driver was just too aggressive. I was trying to be right on the edge getting in the pits. That hurt us.” Kurt Busch, finished fourth
“It’s so grueling. That’s a long one and when they say halfway, you’re like, ‘Man, it can’t be.’ I can’t imagine what it was like to race 500 laps here, but my Aflac crew did a good job. I just wasn’t good enough on that last restart when Jimmie spun the tires a little bit. He was able to stay in front of us, and I think that was the restart that made the difference.” Carl Edwards, finished fifth
“To be honest with you, there was a lot of pressure here. This is the only track we’ve run worth a darn at in about four or five months probably, so there was a lot of pressure to try to get a good finish out of here and we couldn’t get it. The conditions out there were absolutely terrible with this tire. It’s hard for anybody to make a lap around there, really. I thought we were gonna have a top 5 to seventh-place car if I didn’t mess it up, and I messed it up.” Matt Kenseth, finished 18th
“I felt like this was the best car we’ve had in a race here in a couple years, but we made two mistakes this weekend. First, we didn’t qualify our UPS Ford as well as we should have and second, we had that one mistake on pit road (loose wheel). When you get behind like that, you then have to race a different kind of race. You’re just trying everything you can to get back up on the lead lap. We took some chances and did get the wave around, but the cautions didn’t fall how we needed them to fall. For the first weekend with Drew [Blickensderfer], I think it was a good weekend for speed, we just have to do something to change our luck a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to Kansas.” David Ragan, finished 24th
“Late in the race, we had an electrical problem under the dash which caused the battery cable to ground out and started a small fire. Just a really strange electrical deal that jumped up and bit us.” Sam Hornish, Jr., finished 36th
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