Editor’s Note: Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR and our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race to capture 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what some select few were thinking after the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
“Matt Yocum was telling me I looked like I was struggling a little bit, but I told him to get his fat butt up there and see what he can do. That’s not as easy as it looks. It’s leaning out over the track.” – Tony Stewart, when asked about his fence climb
“What won us the race is [crew chief] Zippy [Greg Zipadelli] and these guys – the pit crew – did an awesome job today. They kept us the track position at the end, and that’s what we needed. Track position was so important to let us run our pace and run the line that we wanted to run without having to worry about getting in dirty air. Thanks to these guys around me, that’s what got us in victory lane again.” – Tony Stewart
“Something broke in the motor. I’m not sure what.” – Martin Truex Jr., when asked what happened to his car
“I’m going to sit on the porch and drink cold beer, and make it as cold as I can make it.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. when asked what he would do with the off-week after losing power steering at Chicagoland
“I was happy there at the end because we gained spots, you know, and we were going forward. We made a good call there the last stop by putting four tires on. But our car got tight there at the end and we had been loose all day. So yeah, I’m frustrated.” – Jeff Gordon, who still finished ninth on Sunday
“He’s been strong all year. They just haven’t gotten the wins. And now he’s got the wins. I never doubted him a bit. I feel like no matter what, that guy is a threat for the championship whether they’ve won races or not. And those last 10 [races], you know, that team is going to step it up; by getting them a win, that’s just going to give them some momentum. Right now, we’re leading the points but we’ve got to be better, for sure.” – Jeff Gordon on Stewart getting his first win of the season
“This whole Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet team did a great job today. You’d have thought I was running 30th as bad as I was complaining about the car. [But] a good, solid run for us. That’s what we needed. We just need a little bit of momentum. The performance is there. We just need things to go our way.” – Kevin Harvick, who finished third
“The car was pretty decent. I think we’re gaining on it; we’re just off that much, you know? We got up front, we couldn’t quite run with the leaders, [but] we could run about top eight. I think we’re gaining on it… we’re just not there yet.” – Greg Biffle, who wound up 11th
“It feels good to come home second. I had that one shot at him (Stewart) and I just couldn’t quite finish the pass. If I could’ve finished that pass on the restart, I would’ve liked to have been in front of him and tried to hold him off – I don’t know if I could’ve or not, but I would’ve liked to [get] that chance. It was nice to be in clean air.” – Matt Kenseth
“The car is in one piece, so I’m really happy.” – Juan Pablo Montoya
“Our valve latch opened up after practice and they caught that after Happy Hour [on Saturday]. We decided to change the motor, so we didn’t get to practice at all with the motor we put in and had an oil line that knocked itself loose; it was spitting oil and caught the car on fire. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but I think they used a little too much fire extinguisher on it and made a big mess and we had to clean that all up and replace the lining and go back out, 100 laps down or whatever it was.” – Paul Menard, explaining the problems with his car
About the author
Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 15-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.
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