Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all 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 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
“It was very solidifying for me today to drive the Miller Lite Dodge [Charger] into Victory Lane. It was a great handling car. I couldn’t thank the team enough. I did the smallest part [driving the car], because a lot of work goes on behind the scenes putting this race win together. I feel like a newborn. I’m ready to run for the Chase.” – Kurt Busch
“I enjoy the way people in Milwaukee get pumped up by their racing program. They always strive to be the best beer… but they always tell me go get that No. 8 car. I think I did this one justice, taking Miller Lite to Victory Lane. This Busch made the best beer choice!” – Kurt Busch on winning for Miller
“We’re not worried about the point standings – I’m driving as hard as I can every lap. I can’t worry about finishing behind the No. 2 car [Kurt Busch]. They were just too good today – far faster than anyone else. You follow him and you just hope to see some smoke coming outta his car, ya know?! No one was going to catch him, so you kind of sit back there and hope something happens. I really drove the last 50 laps in the mirror, watching the cars behind me and hangin’ onto second.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“We fought brake issues all day and just couldn’t get in to the corner like we needed to, and it just really affected our handling. The No. 2 car was by far the class of the field. We were just a little bit off on the setup – there are a whole lot of details it takes to win, and we just didn’t get them.” – Denny Hamlin (finished third)
“We actually had a stronger car than the last time we were here. If the No. 2 car didn’t exist, then maybe some of us had a chance to win this thing, but wow [to Kurt Busch’s performance]. That is all I can say… is WOW.” – Jeff Gordon (finished fourth)
“I just think we had a good racecar. That was the main thing, we had a good racecar. You get a good racecar, a decent racecar – I did my part, didn’t get in any wrecks – it seems like that’s what happens to us most of the time. It was just a good, solid day.” – Ricky Rudd (finished 13th)
“I can’t tell you how impressed I am with [crew chief] Ryan Pemberton and the entire Army Team. With all they’ve had to contend with the past two weeks, and then to come out and claim back-to-back top-10 finishes says so much about the character of this race team. It’s the Army spirit – you battle harder when you face adversity. It also says so much about why I wanted to come back and drive this team’s race car again next year.” – Mark Martin (finished ninth)
“Considering we started 24th and ended up sixth, I don’t think that’s too bad a run. We should’ve started better than that, obviously, but it’s a decent finish nonetheless.” – Tony Stewart
“We started out great and then it just kept getting tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter, and we just never could get a handle on it.” – David Gilliland (finished 39th)
“We ran OK, and where we finished is about what we had. We seemed to run 15th to 20th all day and just couldn’t do any better than that. When that’s all you’ve got, you just have to finish with it and that’s what we did. It was a smooth day; we just couldn’t seem to get fast enough to really get up there in the top 15.” – Dave Blaney (finished 20th)
“It was a long day. We started off not very good at all. It was just really, really tight. Our car wasn’t the best, but I put myself in that position when I wrecked my primary car on Friday. We had to do the best we could. It was certainly not the run we wanted. We feel like we can run in the top 10 or top 15 every week. There’s a little disappointment (from this race) but we’ll put this one behind us, learn from it, and try to move on.” – David Ragan (finished 33rd)