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 and 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 a select few were thinking following the Sharpie 500 on the newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Man, this is the biggest win of my career. I can’t thank Bob Osborne enough and all my guys. My pit crew was awesome, and I want to thank my fans for sticking behind us. It means a lot. I am living the dream thanks to Jack Roush, Roush Fenway, Office Depot. Anybody out there who has a dream, just follow it. My little brother is racing tonight, and I know he’s watching. Mom, Dad, Kenny… I love you guys, and to win this race is cool. We’re back.” – Carl Edwards
“We couldn’t [catch up to Edwards]. Those guys did a good job. They beat us to the end. We dominated, I think, the first half. The car was really good. It was a great weekend for everyone at Gillett Evernham. These teams did a great job, and everybody stepped up. This is the first time that we’ve run good with McDonald’s on the car, but it was nice to get a Dodge Avenger up front with McDonald’s on it.” – Kasey Kahne, finished second
“Yeah, I ain’t worried about that. I had a good night tonight. I just run 500 miles at Bristol, so I’m pretty stoked about finishing fifth. Sunday off, baby! Finally! Every time ESPN does a race, it rains Saturday night and we have to race Sunday.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Editor’s Note: Ironically, the races Earnhardt Jr. referred to that got rained out on a Saturday night (Richmond, Darlington) were actually televised by FOX.
“We just broke something on the inside of the motor. Mike [Ford, crew chief] told me if I thought it was going to break, to save the racecar. Luckily, I was able to wave everybody off and kept the car in one piece, because it has been a rocket ship all day. The whole FedEx Freight team did a great job on pit road preparing the racecar, and I am really excited about things to come in the future. I think those other 11 Chase guys are going to deal with us before it is all said and done.” – Denny Hamlin on his second career DNF, finished 43rd
“The track was obviously the best idea somebody could have implemented into a half-mile. I’m happy to race on it. I’m happy to come home in sixth place, racing Dale Jr. We led a lap and he didn’t, so we tied for the day. That’s big picture and we’ll take it. Our Dodge Avenger was tight in the beginning, a little loose in the middle, and then we got tight there at the end. So we’ll take it.” – Kurt Busch
“It was good. We needed long runs. We started in the back and finished 14th. I’m pretty happy with that. We fought hard all day and stayed on the lead lap. That’s big here. The new surface is awesome. I couldn’t run up high very much because our car was really loose, so I ran the bottom. It was a good day. It was a lot more fun out there than was it was before. And a lot of that is from the multi-lanes.” – David Stremme
“This was an ace job. This place is awesome. It was fun tonight. You could go from the bottom to the top. I don’t know what it was like to watch, but hopefully the race fans had as much fun as it was to drive tonight. You could run all over the racetrack, that was what was so much fun about it. I can tell you, I don’t know what it was like from the outside of the car to watch it, but at least from the inside it was fun. You could race.” – Tony Stewart, finished fourth
“We should have easily run in the top 25, and I screwed up and pulled a Jeff Gordon. Under the green-flag pit stop, I went all the way around the whole track, and it cost us five positions. But, I gave it my all. That’s all I had right there. I thought it was a great opportunity, and I am very honored to have driven the car.” – Kenny Wallace, finished 32nd
“You know, it’s my fault. I’m blaming myself. I was too loose for my taste and I thought we were going to be too loose. We tightened up the car and it was just horrible. And when we tightened it up, we ran for 130 laps, so we went a lap down there. It was hard but we had fun today, we ran good. I’m proud of my guys.” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 17th
“We didn’t give each other too much room. He bumped me a couple times, but I don’t care. I’m not going to cry about it.” Montoya on repeated contact with Kevin Harvick during the race
“I’m used up. I told them on the radio that I wouldn’t do this for just anybody [laughing]. The track is great. I’m telling you, I was totally impressed. That was the best we’ve [all] raced [here, as drivers]. My hat’s off to these guys. They did a great job.” – Bill Elliott, finished 25th
“Them two cars are gonna wrassle for that spot.” – Commentator Rusty Wallace during the Sharpie 500