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, 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover Downs.
“We unloaded on Friday, the Office Depot Ford Fusion was fast. I wish we could’ve started the race right then, it was so good. We just fought back and had a great battle with Matt [Kenseth]. Hated to see him lose an engine. He easily would’ve been first or second today… those restarts were a real stresser, [too], there at the end battling with Mark [Martin]… but I kind of just decided to have fun with it. And Greg [Biffle] was pretty fast at the end, had tires; [let’s just say] I did not need another restart, that I was pretty excited it went green.” – Carl Edwards
“It was a pretty good day for us. It wasn’t that great early and we kept working on the car and made some tire-pressure adjustments, wedge, and whatnot, and got it pretty good and was good on long runs. If I had been in front of Mark when that caution came out, I think I might’ve had a chance to get on the outside of Carl getting in the corner maybe on the restart… but it wasn’t to be. It was a pretty good run for us. We hadn’t been running like this all season, so it’s nice to be back running decent again.” – Greg Biffle, finished second
“We had a lot of luck go our way and we also worked really hard to get to where we got. I am real proud of my team, they gave me a great opportunity today to run great and we ran up front early in the race and were able to stay there most of the day. We had some down parts in the race and got a lap down, but we were able to get that back. I am just real proud of my team, Budweiser, and everybody for supporting me this year and the rest of the season. This is a good run for us, this really helps us going in to the next couple of races.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished third
“Oh gosh, I was on suicide watch for the first 200 laps, but we finally hit on something that the car liked and got ourselves in a position that we were already a lap down, but we kept getting boxed in in the pit box. That’s just one of those pit roads where there are very short boxes. We’d get in and then we’d lose position – not necessarily positions on the scoreboard, but positions on the track, and then we’d have to fight our way through.” – Tony Stewart, finished ninth
“Well, it was certainly very eventful. In typical Dover style and fashion for us, we took off and the car was awesome. I thought maybe we were going to have a good day here… and then, it just went downhill from there. We just got real loose, and we just fought it. What this race is all about is survival (though) and putting up a great team effort. We certainly didn’t have the car that we were hoping for today, but we fought through to a decent finish and missed some accidents.
“It was a crazy Dover day, and somehow, we’ve come out of it with the points lead.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 11th
“We were a little bit loose. I guess it’s my fault. I watched the Busch race yesterday and I knew Denny was sick. I just didn’t know he was hallucinating and needed three lanes to get up off the corner. It’s a shame that a guy with that much talent has to drive like that. We’ve seen it a lot. We’ve seen it all year long. Even his teammate Tony Stewart talked about it. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.” – Kyle Petty, following an incident with Denny Hamlin that took both cars to the garage for repairs; he finished 38th
“Don’t smack me on the helmet. You smack me on the helmet and I’m going to punch you in the face, bottom line. (Referring to Petty) You’ve got a car two seconds off the pace, or whatever it may be. The biggest thing is that I know Kyle gets run over a lot, and a lot of the reason is that he’s so far off the pace.” – Denny Hamlin, following the incident with Petty; finished 40th
“We had a lot of promise early in the race – we were really running fast. Then we had a power steering issue – then we had handling issues. All in all, we were competitive all day and fast early so we can take this, be positive, and have a good feeling about what we did here today.” – Michael Waltrip, finished 15th
“Man, I wish I could come back and kind of start all over, Busch and Cup. We just really struggled. This is one of my favorite tracks, and we seemed to run well here in the spring. Our Cup car was just a handful all day. The first 15 laps, it was a rocket ship. We moved up 10 spots and I thought we were going to have an excellent car from there on… but it was extremely tight.” – David Ragan, finished 25th
“I just caught the fence in turn 2, and it collected so many top cars – and everybody, for that matter. It’s tough when everybody puts a lot of hard work into building these cars and one little problem like that took out a lot of cars. It was a nice top five that was developing; we actually had 30-lap fresher tires then anybody, and then something broke.” – Kurt Busch, finished 29th
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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