Each week, we’ll go through 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 Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
“I was happy to see the No. 12 (Newman) get by the No. 24 (Gordon), because I was thinking about the points we would gain on the No. 24. But then I said, ‘Whoa, Ryan’s hungry. He hasn’t won in a while.’ I was more worried about the No. 12 at the end there than I was about the No. 24. I washed up in the middle of the corner, and he [Newman] was inside of me going down the straightaway. I left the door open, and the caution certainly helped me.” – Jimmie Johnson
“It was a good run for the Alltel Dodge Avenger. We weren’t a very good car yesterday in practice at any point. We made some changes that worked, and the guys did a good job. In hindsight, I still wish we had the last lap on the outside of the No. 48. It was a good run for us. We had a little bump and run there with the No. 24. That is something that has happened to me in the past, so I didn’t feel that bad giving it to him. In the end, it was a good finish for us.” – Ryan Newman, finished second
“It was all over the place for us. Obviously, it started out great. We were just up front, really cruising and the car was fantastic. Just trying to fine-tune on it, and we had one problem in the pits and had to come back in, and that pretty much made us play catch-up all day long. But looking at what it could have been at one point, I’m very, very pleased to come out of here with a third-place finish. Jimmie was strong, we were strong, and he got the best of us. ” – Jeff Gordon, finished third
“That was a win. I won! That’s the first time I’ve finished a race at Martinsville in my life – my life. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never had a car like that here. I got it down on how to brake and I learned a lot from watching Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson and Matt [Kenseth]. I learned a lot from those guys and applied it and got a seventh-place finish. It’s just unbelievable.” – Greg Biffle, finished seventh
“That was a long race. That’s one of the longest ones I’ve ever had. Our Office Depot Fusion was great at the beginning and then the alternator quit alternating, or whatever it does, and I ran out of one battery. We had to shut all the fans off. We’re auctioning off this City of Hope suit and helmet and it’s going to be the sweatiest auction item in the history of the world. It was a very, very long day, but we ended up 11th – that’s alright.” – Carl Edwards, finished 11th
“The motor’s gotten way way worse. That’s why we’re losing spots! I wish it would just blow up. I’m sick of being out here losing power like this… I’m tellin’ ya, man, I’m sick of this engine (stuff). Have ya got something real old back at the shop that we can run the rest of the year? Something that will at least run. Do you guys give a (expletive), because I sure do! I don’t care what you do. Throw me to the wolves. Leave me out here on 100-lap tires. That’s cool. I’m ready to do battle!” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his radio on lap 286, finished 23rd
“We had a good day. We worked on the car all day and couldn’t get where we wanted to be, but I think in general it was a great day. A top 10 here, it’s a big thing.” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished eighth
“I’ve never raced so hard to get nowhere in all my life. We got pretty good, and then all of a sudden something happened and I got really loose. Then the pump belt came off of it.” – Bill Elliott, finished 34th
“It’s pretty cool to think you’ve run 800 some races and my father [Richard Petty] has run over 1,000. I look at guys like Ricky [Rudd] and I stand in awe. You look at the races he has run and the wrecks he has been in. I’m humbled to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys. When we started, that’s how it was; drivers expected to run into their late 40s. It means I’ve been here a long time.” – Kyle Petty on his 810th career start
“It was a good points day. We lost the handle on it for a good while during the middle of the race, but we got it back there at the end. Getting stuck back in traffic here, it’s a bear. It’s hard to pass. Really hard. I got into the No. 43 [Bobby Labonte] and I feel bad about that. I didn’t mean to spin him. I wasn’t trying to. It’s Martinsville and that happens here. If somebody doesn’t leave here mad, they probably didn’t show up.” – Tony Raines, finished 14th
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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