NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Daytona 500

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint 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 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway:

“It’s awesome. It’s probably one of the most awesome things that’s ever happened to me. To understand all the history of NASCAR, of racing in general, you know, the drivers’ meeting, to be looking face to face with all the guys, the greats that were on stage up there, and now to be part of one of those guys and part of that team, it’s just awesome. Kurt [Busch] was the push from heaven that made it all happen. I have to thank Kurt first and foremost.” – Ryan Newman

“To give my teammate a shot and to push him victory makes me feel like we won this thing as well right along with him. We had to work our way to the front and then we got caught speeding on pit road. This is just a team effort and I’m really happy for this Miller Lite Dodge.” – Kurt Busch, finished second

“It’s pretty tough to come in here and say that I’m happy to go from first to third on the last lap of the Daytona 500. I just made the wrong decision on the backstretch and tried to get down in front of Kyle [Busch]. It’s hard to explain – it’s probably one of the most disappointing moments of my racing career tonight.” – Tony Stewart, finished third

“It was a good day. We had the dominant car all day long. I could hold it wide open every single lap of the race. It’s frustrating to come home fourth, but that’s a part of the Daytona 500 when you run as good as we had all day long. We’ll take it on and go to California and have a good one there.” – Kyle Busch, finished fourth

“I am real proud of my team, real proud of the effort that we had this week. I have to thank them; it has been great for me. I have enjoyed this so much. Congratulations to Ryan [Newman] and [Roger] Penske. We are going to build on this; this is a great finish for us to start the season. I think we are going to have a lot of fun this year.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished ninth

“We had a really good run out there today. We were a little bit shy on speed. I don’t know how I stayed out of trouble. I got hit on every corner and was sandwiched in the draft. They had my rear tires off the ground and the nose against the guys in front of me. It was just a handful. I don’t know how I survived it.” – Greg Biffle, finished 10th

“I was pretty happy with the car all day. I’ve got a little bit of work to do, not only getting the draft down but also getting in and out of the pits. It’s a learning year for us and we know that the best thing that I can do is get a whole bunch of time out there on the racetrack. Ryan [Newman] and Kurt [Busch] both have an excellent start to the year and hopefully they’ll be able to continue forward and I’ll be able to continue myself.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished 15th

“We had suspension failure. We had some issues testing; all of us did. The DuPont Chevrolet was awesome. We were having a blast up there. I didn’t feel like anybody had anything for the No. 18 [Kyle Busch] and the No. 11 [Denny Hamlin] when I was running up there and I was pretty darn proud just to be hanging with them.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 39th

“We had a car that was capable of winning the race. It’s pretty hard to stomach being taken out when you’re leading the Daytona 500. A couple of guys got impatient up front and we were the casualty. The worst part about it is having to wait another year to try again.” – Clint Bowyer, finished 24th

“We finished – that’s about all I can say right now. The guys gave it their absolute best and we had great pit stops all day long. We learned some stuff today, which was good, and I have a lot to learn about drafting.” – Dario Franchitti, finished 33rd

“The No. 77 [Sam Hornish Jr.] got loose inside of me or something went on there where he just barely got me and turned me around. It was really difficult to pass anyone out there. This is a big race. I wanted to win this race. I felt like we had the car, especially in the beginning of this race that was capable of doing it.” – Jimmie Johnson, finished 27th

“I’m sorry that I took out my teammate Matt Kenseth. I just bottomed out and shot straight up the track and it took us both out. I’m disappointed in myself. I should have known what we were doing out there. I just want to apologize to Matt Kenseth and all the DeWalt fans out there. We’ll have the backup going to California.” – David Ragan, finished 43rd

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