NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2008 UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas

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 UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

“It was a great car. I thought we were gonna receive another penalty for a tire that got away, and NASCAR made a judgment call in our favor after looking at the tape. I believe it was the right one, and I’m just very grateful for them looking at that and giving that to us.” – Carl Edwards, race winner

“I am thrilled with this finish. We didn’t need the red flag, though; the tires spinning, that was just more me trying to not set myself up for the restart correctly. The tire is a little hard… I am curious as to whether we could bring a softer tire and not have wear problems. If that was possible, I would love that.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished second

“I’ll argue that I had the fastest racecar today on the racetrack and the driver just screwed it up. I got caught speeding on pit road. I was able to get all the way back to, I think I was passing for fourth or third… and [I] got loose off of turn 2 and probably should have wrecked and don’t really understand why I didn’t yet, and lost all my track position again. This is the most fun I’ve had driving a racecar in probably a year or two.” – Greg Biffle, finished third

“It was a tough day. We could not seem to get our car going enough to get those guys for the “Lucky Dog.” Finally, when we got it, we tried to make the best of it. It was a good day for the whole FedEx team. It’s so tough to get these things tightened up, especially on a smooth racetrack with a hard tire. I really wish we had a little bit softer tire. Hopefully, next week when we go to Atlanta it will be a little bit grittier, and a lot more fun. This is what we need to do – gain some points.” – Denny Hamlin, finished 9th

“We started out good, and fell a little bit behind with track position. Then, we finally had a leak in the left-rear tire and had to come in and put four tires on it. We lost all of our track position, and couldn’t fight back.” – Kyle Busch, finished 11th

“It was a long day; we got behind, and got down a lap. We recovered; we recovered with a decent finish. We wanted better but we got a decent finish – we need points.” – Casey Mears, finished 13th

“It’s disappointing, but it all started back on the restart. Jeff [Gordon] is kind of famous for laying back, and NASCAR has a rule that you can’t lay back more than a car length or you can be black-flagged. I knew he was gonna get a run on me, so I laid back a little bit. We came off [turn] 2, and I was up as high as I thought I could get, and Jeff just came across. Whether it was on purpose or not, it just kind of wiped us out.” – Matt Kenseth, finished 20th

“Well, it was a little bit my fault. I got in the gas and I drifted up into Matt and hated that that happened. But I’ve got two things to say: Bruton (Smith, owner and founder of Speedway Motorsports Inc.), you need a soft wall and to change the wall back there on the back straightaway. That’s the hardest I’ve ever hit. I’m really disappointed right now in this speedway for not having a soft wall back there. I tell you what, that kind of hit shouldn’t happen. There is no reason why any track we go to shouldn’t have that. I could have been really hurt bad, and fortunately it turned out okay.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 35th

“The car was getting better and better and at the end there, we made a change. It was pretty good, actually. I was trying to pass Ryan Newman, and he used the whole track when he was by himself. Normally, I should be the one doing that because I’m the rookie, but I guess he’s allowed to or something. I had a really good run out of two, and we were back down the straightaway and he just kept coming up. He came up to me, and there was nothing I could do.” – Patrick Carpentier, finished 40th

“That’s the hardest [hit] I’ve taken in a long time. It just blew a right front I guess and went straight in. We smacked it yesterday – I tried to knock the fence down yesterday in the Nationwide race and thought I’d made some ground on it and tried to finish it off, but it shows how good the soft walls are – they don’t go anywhere still. There’s nothing in my head anyway, so there’s nothing for it to knock around really. It’s kind of like the wind blowing. It just is where it is.” – Tony Stewart, finished 43rd

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