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 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
“Finally! The curse is over, I hope. We had such bad luck over these last two weeks. It finally feels good to come here and get a win in front of the hometown fans. I can’t wait – this is a sign of things to come, I believe.” – Denny Hamlin, race winner
“We had such an awesome racecar the first half of the race. I’m real proud of that, that was a great effort. I’m just real proud of this Dupont Chevrolet Impala team. They worked hard, we had a great car.” – Jeff Gordon, finished second
“Real proud of all my guys. I thought we had something, we started coming back on him [Denny Hamlin] and then that kid in the [No.] 00 [Michael McDowell], he’s going to learn some manners or I’m going to teach them to him or he can choose it… however he wants, it but it will be one way or the other.” – Jeff Burton, finished third
“We’re all racing for spots, and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine was really good. I was trying to gain a few spots, and we’re trying to keep the car in the Top 35. The No. 11 [Denny Hamlin] got by, and we were able to hang with him for four or five laps… once the 31 [Jeff Burton] put a nose underneath, I let him go. I made a few mistakes out there today, I’m sure, but by no means was I trying to hold the No. 31 [Burton] up.” – Michael McDowell, finished 26th
“We got a good finish, I am real happy about that; we led a lot today, we can’t be too upset. I daydream about getting that first win, and I would have loved to have gotten a clock today. That would be ridiculous to be disappointed with how we did today, because we did really good.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished sixth
“When guys would get underneath me, I would just let them go because we had to finish well today so we could have a little bit of a buffer in the points when we go to Texas. That was a really solid day. You have to take one step at a time, and certainly just getting in the Top 35 was the goal this weekend. I’m positive that we’ve done that.” – Jamie McMurray, finished eighth
“I feel pretty good. I appreciate Dennis Setzer working with us the last two days, giving me a little break on Friday and Saturday…and that made a big difference today. My doctor [Dr. Mike Anderson] came up this weekend from home – that’s pretty special for him to come in here and get me all straightened this morning and loosened up like I needed to. I took a few Tylenol, and I felt great during the race. I’m a little sore… I’ll definitely be feeling this in the morning.” – Elliott Sadler, finished 15th, speaking about his back injury
“We just missed it today – plain and simple. I had my hands full all day with the Alltel Dodge. Looking at the day, it could have been a lot worse, and we did recover to get a top-20 finish. But I know we are a lot better than that.” – Ryan Newman, finished 19th
“We were really fast all day today, and we were hoping for a top 10 so we could gain the points we lost in Bristol. We ran out of gas with only a couple laps to go, and had to come to pit road under green. It’s just really disappointing because I know we had a top-20 finish… for the second straight race, we had something take us out of the running at the end.” – Brian Vickers, finished 23rd
“Every time we made up a little ground, we kept getting wrecked or wrecked, whatever the case turned out to be. We were so far off in the beginning, and then I got spun out on pit road and pitted out of the box. That cost us a lap, and it took us 200 laps to get that back, and then we really ran pretty good… but we just kept getting run into.” – Matt Kenseth, finished 30th
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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