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 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway:
“I ran out of gas on the backstretch. [But] we are back, and we have all been working very hard to get back. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports… and I wish Rick (Hendrick, team owner) was here to see this. I am so proud of my guys and everyone associated with the Lowe’s team. This car was awesome tonight.” – Jimmie Johnson, race winner
“I would have loved to see Mark Martin get a win. Like he said, you don’t get that many chances. I was there rooting for him even though I was trying to chase him down there at the end. What a great run by this whole FedEx Kinko’s Toyota team. We were trying to raise awareness for March of Dimes, and I think we did that by running up front tonight.” – Denny Hamlin, finished third
“I don’t know that I’ve ever passed that many cars at a racetrack ever. The car was really good. That’s a great Ford Fusion there, but we just had some setbacks, one penalty and one tire that got loose. My hat’s off to Jimmie and those guys. They’ve been running really hard and getting better and better, and he earned it.” – Carl Edwards, finished fourth
“We had such an incredible car. I’m just really proud of the team, and I want them to keep their chin up because I want to win some of these races. And they can do it. They can do it on pit road. And they gave me a racecar to win with tonight. I am just really, really proud to drive for the U.S. Army and give our soldiers something to cheer for.” – Mark Martin, finished fifth
“I am not frustrated. Had a good finish, proud of my team, had a great car. I have to congratulate Jimmie, he had such a super car. I hope Rick [Hendrick] is happy about the win. I am happy about it. I am glad that we got one. That usually means there is a lot more to come.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished seventh
“We really fought it all night. I don’t want to say that these cars don’t drive good, because they can drive better. My car just didn’t drive good tonight, so I just don’t want to piss Carl Edwards off. We just didn’t do the best job that we could do. We had a lot of things going against us tonight… but I’ll take it.” – Bobby Labonte, finished 12th
“I’m happy for Hendrick. I hate that Rick [Hendrick] wasn’t here to see that in person. It definitely was a great day for them. [For our team], I was very proud of the fact that we were able to fight back and get our lap back and then battle with two tires up there. I felt like we had a top-10 [car]. For some reason, those three extra positions seem to mean a lot to you at the end of the day.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 13th
“That’s a good day for our Yates Racing Ford Fusion. We’re still not desperate to seek sponsorship. We’ve been consistent. I thought we had a better car than that today, so I’m a little disappointed. Overall, a good day, a good, solid points day for us. We’re going to keep on digging and go on to the next one.” – David Gilliland, finished 15th
“We ran out of gas with three laps to go. What a bummer. We really had a good car. We just qualified like crap, and that hurt. If we can work on qualifying, it’s going to help. I ran with the top-seven guys all night long. My qualifying effort sucked; I have to work on that, and we’ll be fine.” – Robby Gordon, finished 29th
“It looked like the No. 12 (Ryan Newman) blew up right about the dogleg, and I’m surprised that NASCAR took so long to throw the caution. I think if they could have got the caution out quicker, maybe everybody would have slowed down before we drove into [turn] 3 there at speed and went into an ice-skating rink.” – JJ Yeley, finished 39th
“They’re kinda two of a kind. They just speak different languages.” – Darrell Waltrip on Juan Pablo Montoya and Robby Gordon
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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