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 Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway:
“The car was good all night. It feels pretty special to win this race. To get voted in by the fans – they voted us in – we didn’t even make our way in. The fans put us in the All-Star Race, and hopefully we made them happy. 24th to first, that’s the best that we can do.” – Kasey Kahne
“I tell you what, we were just a mediocre car [at the end]. I think we finished in the first segment second, I think, and then we fell back a couple more spots. [But] at the end, I thought it was gonna be just easy. I thought it was gonna be a Saturday night drive, and just went down into turn 1 after the restart and the tires just chattered – just way, way too tight like I was at the beginning of the race… [but] I’m just excited that we ran that good, and really excited for next week for the 600.
“This was a big confidence boost for our team. After the Darlington race, this is a big comeback for us.” – Greg Biffle, finished second
“We started dead last tonight. Nothing fancy with us – we drove ourselves to fifth place. I’m really happy with this finish. It’s nice that nobody had to crash tonight. Normally, these things are wreck-fests. The cool thing is that the fans know that they made the difference – they voted in the guy that was capable of going out and winning the race tonight. That’s pretty cool – I’m really glad [Kasey] had a good night.” – Tony Stewart, finished fifth
“The Alltel Dodge was decent tonight, and I think we learned some things that will help us come back here with a better car for next week’s race. Track position was everything tonight. We opted for two tires on the final pit stop, and some of the guys in front of us didn’t take any. Sixth place is a solid finish, and we’ll take what we learned and hopefully improve on that next Sunday.” – Ryan Newman
“We had a really good car. I thought we had a car that was capable of running in the top 10 here. Once we got out there running, I think we had one that was capable of winning. I think that’s part of the learning process for a rookie is learning who to run around, who you can’t run around, and who you need to be extra careful about. It’s just unfortunate that it happens that way – but the biggest bummer for me is that we don’t get any Raybestos Rookie of the Year points for this weekend.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished seventh
“I was pretty happy with the car. That last run, I thought we did the right thing getting tires, and I still think we did the right thing. Congratulations to Kasey [Kahne]; he did a good job. We didn’t have the car to even win the race at the end regardless of our strategy. We learned we’ve got some problems to fix, and I hope we will figure out how to get them fixed. The car is pretty close, though. I’m looking forward to next week. It’s going to be a long race. It should be a real tough, tough 600. Probably tougher than any other one any of us has ever ran.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished eighth
“I thought we were the car to beat. I thought we were gonna be great there [in the second half]. I was already thinking about what I was gonna do with all the money, having a good time, but something with that last set of tires on that last run, it was just off. I couldn’t go any faster. That’s that. That’s racing. Congrats to Kasey, he did a great job. I’m telling you, next week is gonna be a marathon.” – Carl Edwards, finished 10th
“It’s over – we’ve done it. It’s been great, and I wouldn’t do anything different. It feels great. We knew we were going to struggle. The team is still working, trying to get better. We were trying to practice over here during the day and give them information for a night race. We just kind of chased it around. It’s kind of what I expected. You always like to do more, but that’s OK, they worked hard for it. It started with about five to go [when I] started taking things in and realizing it wouldn’t be happening anymore.
“Once again, it was great. I’m very satisfied with the decision and the way things have gone in my career. This race is about the fans, and it was a chance for me to say thank you to them. They come here for the reason of what the All-Star Race is about, and it was the perfect race.” – Dale Jarrett, finished 21st in his final Sprint Cup Series race
“We broke something in the motor, unfortunately. It was a great racecar and a pretty dominant racecar and just had something break within the valve train. A rocker arm first and then a couple of valves, so we ended up just finishing for the night. This was a new piece, and it was pretty stout and it was pretty right… but just didn’t make the whole longevity here.” – Kyle Busch, finished 24th
“Kasey, I’m damn proud of you.” – Mark McArdle, VP and Managing Director of Competition for Gillett Evernham Motorsports
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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