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 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma:
“When we were here on Friday, I thought it was going to be a miserable weekend. I was wondering which tire barrier I was going to put it in. But we came so far; we’ve never turned a racecar around so much. We came from 30th to 13th during that first green-flag run before the first caution – that was pretty cool.” – Kyle Busch, race winner
“It was a great day for us. I’m just real proud of all the guys, freecreditreport.com and all of our sponsors, and I’m really proud of Yates Racing. As a whole – where we were last year [compared to] how far we are now – it’s [changed] 180 degrees [from] where it was, and I think it still has the potential to get even better. So, I’m real proud to be a part of that.” – David Gilliland, finished second
“I am excited about getting a third-place finish. I think it shows what kind of a race team we have: we never give up and fight hard. What a great effort by this DuPont Chevrolet team. Those last two laps were two of the toughest laps I have ever made around a racetrack. It was so slick out there, and we were all dirt tracking it. It was fun and hairy at the same time.” – Jeff Gordon, finished third
“It was a good day, just a good way to get things bounced back on the right track; we’d been off a little these last few weeks. Just real proud of Gil [Martin, crew chief] and all the guys on this Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet team for getting us back on track. Jeff [Gordon] was right; with all that oil dry up there on turn 10, it was so slick, I about lost it – but got it saved.” – Clint Bowyer, finished fourth
“It was a good racecar. It wasn’t as fast as we need to be, but overall it was pretty good. You know, it was one of those deals where we were hoping for a little bit more. The team did a great job on the pit stops and we were competitive, we just got tangled up with the No. 21 and it cost us a few spots.” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished sixth
“Our strategy was off. We had to pass way more cars than we should have. But we had some racing luck, too, with a couple guys spinning out to help put us back up there – [and that allowed] the Alltel Dodge [to] get a top-10 finish. We finished seventh, but we need to be better than that. [Our car] was better than a seventh in the race, so finishing seventh is not satisfactory.” – Ryan Newman
“I feel like we won. This is the only track on the circuit that we never had a top 10 at, and we fixed that today. That’s my best finish ever here – and Dale Jr., too, that was pretty fun racing him at the end. I think that’s both of our first top 10s – I think it’s the only track neither one of us had a top 10 at, so that’s pretty cool that we drove hard and got a good finish.” – Matt Kenseth, finished eighth
“We came from 39th and ran second. I think we as a team did a really good job. We weren’t as good as Kyle [Busch] and we weren’t as good as Jamie [McMurray]. You know, we got ourselves in a position to run second there, and then it just didn’t work out.” – Tony Stewart, finished 10th
“When the brake pedal went to the floor on the third lap, I knew we had a big problem. Our car started the race just as strong as we were in practice yesterday. But a component failure cut our day short. We did qualify, and that was a big hurdle after what we’ve been through this year. So, maybe that black cloud is starting to lift for us.” – Boris Said, finished 41st
“I was downchanging to first and I heard it go ‘crunch, crunch.’ It put a hole in the gearbox casing, and we were spraying oil everywhere. I didn’t want to oil the track and make a mess, so I just came in and parked it. I’m so grateful to Little Debbie and the McKee family for giving me this opportunity.” – Marcos Ambrose, finished 42nd in his Sprint Cup Series debut
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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