NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Pocono 500

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of 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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway:

“We had a great racecar. I’m so proud of our guys on this Office Depot/Old Spice team. We had a car that we were consistently in the top three speed-wise all day and were able to run guys down. Luckily we got enough laps under caution there with the rain that that put us right on the edge of our window of making it [on fuel]. I’m ecstatic. It was nice to get that All-Star win this year, but it was nice to get that first points win too.” – Tony Stewart

“I didn’t think Tony [Stewart] could save that much fuel, but he did a really good job. Our car was getting great fuel mileage all day. I’m just really proud of my guys. We ran up front all day, and I think we led the most laps. That’s a good step. I’d really like to be out there with the trophy, but it’s good for points.” – Carl Edwards, finished second

“We had a pretty decent car all day, and he [Rodney Childers, crew chief] told us to save, save, save that last pit stop and said we were probably one of the few cars that could make it. There towards the end I think we were all running five seconds slower. This is like a win for me here because I have sucked so bad here in the past, it is great to be in the top five.” – David Reutimann, finished third

“We’ve seen it happen at a lot of races. This is a tough place to save [fuel] so I am really impressed with those guys that finished ahead of us. The double-file restart there killed us so we have got to work on that a little bit. Tried to win it with the rain and that didn’t work, so fourth place, I am pretty excited about that.” – Jeff Gordon

“We were in a great position and unfortunately, coming to pit road to pit, the caution came out. I couldn’t see the flagman or lights or anything, so hopefully they can look into a little better light system at each of the tracks. But luckily, we rebounded from that and had a great car and drove up to the top five. Then at the end we were just playing a fuel game, and I didn’t play it well enough.” – Jimmie Johnson, finished seventh

“Our day was OK. It was a long one for sure. We started off the race pretty good, but then we lost the handle on the car a bit. We got it back, got some grip and track position, and then we had to come in late to top off [the fuel] and try to make it to the end [of the race]. Kasey [Kahne] got loose and went up the track, made some contact, popped a tire and had to driver the last two and a half miles with a flat tire.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished 10th

“We ran third all day and finished 16th. I don’t know what else to say about it.” – Matt Kenseth

“We started off bad, kind of like I was going to expect to run, and I learned a lot about where to be on the racetrack. Kind of wish we had practice back to adjust on where I needed to be and that kind of thing. We were running good at the end, but it was too late. Maybe we should have finished a few spots better. I feel like I’m going to have a better piece when I come back here next time.” – Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race, finished 23rd

“I thought that the double-file restarts worked out well. Strategy wise, the first chance that we had to stay and be the waved car and try to short pit and get back out, it just didn’t work because the cautions fell outside of our pit window. So that’s just an unlucky break for the UPS team.” – David Ragan, finished 26th

“What a frustrating day. We had a really fast Stanley Dodge and raced all the way from 30th to sixth. I thought for sure that we had a top-10 finish at the end, but we pushed our luck on fuel and ran our on the last lap. That was devastating knowing we had a top-10 car and finished 30th. I know our cars are getting a lot more competitive, but we just haven’t had any luck fall our way at the end.” – AJ Allmendinger

“I’m proud of you guys. You make me look like a damn genius in here!” – Stewart on his radio after the checkered flag flew

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