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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 LifeLock 400 at Michigan

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 LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway:

“Well, you know, this team deserves to be in the Chase, and we were on the outside looking in with all the trouble we’ve had. I went for the points, man. We ran out [of fuel], coming off of [turn] 4. I told Rick (Hendrick, team owner) just please don’t fire me. I qualified 32nd Friday night, and I was laying in bed just worrying about it. Heck, I love this stuff. I want to drive this car forever.” – Mark Martin

“I think we saved a little too much [fuel], actually. I was happy to get by Denny [Hamlin] and come home second. I hate to see those guys run out, but that’s just the way some of these races turn out. Congratulations to Mark Martin. It’s hard to beat him and Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) right now.” – Jeff Gordon

“Ford gets the best fuel mileage out there anywhere in the world. Greg [Biffle] was just racing his heart out. It’s good to see Mark [Martin] win a race. He’s a good friend of mine. Our Aflac team performed well. It was a good, solid points day. We didn’t run quite as well as we wanted to, but I’m just glad to see all these fans out here enjoying the sport.” – Carl Edwards, finished fourth

“We had to save [fuel] that whole round. We were a couple of laps short. We would’ve made it, but the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) came up there and put pressure on us. Fuel mileage, two weeks in a row. Last week, [at Pocono] I was running third and finished 11th, and this week I was leading and finished fifth. So we’ll keep working at it.” – Greg Biffle

“I think everyone did an awesome job on our team. We have been having a lot of good points days lately with our Target Chevy. Our car was pretty good from the start of the race to the end. It was a nice, quiet day.” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished sixth

“We ran out of fuel 100 feet from the start/finish line. It’s nerve-wracking, for sure. Buy anytime you go to Pocono or Michigan, you know that’s what can happen, and you know you just have to play your cards accordingly. We were just a little bit off today. But we’ve been good all year, and to say we had a bad day and still end up seventh is a good day.” – Tony Stewart

“A solid day for our Miller Lite Dodge today. We made changes all day and felt like the changes that we made for the last run really made our car competitive. Otherwise, we would have slid outside of the top 10. We just didn’t have a contending car to win the race. We’ll take an eighth-place finish any day.” – Kurt Busch

“Obviously, not how we wanted to finish. We were happy with the car in practice, and today we started off and it was just really, really, really loose. I’ve never seen [the track] change that much. We fought it all day. We got it fixed on the last run, but we ran out of time.” – Brian Vickers, finished ninth

“I’m proud of my guys this weekend. That’s definitely our best run in a while. I had to pedal our Best Buy Dodge there at the end to make sure that we got the fuel mileage, but we were able to make it. We’ve been kicked and beaten down the last month. We came back to a track that we know that we should run well at and did it. It felt really good.” – Elliott Sadler, finished 12th

“We worked on the car and had it real good at one point; I was real happy. We had about a 10th-place car, but we were trying to save fuel at the end and gave up a couple spots trying to do that. Not as many people ran out as we thought would. We are definitely seeing some signs of improvement.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 14th

“Well, there’s just not much you can do. It’s a shame to have such strong racing and come back with whatever finish it was. We raced hard. We led the most laps. There were people running out of the way, but I did finish the race.” – Jimmie Johnson, who ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap, finished 22nd

“This was by no means the results we anticipated coming into this race. It was just one of those days when nothing seemed to work. This team is capable of running up front every week. Like our soldiers, we’ll never quit – we’ll just fight harder. We really wanted to come out and give our sponsor, the U.S. Army, a special birthday present today.” – Ryan Newman, finished 23rd