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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2010 Daytona 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 sneak peek at what they all were thinking following the Great American Race, the Daytona 500:

“From where I was last year… and for Johnny Morris (Bass Pro Shops) and Chip [Ganassi] and Felix [Sabates], Bass Pro Shops to take a chance on me and let me come back, it means a lot to me. What a way to pay them back. Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife. My Dad is here – it is just very emotional. After we won Talladega, we went to McDonald’s. I think tonight, we will have a Big Mac.” – Jamie McMurray, Daytona 500 champion

“I guess this means I’m going to Disneyland! That was awesome. Chip [Ganassi], Felix [Sabates], and Teresa [Earnhardt] give us everything we need. Brian Pattie, you couldn’t ask for a better teammate and brother. You’d better watch out for this Earnhardt Ganassi team this year. Thanks to everyone who helped push. I closed my eyes for the last lap.” – Kevin “Bono” Manion, winning crew chief

“I am just disappointed to come that close and not win it but, I’ll tell you. We did the right thing by coming down and getting two tires. The AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet was pretty good all day. Just working on some handling issues. I’m happy for Jamie [McMurray] and his crew chief Bono, who helped me when I was younger.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished second

“I’m so happy for him. I went straight to victory lane after I got done with my interviews. I felt like I was a big part of getting him up there. This is a big, big win for anybody’s career. Now, I can get him to take me out to dinner and pay for it.” – Greg Biffle, finished third, on McMurray’s big win

“I needed my teammate behind me on that restart. I chose the outside. Probably in hindsight, that wasn’t the best decision, but the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet was very strong, and we had a lot of fun.” – Clint Bowyer, finished fourth

“When I thought I had a flat tire, I was screaming, ‘The hole is really big!’ hoping we’d get a caution. (laughs) And then I realized we didn’t have a flat tire so it’s like, oh well. I was just looking for something.” – Jimmie Johnson, finished 35th

“It’s been a great day for us. We thought we had the car to beat, and just zigged when I should have zagged.” – Kevin Harvick, finished seventh

“It was a great day for the team with Jamie [McMurray] winning; that was huge. We both had good cars and good opportunities. I just got stuck on the bottom when I was running up front and lost a lot of ground. But overall, this is big. Starting the season like this is what we need.”  – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 10th

“Congratulations to Jamie [McMurray]. I know how much that means to him and that whole team. Obviously a disappointing day for us. Those last laps were bumper cars at 195 mph. There is no other way to describe it. It is crazy. It is moments like that you wish some things were different. But that is what we do, and you know what, it puts a heck of a show on most of the time (and madness the others.)” – Jeff Gordon, finished 26th

“I guess qualifying with a backup car on Thursday was our biggest day here. We felt really good about the Wave Energy Drink Chevrolet at that point, but the race really didn’t go too well for us.” – Mike Bliss, finished 42nd

“We’re excited about kicking off 2010. It’s obviously a year where we have some very high expectations, and now we just have to manage them.” – Denny Hamlin, finished 17th

“We moved the starting time up for the fans, and then we spread it out ’till dark for TV. I don’t know if you all heard all those clicks and all that clicking noise during that second delay – that was channels being turned to the race to see what was going to happen in Daytona.” – Michael Waltrip, finished 18th