Welcome to Running Their Mouth! 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 Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
“I forgot what it was like, it has been so long. It’s been, I don’t know how many races it’s been, but it seems like an eternity since we won a race. Especially with the Chase a week away now, we needed these 10 points and we need this momentum. This team has been doing an awesome job for the last two and a half or three months and we’ve been kind of quiet this year, we took off slow but thank goodness for Office Depot and Old Spice, these guys with this Chevrolet, they have been doing a great job. The pit stops have been good. The cars have been good. With Darian and these guys at our shop, it has just been really fun the last couple of months.” – Tony Stewart, race winner
Is this the Stewart that constantly ruffled feathers just a few years ago, known for an out-of-control temper and an aggressive driving style? Basically the least corporate driver in the garage area? Normally I’m not very fond of anyone who says and does all the right things, but it was also surprising to see Stewart so giddy and emotional over a victory. Maybe this owner thing is working out for him after all.
“We were fortunate to get back on the lead lap and finish inside the top 20. In the big picture, it’s not a win, but it wasn’t in the 30s either. I’m satisfied with the way our team worked together tonight and made what could have been a bad night, a salvageable night.” – David Ragan, finished 19th
Are things really that bad for David Ragan where “not in the 30s” is considered a good finish?
Controversy of the Week
“Ryan [Newman] and I are fine. We don’t have an issue with each other, it’s just that when you get racing sometimes it gets you mad. He lost about four spots from me rubbing him a little bit and I lost about 25 or 30 from him rubbing me, so he got me a little better.” – Kasey Kahne, finished 32nd
Though Kahne played it off the right way, you could almost hear race fans everywhere silently chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” If no fisticuffs, at the very least many would have enjoyed a verbal cheap shot. After all, it’s not likely either of these drivers will make the Chase. What have they got to lose, right?
“That was fun. Tony just had such a fast car there at the end, but we’re back. We’re doing it. We’re scoring more points than anybody. We’re heading into the chase. I feel like we locked ourselves in and I just want to thank Aflac for sticking behind us. That’s what they do, they stick behind you when things are bad.” – Carl Edwards, finished second
I’ve learned to take annoying sponsor plugs like these and just laugh at them. I know that deep down you’re laughing too. Admit it.
Crew Chief Quote of the Week
“It was just a really good night overall for the entire Stewart Haas organization, just a lot of hard work we have put in over the last few months just trying to get back to where we feel like we could win a race. We had good top-five, top-10 cars but just we were not able to get to victory lane. Tonight we had all the pieces together. We unloaded fast this weekend and Tony did an incredible job qualifying; starting up front makes all the difference in the world and good pit stalls and being able to help the guys out, all things combined, it was a good effort.” – Darian Grubb, winning crew chief
Grubb certainly has come a long way from the replacement crew chief for a suspended Chad Knaus.
Best of the Rest
“It was really a good night. There were times where we lost the handle and were able to adjust the car and get it back-something that we’ve had struggles with on the mile-and-a-half tracks the last couple months. So all-in-all, it was a solid day. We did a good job in the pits, good job on the track. Glad to get a good run on a track that has been tough on us.” – Jimmie Johnson, finished third
“As dumb as it sounds for being a five-hour race, we just ran out of time. We just need to figure out our adjustments earlier, I guess. Overall, it was a good day for us. I’m happy for our finish considering how we ran.” – Matt Kenseth, finished 11th
“It was my fault. I didn’t know we were still three-wide and I guess I cut down on the [No.] 39. I have to watch the replay. He certainly didn’t cut us any slack. He could have cut us some slack and let us go there. I don’t know, I’ll have to watch the replay before I make my judgment, but I didn’t know we were still three-wide. It looked like I had cleared him, along with the [No.] 43, and I just turned down into the corner and, unfortunately, he was there. We still locked ourselves into the chase, so we’re excited about that.” – Greg Biffle, finished 32nd
“We didn’t pull any Gs at all, so I’m thankful they had that here in turn 4 at Atlanta. I do want to say thanks to all the fans for showing up tonight. We’ve got a heck of a crowd here in Atlanta. Man, I just really wanted to finish this race and run good. It’s the same car I had at Michigan and we were making a comeback, but it just wasn’t meant to be.” – Elliott Sadler, finished 41st
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