Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel 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 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
“We didn’t have the best car tonight until the very end. It was pretty awesome at the end. I kept telling myself I was in practice… we’re off to a good start [to the Chase].” – Jimmie Johnson, winner of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400
“I’m happy for Jimmie, but I hate that he got those 10 points on us. Great run for us [though]. I had to settle for what – fourth, I guess. Happy to have Nicorette on the car and hope to help people stop smoking.” – Jeff Gordon, finished fourth
Just disappointed. We lost another motor tonight. And it seems like that’s just been the thing of the season for us. We have great power. We just can’t keep ’em together when we put ’em in my car, at least. I run good every week. We ain’t in the Chase; we probably should be in the Chase. Just disappointing man, these dang motors.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on not making the Chase, finished 30th after blowing his engine with six laps to go
“That was a good, solid run. The AAA Ford Fusion was good since we unloaded, and it was just a lot of fun to unload with some notes from the last race and then be able to be fast. We had good pit stops and everything just worked out good. We’ve had some good cars this year, but for pit stops to go right, for us not having mistakes on restarts, several things have to go right and it was just a good night. They [Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart] gave me some good racing room, but when you have a good car, everything just works out pretty easy.”- David Ragan, finished a career-best third
“The car drove good pretty much all night. All in all, this was a good night for us and everybody did a real good job. Last week, we didn’t get to finish what we started, and this week, I really feel like we did. I would have liked to have a top-10 finish tonight, and I’m disappointed because I think we had a car capable of doing that. I’m real happy with the effort, but I do feel like we might have left something on the table.” – David Reutimann, finished a career-best 13th
“Man, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon were having so much fun I felt like I was missing out on the party, so I wanted to get involved in that. It worked out good for us, because we got them guys racing real hard and wearing each other down. But it was fun, it was fun racing. It’s fun when you race around guys like Jeff and Dale Jr. like that, [guys] that you trust and you know you can run that close to and not have any problems with them.
“I’m really proud of how this team rebounded from all of us missing the Chase last year to this year after the 26-race stretch, ending up second. This team never gives up.” – Tony Stewart, finished second
“Luckily, Montoya hit us square in the rear end. We’re just hanging on. About 50 to go, we got a message that we were in. We’re happy.” – Kurt Busch, finished ninth
“The entire Interstate Batteries team did their job tonight. It was awesome. Steve (Addington, crew chief) had a really good car underneath me from the get-go. We just tuned on it all night. Pit stops tonight were great. We had one bad stop that cost us a little bit, but the way the cautions fell, it was an awesome night. To be side-by-side there at the end fighting for ninth place was great. To start back as far as we did and end up 10th if was definitely a good night.” – JJ Yeley, finished 10th
“I qualified bad (37th), and that’s what you get when you qualify bad. You start in the back with all the donkeys and the guys that can’t drive. I guess I can’t drive because I qualified bad to start with.” – Greg Biffle after getting collected in an early wreck, finished 39th
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.