Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2007 UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega

Each week, we’ll go through 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 much-anticipated UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:

“We avoided the wrecks, and all of a sudden found ourselves in the top 15 with about 25-30 to go, and we held on there. What I don’t understand is how I got by my teammate. I got a couple of pushes. When it got three-wide, I thought, `This is my opportunity.’ Luckily, when I got high and Jimmie tried to block me, the No. 20 was there and had nowhere to go. He’s the one who pushed me to the front.” – Jeff Gordon

“It was interesting. The cars like to be nose to tail as far as drafting. I did my best to push Newman to victory. Our day was great. We survived and finished in the top 10. All in all, we consider this a big success. You want to win every race you can, but if you can’t, you need a top-10 finish.” – Kurt Busch, finished seventh

“I got a little bit shuffled out and my teammates, they were coming behind and closed the door. They didn’t help me. That was very helpful (sarcasm). We finished. What else can you ask for at a place like this?” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 15th

“I did the best that I could there. We had a great run going there coming down the back straightaway. I thought Denny and myself were working pretty well together, but he snookered me there and we ended up running 14th or something, instead of top five like it looked like. But it was a good effort because we didn’t wreck the car.” – Carl Edwards

“The car was great. I was committed to the top line and it’s disappointing about the No. 07. He was below us and I was committed to the outside, and he basically ran into us and got us into the fence. What irks you is that if I did that to him, I would be the biggest idiot in the world, but I didn’t. I’m disappointed because I let them [the No. 88 team] down a little bit there at the end, but that’s the way it goes, I guess.” – Mike Wallace, finished 19th in a one-time substitute role for RYR

“It’s unfortunate for our Chase chances, but we knew that Talladega was going to be our mulligan; we circled it on the calendar that this was going to be the one we were going to wreck in. The team, of course, wants to be optimistic, and they want me to be optimistic, but I’m sorry, it’s the realism that sets in that you are so far back, it’s going to take a lot to get back in this deal.” – Kyle Busch, finished 36th

“We had a good car, we led some, we got the people on their feet. I thought we could win it. I’m sad for Martin more than anything. We have a gremlin in there.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. after engine woes relegated him to a 40th-place finish

“I’m glad that I didn’t create any problems with the drivers. The finger was being pointed before the race, and that was understandable. The goal today was to stay out of trouble and not make enemies, so next time I come back, everything will be a little bit easier. Also, I worked great with the crew and the spotter. Overall, it was a great experience.” – Jacques Villeneuve, finished 21st in his first Nextel Cup Series start

“Everybody got what they wanted. They got to see a wreck-fest, just like Talladega. I haven’t finished a race here yet in a Nextel Cup car. I don’t ever plan to, I just come to put on a show for everybody and see when I wreck. It’s unfortunate we’ve got to race like that, because we can’t see out of the cars. That’s what most of these wrecks are caused from, because we just can’t see anything.” – Greg Biffle, finished 23rd after being involved in the Big One

“We had trouble with tires all day. They had been out of balance all day long. I had about four sets that vibrated. I have to apologize to Dale [Jarrett]. He checked up over here and I ran all over him… that’s all there is to it. You can’t see through the back of these cars. We were tagging along back there and I hate it for him.” – Kyle Petty, finished 28th

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