Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2007 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

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 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway:

“I am shaking my head too, with (crew chief) Chad [Knaus]. I don’t know what to think about the success we have had this year. Great race. Great pit work. I cannot believe… 10 wins in one year. It is unbelievable.” – Jimmie Johnson

“Whatever they’ve (Jimmie Johnson’s team) got, we’re missing; we know everything they’ve got, but man, we’re just not hitting on it. And it’s unfortunate. I thought this was our year to get another one [championship] but we’re just coming up short here at the crucial time.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 10th

See also
Bowles-Eye View: Out with the Old, In with the New, Jeff Gordon Wondering What Might Have Been

“Just frustrating; we fought brake problems all day and just weren’t really a factor. Our goal for Homestead is to finish [laughs]. It would be good to get another win, but we just have to finish the year strong, not give up anything from behind… and we will be fine.” – Clint Bowyer, finished 11th

“That’s a great racecar. That thing is awesome. It was something important in the engine. I don’t know what it is, but we don’t have many engine failures. I would have welcomed one at Texas last week but to have it today – this Office Depot Fusion was so fast. It’s too bad it blew up.” – Carl Edwards, finished 42nd

“It was an up-and-down day for this Dish Network Ford Fusion. The car ran really good. The guys did a great job in the pits. I have to thank Matt Kenseth for pulling over. He pulled over and let me have a crack at [Jimmie]. We just needed [him] to make a little mistake and we would have been on him, but those guys are pretty good at not making mistakes.” – Greg Biffle, finished second

“We just need to be a little faster. We kind of got pinned behind that lapped car and got my momentum slowed. Jimmie was able to use him as a pick and get by; and once he got by, I just couldn’t catch him.” – Matt Kenseth, finished third

“We had a good run with the Miller Lite Dodge. It was just a little too tight in one spot and a little too loose in another spot. So, all in all, we’ll chalk it up as a year of experience with the CoT. We have some more work to do.” – Kurt Busch, finished 12th

“Right there, I just hit the wall. Today was frustrating. We got into it with a couple other cars earlier and the car wasn’t where we wanted it to be. It was time for the day to be over.” – Kasey Kahne, finished 40th

“I just wanted to go out there and finish the race. I said a couple of times, finishing in the top 30 would be a pretty good day as far as I was concerned. I’m a little bit rusty as far as race experience. It’s been two months since I ran this long of a race. I drank probably 10 bottles throughout the day and still feel dehydrated. So, we’ll keep working on it.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished 30th

“Everybody told me advice from the team. The two that helped the most were Jimmy Kitchens and Kenny Schrader. I qualified because of what Kenny Schrader said on Friday. That’s what got me in the show.” – Patrick Carpentier, finished 33rd

“We were all the way up there and there was someone on the inside – and I didn’t know there was someone on the outside, and I just noticed them once I was already spun and touched them. I’m not sure what exactly happened, and I’m very sorry.” – Jacques Villeneuve, finished 41st after wrecking with Kahne

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