Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

“That is amazing. First off, before I lose all of my thoughts, I have to thank Snickers, M&M’s, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, [crew chief] Steve Addington and all of these boys who have been on the No. 18 car from the beginning. The No. 18 has always been the car to beat here at Atlanta for many, many years when this place was redone and with Bobby Labonte. This means so much to come back here and do this. Overall, it’s great for Joe Gibbs Racing.” – Kyle Busch

“That was the most pathetic racing tire that I’ve ever been on in my professional career. They exited out of Formula 1. They exited out of IRL. They exited out of CART. They exited out of World of Outlaws, and there is a reason for that. Goodyear can’t build a tire that is worth a crap.” – Tony Stewart, finished second

“We had a real good car at the start of the race. But we went the wrong way on how we let our spring weight fall away out of the tires during the race. It is pretty complicated stuff. Tony [Eury] Jr. had a hard job today just trying to get that car better for me. I was hard on him. He had a rough day today. But I needed him on my side.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished third

“Tony [Stewart] did a great job of protecting Kyle Busch. Obviously, if I could have got by him right away I had a pretty good chance of catching Kyle, but I just burned my tires up racing Tony. I should have known better. I’m more experienced than that. Tony was holding me off, probably protecting Kyle a little bit, but that’s what teammates are for.” – Greg Biffle, finished fourth

“That was the hardest day I have ever had at Atlanta, especially for a top-five finish. The guys on this DuPont Chevrolet did an amazing job; there just wasn’t a good setup out there. I felt like I was going to crash every single lap. There is just no reason for this. And it’s not any one person or group’s fault. It’s a combination. This car, this tire at this racetrack was just terrible.” – Jeff Gordon, finished fifth

“The end result was great. We didn’t run good at all, and we were able to overcome almost being two laps down to finish eighth. Overall, I’m happy with the result. It was really a struggle. We ran really bad and got a good finish, so I’m happy with that.” – Matt Kenseth

“These types of runs mean a lot for the team. We still have one more week, though. It’s all about focus and doing what we’ve been doing. This Red Bull Toyota team has been doing a great job at being consistent – no more or no less.” – Brian Vickers, finished ninth

“We had a good car – a top-10 car most of the day. [Juan Pablo] Montoya couldn’t hold the steering wheel straight going down the back straightaway and drove up into me and knocked my fender in. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get a yellow late in the race to get on the lead lap. I’m positive that our Alltel Dodge Charger was better than 14th – I guarantee you that.” – Ryan Newman

“It was important to finish. It’s just like every week for us – a learning experience. I cannot believe how loose the cars were all day. I think everybody was in the same boat and just hanging on. I drove as hard as I could all day. My guys did a great job with the pit stops. We just couldn’t get the adjustments in the car to handle the way we needed.” – Dario Franchitti, finished 33rd

“It just felt good to be able to drive to the front that easy. We had that good of a racecar. I appreciate all of my fans staying with me this week after that incident with our bolt coming loose. Man, that’s a race-winning car right there. Robbie (Reiser, interim crew chief) was alright, except for he keeps calling me Matt. I called him Bob and he said he didn’t like that, so he quit. I’m not worried a bit about the points. We’re going out to haul ass every week and let the points take care of themselves.” – Carl Edwards, finished 42nd

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.

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