Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

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 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway:

“First Jeff Gordon and then Juan [Pablo Montoya] – those guys behind us were just awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever finished here without wrecking, or at least, without getting torn up. The No. 42 [Montoya] was just my savior [Sunday]. He pushed me all the way to the front.” – Kyle Busch, race winner

See also
Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: 2008 Talladega Spring Race Recap

“I made a couple of moves to get to second, and then I managed to get on [Busch’s] bumper. When you can get on someone’s bumper, you can push him all the way around the lap and really make up some ground.” – Juan Pablo Montoya

“I had a car that could do whatever I wanted it to. We were right there in the lead with 20 [laps] to go and made a bad move there and got shuffled back. With all the cautions [three in the final 16 laps], we could only make it back to third, but that just shows you how strong the car was.” – Denny Hamlin, finished third

“I was probably being as conservative as anybody out there, because I probably didn’t have that many friends that would go with me. [This] being only my second year and only my third or fourth time down here at Talladega, they probably weren’t going to stick with me like they would Stewart or the No. 24 [Jeff Gordon] or the No. 88 [Dale Earnhardt Jr.]. Just a good, solid day and a lot of fun.” – David Ragan, finished fourth

“Early in the race, I made a mistake and got turned leaving the pits under green, trying to dodge an official and not hit the No. 20 [Tony Stewart]. The caution at the end of the race hurt us. I really think we would have had a chance at the win. I’m extremely happy with a top-five finish, though, and we were able to gain back a couple of spots in the points. I’m so proud of this team.” – Brian Vickers, finished fifth

“That was awesome. Really, I just logged 490 miles worth of learning the moves I could make and what I couldn’t make, and who would or wouldn’t go with me. That’s our second top 10 out of nine races. We’re gaining momentum, and I think by midseason or so we should really start to be a regular top-15 car.” – Travis Kvapil, finished sixth

“We had a good car. We had a car capable of running in the top five, and got an eighth out of it. That’s not so horrible, not the results we wanted, but we’ll take it. It was a good points day for us.” – Ryan Newman

“I was hating it there for Tony [Stewart] that he got that flat tire and got in the crash and all. I was upset because we had worked so hard there at the end to stay together. It would have been a nice finish, and he would have finished up there with me there at the end. The wins will come. I know that. I want them to, and we are going to have to keep talking about it until they do.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 10th

“I just couldn’t make a good decision all day long. I just made bad decisions left and right. With this new package, it is just bumper cars. You are just getting beat to heck around every corner, every straightaway. You just keep going straight.” – Jeff Gordon, finished 19th

“We rode around in the back most of the day. It’s just really weird. We lost the draft by virtue of just not going fast enough. I never saw the big draft 80% of the day and when I got in it [draft], trouble happened, I guess.” – Bobby Labonte, finished 34th

“I just went to the second lane there and was there for a short amount of time. I was as close to Bobby [Labonte] as I could get right there, and the hole closed up. It’s just what happens late in these races. If it was my fault, I’m sorry. By looking at the video, though, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, really.” – Tony Stewart, finished 38th

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