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 Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman at Kansas Speedway:
“The No. 99 (Carl Edwards) was probably better on the long runs at the end of the race, and we did a great job of closing the gap. That pit stop from those guys really made the difference. This Impala has been awesome and [so has] all the hard work at Hendrick Motorsports. We’re doing all the right things. We’re just plugging along on our stuff.” – Jimmie Johnson
“Man, those last two laps I’m not sure where that [No.] 99 came from. Before that, I got through traffic a little better than [Carl] did, and thought I had stuff under control. Started getting tight and was nervous about that, but he found some speed somewhere and man, he closed up on me. I knew he was a dirt-track racer and the slide job was coming, so I just got ready for it. He went in there probably 30 car lengths too far and pounded the wall.
“Watching him, I was more impressed that he didn’t wreck and he stayed in the gas and didn’t hit the wall, and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, this is for the checkers, I’ve got to keep my focus where I need to. Just an awesome race… the fans got what they paid for today.” – Johnson on the last few laps at Kansas
“The car was real good in practice, and we started in the back and for some reason it just wasn’t that fast the first couple of runs. It was fun, though. That last lap I just figured the hell with it, I don’t want to finish second here, I want to win this race more than anything in the world – so I kind of bonzaied it in there. I wanted to make sure I cleared Jimmie [Johnson].
‘I went probably just a little too far and hit the wall harder than I planned on hitting it, and he got back by me. I’ve always kind of wanted to try that. Now I know that it doesn’t work quite the same as video games, but it was fun.” – Carl Edwards, finished second
“We were just off a little bit all day. We fought it tooth and nail. Man, we did everything we could to this racecar. Certainly this is not a disappointment at all to us to come here and finish in the top five – especially how poorly we were off the truck when we first got here. We were a 37th-place car when we unloaded and finished up a third-place car, so I’m pretty excited about that.” – Greg Biffle
“Right now, we just want to be competitive, and today was a competitive day. We didn’t have enough for those leaders, but we had a really solid and strong effort. We were racing all the guys we’re racing in the Chase anyway, so it’s just all about solid performances and trying to get that win.” – Jeff Gordon, finished fourth
“The best I’ve felt all weekend was in the car (laughs). There are a lot of things that go away when you get in the car. I felt it before and I feel it now, and I’ll feel it a lot later tonight and tomorrow.” – Jeff Gordon on his stomach virus that nearly took him out of Sunday’s race
“We just got behind in the pits and then I spun out that one time – I don’t know if that was my fault or what really happened, to be honest with you there. There was just too much ground to make up (after the contact with Casey Mears). It’s just hard to get back in the front, harder than it’s ever been, and to come back through and get fifth is a pretty big accomplishment, I think.” – Matt Kenseth
“Our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was strong all day except in the middle of the race, where we started to fall back a little bit and the car was a little loose. That last adjustment we made was great, and the car was a lot better. But the No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) was just a little better than us and we just couldn’t catch him. All in all, it was a decent day.” – Kevin Harvick, finished sixth
“We had a good car; not a fast car but a good car. We just needed to find more speed. We have good racecars on lap 20, but not fast racecars. We’ve got to find a way to make some speed.” – Jeff Burton, finished seventh
“It was kind of what we needed. We’ve had some pretty good cars the last few weeks and hadn’t had the finishes we deserved. Today, we made our AAA Ford better throughout the day, and the guys had great pit stops there at the end when it counted. We had a sixth- to a 10th-place car, I think, and track position meant a lot at the end. I am happy to get a top 10.” – David Ragan, finished eighth
“With 24 laps to go, my arms felt like jello. Hats off to my Red Bull guys – it’s easier to drive when you have a good car. We had a great car. The racing is so tough out there. Everybody is fighting so hard. You still have to be aggressive, but you have to leave it one notch below over the top – and it’s a tough race. I’m definitely going to sleep well tonight.” – AJ Allmendinger, finished ninth
“I made a couple of mistakes today and it cost us. The Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet was a top-five car, so it’s tough to swallow 12th. I feel terrible for my team because they brought me a great car to my home track and, if things would have gone our way, we might have been able to race for a win. We’re not out of this championship yet, so we’ll go to Talladega next week and try and gain some ground on the guys ahead of us.” – Clint Bowyer
“I think an average driver would have finished about 35th. I told my guys that, I don’t know, we had fun regardless. The car wasn’t that good. We just made the best of it. We aren’t dialing our car in. We were real bad in the second practice. The track gets slick, we ain’t workin’ the car in to get it comfortable. That was the best I could do. We made light of it though. I told them they were lucky to have me.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 13th
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