Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of 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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway.

“That was a great race. We obviously had a great racecar all day long, and I’ve got to thank Chad (Knaus, crew chief) for giving me such a great Kobalt Tools Impala. My hats off to Tony Stewart. That was one heck of a race. I had to drive so far over my head to get by him. Just very proud of this effort and what we did out there on the racetrack today.” – Jimmie Johnson

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“It was the perfect call [to take two tires]. You had three guys racing for the lead inside 10 laps to go, I don’t know how it gets much more exciting than that. Jimmie [Johnson] had the fastest car and when you’re coming as fast as he was, it was just a matter of getting the opening that he needed. We did everything we could to take his line away as often as we could, but we just couldn’t do it long enough.” – Tony Stewart, finished second

“It was a good day for the Miller Lite Dodge. This place is always tough and to come out of here with a fifth-place finish is really awesome. I think that we can hold our heads high and be proud of our effort. We wanted to get to victory lane today, but fifth place… we’ll take it. Today was a good day and we picked up some points.” – Kurt Busch

“It was a good day for our Budweiser Dodge. The new motor had plenty of power which made the car fun to drive. But as soon as we would get racing, a debris caution would come our way and really take the pace away from the race. Still, we’ve made some really big gains the last few weeks.” – Kasey Kahne, finished sixth

“It was not what we wanted for the U.S. Army Chevrolet, but it was a good points day for us. I drove the car a little harder than I wanted to at the end on two tires. We just didn’t have a good handle on the car today. Typically, with these cars the more you finesse them the better they are. But there was no finessing today.” – Ryan Newman, finished eighth

“We’re really happy to get another top 10. The Jack Daniel’s guys didn’t panic after Charlotte. They knew Dover was a different racetrack and they hung on to their game plan and it really worked for us. These things are so temperamental – we just raised the track bar just a half a round and it just went horrible. But we bounced back and had a good, solid day.” – Casey Mears

“There were 11 other guys out there that deserve an interview better than I do. It’s real easy to talk to Lance (McGrew, interim crew chief). He’s a sponge at taking all that information in. It’s only one race. We’ll see how we communicate in two months. I think it’s a good start. We keep this type of attitude and keep working hard, maintain our expectations and we’ll be alright.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 12th

“The car was phenomenal. Everybody at Penske Racing is doing a great job for me. I thought that we had a tire going down, so we had to pit early and that put us two laps down. I had to race hard to get those laps back. I’m proud of the effort that the guys gave today because we could have been 30th very easily.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished 13th

“We weren’t stellar by any means. We weren’t that great, but we kept working on it. This is a hard racetrack because everyone is racing you every lap – I mean racing the heck out of each other. I gave up a couple of spots at the end picking the wrong lane as usual. 15th is OK.” – Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race

“It started off really, really good and as we went, we were OK. We got caught a lap down when they had that debris caution. We were still in pretty good shape. The car just kind of gave up, started getting really, really loose on entry and there’s nothing we could do to fix it. Really, really disappointed.” – polesitter David Reutimann, finished 18th

“Dover is a fun place to race, but this race was challenging because our car was sideways loose off and felt like it was off the ground. The JTG Daugherty Racing pit crew threw everything they had at it, from spring rubbers to chassis adjustments. They even tried taking the pin out of the sway bar and ended up having to cut it to unhook it.” – Marcos Ambrose, finished 20th

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