Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland

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 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway:

“I’ve been watching [Ron] Hornaday [Jr.]. I just knew this double-file restart was going to cost us. That was fun! That’s what life’s all about right there. These guys deserve to win. We could have parked the car yesterday with an hour left in practice. But you know, the best car doesn’t usually win. The double file restarts are to mess the best car up so he doesn’t win to make it good for the fans. And it did; but luckily, we pulled it off anyway.” – Mark Martin

“We had our struggles. It was an incredible call that [crew chief] Steve Letarte made and the whole pit crew just did a fantastic job getting us off pit road. Got to thank the Patriot Academy and DuPont. It’s a privilege having them on board. We could certainly use a night like this. We’re really strong and showing them what we’re made of on these [intermediate] tracks.” – Jeff Gordon, finished second

“We had a good Budweiser Dodge tonight. We had to battle all night there at the end with Jeff [Gordon] having fresh tires. I wanted to hang on for all we had. We ended up third and it ended up being a good run for us tonight. Those restarts were tough, a lot of competition. We had to battle really hard.” – Kasey Kahne, finished third

“You always need strong nights like we had tonight. When you’re trying to put yourself in a position to win a championship, consistency is the biggest thing. To be able to knock off top fives like we did tonight, that’s what it’s going to take to win a championship. That’s what makes nights like tonight so crucial.” – Tony Stewart, finished fourth

“It was a great rebound for us and a good points day. The guys did a great job, especially on pit road. At best we had a 10th-place car today, and it looked like we were in more trouble early in the race as we were fighting to stay in the top 20. We’ll take the strong sixth-place finish. It was a strong, Army-like effort of getting the most out of what we had.” – Ryan Newman

“The No. 2 (Kurt Busch) and I touched, and he body-slammed me after that. He’s one of those guys that his temper can get away from him, and when he first hit me it was like, alright man, this is racing; this isn’t necessary. And then, he backed off. We’ll talk at some point. The good thing is, each week we end up running into one another again and talking at driver intros or something.” – Jimmie Johnson, finished eighth

“We had a good night, and we fought hard all day. We had some troubles and went a couple laps down. Pit strategy got us back on track. We just don’t give up. It’s our first year on most of these tracks and our first time here in a Cup car. It’s very hard to expect solid results, but we’re really doing it. We’re doing it week in and week out, and we’re excited about that.” – Marcos Ambrose, finished 11th

See also
Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Rookies

“We didn’t start off very well. We were a little bit off in practice [Friday] and didn’t really know which way the track was going to go. I hope the fans like [the double-file restarts] because it’s nuts inside the car. We restarted 16th and all I saw was the leaders starting to wreck and bouncing off the wall. It makes it exciting for the fans. It’s definitely fun in the car, but it’s hectic.” – AJ Allmendinger, finished 13th

“I don’t know what the problem is with Jimmie [Johnson] and me, but we’re running into each other way too often it seems. We got run into at Sonoma and we got run into again. I’m starting to lose faith in his ability to be a three-time champion on the track. I’m disappointed. I gave him room and we got pounded in the fence. A couple runs that were spoiled by the No. 48 and I’m definitely not diggin’ it.” – Kurt Busch, finished 17th

“The last half of the race, we were real good. We had that one real long green-flag run. We came in, we changed tires and the car got awful loose. I don’t know how I didn’t spin that thing out a few times. It was total dirt tracking all the way through the corners. It was fun, but I didn’t want to do that. I just wish we had 100 more laps. I think we could have finished in the top 10.” – Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race, finished 18th

“The Caterpillar Chevrolet was actually pretty fast. That’s four weeks in a row we’ve been caught up in somebody else’s mess. I’ve about had enough of the double-file restarts. I know it is exciting to watch and I am sure it is exciting to talk about, but my perspective right now isn’t really good.” – Jeff Burton, finished 37th

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