Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 NASCAR Banking 500 at Charlotte

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 sneak peek at what they all were thinking following the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway:

“We’ve taken a lot of pride through the years to run well here in everyone’s backyard. The fact that Lowe’s is our sponsor and the track sponsor has always been something cool to win and celebrate. Spending that moment with the Lowe’s executives in victory lane has been special and to do it here for the last race that the track is sponsored by Lowe’s is cool. The perfect weekend is what Chad (Knaus, crew chief) always wanted to do. Win every practice, qualifying and the race… and we got it.” – Jimmie Johnson

“I was really happy with my car all night. I wasn’t fast enough to beat the No. 48, and Kasey [Kahne] in a long run was a good bit better than us at times. But we had a really good car and got the best we could out of it. It feels good for us to run up front. It’s a confidence booster for me and the team.” – Matt Kenseth, finished second

“We had a great Budweiser Dodge throughout the race. The tires we took on the last stop shook and didn’t turn. I guess that was our bad set for the night. It’s disappointing. We had the car to beat and the guy who beats everybody beat us tonight. Our car was as good as anything here. We just didn’t get it done at the end.” – Kasey Kahne, finished third

“Well, you know all you really want to do is get maximum points and finish ahead of the guys you’re racing. Other than Jimmie [Johnson] we’re doing that. Those guys are on an incredible roll. I’m really excited about the effort this team is putting out these last three weeks. They just never quit fighting. I want to thank DuPont and, of course, Transformers. That was a lot of fun having Megatron on board.” Jeff Gordon, finished fourth

“I came into this weekend really wanting a good finish. I felt like this was a place where we could have one… and we got it. We had a good enough car that we were able to come from the back and that is a really good thing. We have been in a slump and haven’t been where we needed to be. Last week, we finished 14th and this week we got fifth, so hopefully we can build on this and go to Martinsville.” – Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race

“I’m really proud of Todd Berrier (crew chief) and the entire No. 07 Jack Daniel’s team tonight. We’ve had some strong runs over the last six races, and we finally have the finish we deserve. We’re really starting to click as a team, and we’re looking forward to carrying this momentum over to the final five races of the season.” – Casey Mears, finished seventh

“It was an up and down night, for sure. We had some track position to start, and I was just being patient. Right before we spun, everything seemed fine, but it flipped a switch and it seemed like my right-rear tire was going and I ended up losing [control] coming off of [turn] 4 after that. We ended up gaining some spots back, but it’s tough to pass when you get back in traffic.” – Kyle Busch, finished eighth

“I thought that we had a good night with our Miller Lite Dodge, but we just didn’t finish the race off. That’s pretty much par for [the course for] us the last five races. We just can’t finish races like we need to in the Chase. It’s frustrating, but we ran up front, led a lap and got some bonus points. But that [No.] 48 team was awful tough tonight.” – Kurt Busch, finished 10th

“We had a good car. The Transformers Chevrolet was doing pretty well, but we really struggled in the pits tonight. It’s just disappointing. I thought we should’ve finished better than that. We had a better car than that. It is really frustrating after you run 500 miles to have it come down to bad pit stops for me.” – Ryan Newman, finished 11th

“To overcome a 34th-place starting position and finish 14th says a lot about the hard work the entire team put into the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy all weekend. Track position was everything tonight. I wish we were able to hold on to a top 10, but the speed just wasn’t there at the end. We’re getting better with each race and I couldn’t be happier with all the hard work and extra effort the CAT Racing team is putting in.” – Jeff Burton

“I’m one notch above death is about where we’re at. With about 30 [laps] to go, we were struggling pretty bad. The yellows helped a little bit. The guys were able to keep fluids in me and stuff like that. I was good, and then it was like I fell off a cliff there. I was having a hard time concentrating and kept getting sick. Getting sick in your helmet is not exactly – I wouldn’t recommend it if you can avoid it.” – David Reutimann, finished 15th

“The Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota started out fast right from the start. I’m not sure what happened, but all of a sudden it wouldn’t turn and everyone was passing me. It’s frustrating because I know we had a top-10 Toyota and the results definitely didn’t reflect how we could’ve finished tonight. Still, I’m proud of Wally (Brown, crew chief) and the guys.” – David Gilliland, finished 25th

“They all kind of went and then they checked up. Somebody didn’t slow down and just ripped off the whole rear of the car. It’s racing. If you’re expecting to have 10 clean races, then you’re dreaming. We knew it could happen and here, always the restarts are an issue. I managed to slow down and just got hit from behind. It happens.” – Juan Pablo Montoya, finished 35th

“That’s a mercy killing there. It was just a long night for our AFLAC team. We’re a team and we all made mistakes; tonight, that just culminated in a bad event. You’re gonna have nights like this. That’s life, that’s racing. I think that’s the most frustrated I’ve been in a long time, but you can’t do anything about it.” – Carl Edwards, finished 39th

“The Mobil 1 Dodge was way too loose at the start of the race. I probably should’ve brought it to pit road for adjustments instead of risking getting in an accident. We spun twice in just a matter of laps and eventually had to go to the garage for repairs. It’s unfortunate and disappointing, because Charlotte is one of the tracks we look forward to as a team.” – Sam Hornish Jr., finished 40th

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