Race Weekend Central

Quotes to Remember: NRA 500

“That feels good. Ah man, for Interstate Batteries and Norm Miller to be in Victory Lane in Texas — nothing better than putting him right here. Great race car. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and these guys gave me a great piece today. We ran up front all day long. If it wasn’t for my pit crew, who is the most awesome crew ever and since 2008 we’ve been together — haven’t had any change overs. Man, those guys were awesome. They pulled out one heck of a stop right there at the end to put us up front and give us that lead and to be able to bring it home. I thank M&M’s and Toyota, of course, Monster Energy, Sprint — without Sprint this wouldn’t be a sport, so we appreciate them. Of course the fans, we have to thank them also.” Kyle Busch, winner

“I’m just disappointed. The race was over when we got beat out of the pits. The bottom was so fast for a couple laps and I was really worried, honestly, that I was going to lose second because Carl (Edwards) was on the inside of me. I was just somehow able to run (turns) one and two wide open and get him cleared. Just the guy that gets clean air is hard to get. It’s hard to catch in ten laps and I just was a little bit tight behind Kyle (Busch). I started catching him as we were running — just out of time. The race was over in the pits. Proud of my team. Proud of the NAPA guys — Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and everyone. We’ve had a tough season. We had a great car all weekend long. We definitely had a car worth — you know, capable of winning. Man, I’m just tired of finishing second. It’s getting old.” Martin Truex, Jr., finished second

“It was pretty eventful. We had a very, very long night. Early in the race, the car was really good when the sun was still out and then it got really bad. I almost pulled in because I was so wrecking loose that I thought it might be better to just pull in and lose a lap or two to get it fixed, but, fortunately, we stayed out and we stayed on the lead lap. Then the tailpipes – something broke or cracked in the tailpipes. I thought the engine was blowing up for the whole race. That got worse, and then on one of the restarts I tightened my belts and I unhooked my whole seatbelt system coming to the green, so I haven’t had that happen since I was running my dirt car. I told them out there, ‘I don’t know what the state laws are or whatever,’ but I went ahead and hooked them back up. That was pretty crazy, and then we stayed on the lead lap and then Jimmy did a great job. We adjusted more things tonight. We pulled shims and put more rounds everywhere than I think I’ve ever done in a race and had a good pit strategy and, fortunately, we came home third. That’s a gift for us. I know Martin is not happy with second, but I’m real happy with third.” Carl Edwards, finished third

“I thought starting at the back was gonna be tough after qualifying 35th, but then I got a pit road penalty with 100 to go and had to start at the tail-end of the longest line behind the wavearounds, so that made it a tough night to get back to fourth, but my guys did a great job. They got me back up there. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing here. We had a really tough car to drive. It was very hard to drive. We’ve just got to keep working on it. We’re not quite as good as a few of those guys, but we definitely had a top-5 car. Maybe if we would have qualified up there and been up there all night we could have worked on it and got it a little better, but it was still a tough night.” Greg Biffle, finished fourth

“It was one of the toughest races I think we’ve ever dealt with and to come home with a top-5 out of something like that, we couldn’t be more excited about that. It was almost a third-place finish there if the last caution had come out, but these guys worked really hard on this Shell/Pennzoil Ford on getting us out at least to race. We dug our way up there a little bit and had a bad stop and went down a lap. We got our lucky dog and slowly and methodically worked our way up. We just had no short run speed. We had long run speed, but it took us 30 laps to get going and then we were as fast as the leaders, but it took us 30 laps to get where we needed to be.” Joey Logano, finished fifth

“It feels great. Honestly, I guess I’m pleased but not satisfied. A top-10, we ran top-five a lot of the night for the first time with a new team — the whole FedEx team. Like I said, we’re pleased, but I wanted to win. I guess that’s what we’re here for. I thought we had a really great car in practice and it turned out to be a lot looser than I thought. We fought that all night, just really bad loose in. We were afraid of that and sure enough it was the case. The guys did great. Darian (Grubb, crew chief) never got frustrated, never gave up — if he did, it never came on the radio. They just kept working all night and we got better and better. We brought it home for an eighth-place finish.” Brian Vickers, finished eighth

“Things didn’t obviously start off the way we wanted it to and we had some issues on pit road where we lost some spots. Then we had a loose wheel and nothing was going our way, but nobody gave up and Brad kept driving his butt off and we slowly kept chipping away at it. Before we knew it, we were in contention to get the free pass. It was like we needed just one more run to really get up and contend for a nice top-5, but, overall, I’m real proud of the effort. We continue to come out here each and every week and put ourselves toward the front, if not contend for wins. Obviously, we feel like without some of the issues tonight we probably would have had a shot at that again, so we just have to keep working and doing what we’ve been doing and we’ll get our share of wins.” Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief for Brad Keselowski

”We just had a battery go dead and didn’t diagnosis it correctly to just switch it. We have two batteries in there we have a switch in the driver’s seat that goes from one to two. I didn’t know it was a battery until we got down on pit road and I got to looking at the gauges and really understanding. At that point we had lost a couple of laps. I couldn’t control my speed on pit road because the motor was not running coming on. So we sped there and we came down pit road to serve the penalty but Steve (Letarte, crew chief) wanted to get tires. You can’t get tires serving a penalty so we had to come back and then serve the penalty.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 29th

“When you’re running solidly in the top-5 and then to have a parts failure knock you out of contention it’s very frustrating. We came in here with a fast race car, qualified on the front row and continued the strong performance until we had a part on the fuel injection system break. What’s done is done and we have to put tonight behind us and focus on getting these problems rectified sooner than later. I feel confident that we’ll have another fast Furniture Row Chevrolet SS in Kansas next week.” – Kurt Busch, finished 37th

“I’m not sure maybe a burned wheel bearing or something. No signs, just went down the back straightaway and went to go to the brake and the brake pedal was spongy and the car just didn’t turn. I thought I had a left-front tire going down. Man that was unfortunate. That Cromax Pro Chevy was awesome fast. It was so much fun to drive and what a great job this team has done to prepare for this weekend and hopefully more to come on these mile and a half’s with more cars like that. We’ll learn what happened and we’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Most importantly, we know we have a fast race car and we know we can put another fast race car out there on the track.” Jeff Gordon, finished 38th (failed to finish due to hub failure)

“I just cut a left-rear tire down and spun. It’s kind of tough to go straight when you lose a left-rear tire. I really would have liked to have seen how our car was gonna drive when the sun went all the way down. I felt like it was pretty good where the sun was already down and the track was shaded. I felt like our car was pretty good, but it’s just a tough break and we’ll get back out there and try to gain as many points as we can.” Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.. finished 40th

“We were going to run until the first caution and then put Mike Bliss in the No. 47 Bush’s Toyota, but Mike ran longer than they anticipated and Bobby (Labonte) got really sick. We decided to park it and get Bobby out to be evaluated and treated at the infield care center. Michael McDowell became available and we worked the seat enough to get him in, but unfortunately he couldn’t really move his arms. Then we had an engine problem that ultimately ended our night.” Bobby Hutchens, JTG Daugherty Racing, finished 41st

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