Race Weekend Central

Quotes to Remember: AAA 400

“I don’t know what happened to Kevin Harvick. It was unfortunate for him. He was the class of the field. We were tuning on it to try to keep even with him. When I saw him go out, I knew we could compete with the No.2 (Brad Keselowski) car. The No. 2 was really good on short runs, but we could run him down. Of course he made us work for it there at the end because he was so good on short runs and he got to me. I was really, really tight in traffic there at the end. I didn’t know if we were going to pull it off. I’m so, proud to have this orange Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. This is Hunger Action month and it’s extremely important to all of us who are fighting for the older Americans going hungry every day in this country. This is a great way to take action. I don’t know what I’ve found, but I think a lot of it has to do with Alan Gustafson and all the guys on this No. 24 team. They’ve just giving me such an awesome race car team this year. I’m having so much fun.” Jeff Gordon

“We’ve had a really good start. I guess we can’t really complain that much having won a race, a second and a seventh, but it’s hard to look at that. All I could think about is how I wanted to win all three races and now it’s time to move forward. Three more races, a new start and what we were able to do in these last three, other than getting us to this next round, really means nothing. We’ve got to keep our head on straight and push forward these next three like we have these last three.” Brad Keselowski, finished second

“I think I have won here nine times but I think I have raced here a heck of a lot more than that. Certainly wish we were in Victory Lane, but good solid third-place run. Our car just didn’t have the short run speed that the competitors did. We would kind of run everybody back down towards the end of a run, but just didn’t have what we needed at the start. I wish it was a little bit better, but still a great day with a Hendrick (Motorsports) car in Victory Lane, which is awesome and we will go to the next one.” Jimmie Johnson, finished third

“It was a little bit of a tougher week for us. We didn’t have a very fast car off the truck, but Todd Gordon and all these Shell/Pennzoil guys did a great job giving me a car that was pretty racy. We started 16th and drove up to 10th quick and then had a terrible restart and lost everything we had gained and then some. From there we just put four tires on it, reset and try to drive our way back up there. It was a hard-fought day, which is pretty normal for here at Dover. We got something good out of it and now we’ll start the next round and try to move on to the next one.” Joey Logano, finished fourth

“It was pretty solid. We had good pit stops down here. The Home Depot guys did a good job. We just lacked a little bit. We were pretty competitive in the middle of the race and then just got too free one run and got too tight one run. I couldn’t do very good on restarts, and that really hurt us bad. I’d lose so many spots over the restart and just too hard to get them back. Overall, we were pretty good. We were back and forth a little bit. There were times when the car was better than where we finished and other times it was worse. Just couldn’t quite get it, but overall it was a good day for us.” Matt Kenseth, finished fifth

“We fought hard and never gave up today. The guys did a good job in the pits. We got the car better every single stop, and at the end, it was at its best. Track position is important because it’s so hard to pass here. What we are doing now is getting ready for next year. Trying to figure out how to make the car better and how to communicate better as a team. The whole nine yards and we are making progress. Everybody has done a good job the past couple of weeks sticking together, not getting frustrated and working hard. I don’t know what it is about this track — maybe it’s home field advantage for me because it seems like the longer the race goes here the better we get. Just like last week (New Hampshire) I wish the race was longer. I never thought I would say that.” Martin Truex, Jr., finished seventh

“Our car, especially on the long run, was a ‘10’ tight. We did what we needed to do today with our Interstate Batteries Camry, but I’m not sure what the problem was on the last couple runs of the race. We were tight all day, but it just got worse at the end. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys are going to take the car back to the shop and see if they can figure out if something was wrong. We’ll move on to the next round and hope we can have a better handle on our car next week.” Kyle Busch, finished 10th

“It was just a solid day. The car was actually pretty decent and everybody did a really good job. The pit crew did great and Jimmy (Fennig, crew chief) did a great job with the car and that’s what we needed. We had a top-10 car and finished 11th, but I think if I would have done a little better job on the restarts we would have been better. We keep making small gains and getting the opportunity to be put back in the same position as the guys in front of us is a huge opportunity for us. We’ve got to capitalize on it and go run well at Kansas and Charlotte. We know we can win Talladega, so I look forward to that race. This is Jimmy Fennig’s last year on the box, but, honestly, more important than that to me is I understand how fleeting and how rare these opportunities are to win championships. They come once a year if you’re very lucky, so I just want to make the most of it.” Carl Edwards

“Wish we would’ve ran a little bit better, but luckily we had good track position from qualifying and just kind of kept it all day. Was sliding there at the end a little bit — but just enough to get through. I feel great. You never know what can happen. I knew we had a car that was capable of racing our way in, but I didn’t think it was going to be that close. We just started fading there at the end. A little bit on the defensive on my part, but still we lost the handle. Just happy this all resets and all starts from scratch again and we’ve got another life.” Denny Hamlin, finished 12th

“The inner valve stem got knocked out just like the first race here, except this time it was on the left-front so unfortunate, but probably our own fault for not finding a solution for it for the first race. A lug nut got in between the wheel and the brake rotor and knocked the vale stem out. Crazy. Just handing out early Christmas presents to people for winning races that we should be winning. But all in all, the Budweiser guys did a great job. It’s just crazy luck. It’s just unbelievable that it can happen. The shock broke first and we could beat them on three shocks, but we couldn’t beat them on three tires.” Kevin Harvick, finished 13th

“Not what we had hoped for. Just struggled a little more with the car than we thought. Lost some track position and got behind early in the pit sequence, and just never made it back up.” Brian Vickers, finished 15th

“We didn’t run good obviously. We struggled with our car all day long. I thought we had a lot better car in practice, but we made some changes. I guess they didn’t really work out for us. We were real loose on entry and real tight in the center. The balance was bad at the start of the run and the end of the run. So we never had a moment during the race where the car was very good and competitive. We just missed the set-up pretty bad. We just need to start from scratch when we come back here next year.” Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 17th

“[The car] was just tight the last 100 miles. I felt like we were in good position to advance, but you just can’t expect to advance by running 18th. You have to be more competitive. We gave it a good run, you know? We put this team together pretty late. Gene Haas believed in me to come in here and do this; and thanks to Haas Automation and Chevrolet and great associate sponsors like Mobil 1 and State Water Heaters and Monster Energy. We don’t get to advance to the championship, but we can still run for pride and run for wins. You can’t expect to advance running 18th. You’ve got to have better lap times every time you go and hit the track. If you’re off, it’s hard to put the car up on your back and run it. I just chalk it up to me not getting the job done. It’s all my fault that we didn’t advance.” Kurt Busch

”Our Zest Ford was really strong in the middle of the race. As the race progressed, our car just kept getting tighter. As an organization, we are all working really hard to get our Fords back up front and are making small gains each week but still have a ways to go.” Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., finished 19th

“I felt like we went four laps down at one point when we pitted. We had to pit because had done the wave-around. But I had a good Farmers Insurance Chevy. I had a fast car. Luckily Kenny (Francis) made great calls. The team prepared a great car so I was fortunate to have that and drive our way back to barely advance. But I had to push hard on that; glad NASCAR just let it go and let us race for it, you know? It was pretty interesting but I’m glad we made it. We had to fight hard. I think we had a top two or three car today; we just didn’t get to show it.” Kasey Kahne, finished 20th

“This is the way it’s gone all season. We’re just searching for speed and struggled all day today. We’ve worked hard trying to fix our problems, but it just hasn’t come together yet. It’s frustrating because part of you wants to just pull it and put it in the garage and the other half is racing as hard as you can to get in the Chase. It’s pretty frustrating. I’ve won races my whole career, but to be struggling like this all year is disappointing at best.” Greg Biffle, finished 21st

“We didn’t give up. It was an awful day, but I have to thank my whole team. My pit crew kept giving me good stops. We kept throwing the kitchen sink at it every stop. My crew chief Brian Burns did everything he could to keep trying to make it better. We just missed it all weekend. It’s disappointing to miss it by two points, but we didn’t deserve to be in it with the run that we had. We have to look at it – I’m not going to take a moral victory out of it to miss it by two points, it’s disappointing, but we know we are making steps in the right direction. We beat some good cars, but we have seven races to go. Just because we didn’t make it doesn’t mean our season is over with. We have to keep working and get better. We have seven races to go. I will be disappointed tonight, but be ready to go tomorrow morning.” AJ Allmendinger, finished 23rd

“It just didn’t work out for us. I hate it. We picked a bad day to run the way we did and we can’t blame anybody but ourselves. My car didn’t have any grip. You can’t go fast without grip. I’m sure we’ll be able to look past this another day, but right now it’s pretty disappointing.” Aric Almirola, finished 28th

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