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DATE News (chronologically)
06/29/09
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Notes from TNT's NASCAR Sprint Cup Coverage
NASCAR on TNT Live! from New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH

Marc Fein (host), Larry McReynolds (analyst) and Kyle Petty (analyst)
 
McReynolds on the parody in the Sprint Cup Series this season: “It’s been a very unpredictable season.  When we were at this point last year, it was pretty obvious that the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) were the dominant forces.  If you go back to 2007, no question it was the Hendrick group with No. 24 Jeff Gordon and No. 48 Jimmie Johnson.  But right now, I just don’t see anyone that’s dominating our sport, which is a great thing.”
 
Petty on this week’s Pride of NASCAR series featuring a profile of the Wood Brothers: “It’s all about family with (the Wood Brothers).  Ford is their family and their family is the center of their life.  Everyone who has driven for them is a part of their family.  I’m proud to say that I was a part of their family for a while and I still consider myself (part of their family).”
 
Petty on the rumors that Richard Petty Motorsports is exploring options on manufacturers for 2010: “If you’re Richard Petty Motorsports and you are going to explore your options, explore them after you win a race like they did last week (in Sonoma) because that’s when there is the most interest.  I do think that because of everything that’s going on in Detroit right now in the automobile industry, there are a lot of teams that are exploring options right now.”
 
Petty on a comment No. 99 Carl Edwards made during Lindsay Czarniak's Lindsay on Location behind-the-scenes piece: “(Carl Edwards) said that 'racing is 80% mental.'  So if I look at No. 14 Tony (Stewart), it’s got to be 98% mental because he’s kickin’ butt out there and he doesn’t look like Carl Edwards.”
 
No. 2 Kurt Busch joined Fein, McReynolds and Petty on the TNT set.
 
Busch on the incident at Sonoma involving him and No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: “We talked and it and felt like a championship-type discussion where we were both going for the same spot at the same time and we’re going to handle it like championship drivers.  We both know to give each other room next time.  I was really upset when it initially happened, but we went from 38th (position) to 15th in the last 20 laps and that really camouflaged it in my mind.  At worst, I thought we were going to finish seventh at Sonoma but we’ll take 15th and get out of there.”
 
Busch on if he feels the Penske Racing Team has turned the corner from last year to this year: “It’s all about taking those bad days that have turned rough and turning it into a solid finish.  In the past, when things went wrong, it would snowball.  I feel that the way Pat Tryson has led this team, we’ve got Dave Winston as our team engineer, everybody at Penske (Racing), the new engine, the cars in general are handling better and when you’re handling better, you’re going to drive to better finishes.”
 
Busch on his hobby of hunting: “I’ve gotten big into hunting and I’ve found it refreshing to go out into the woods, think about things and get into the hunting mode then switch back into racing.”
 
Countdown to Green
Marc Fein (host) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst)
 
TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed No. 11 Denny Hamlin prior to the race.
 
Hamlin on if he drives better on flat tracks: “I think so because I’ve got a lot of laps on the flat tracks.  This weekend we’ve got an experimental set-up and we don’t know what we have.  It could be hero or it could be zero, you never know.”
 
Dallenbach on what goes through the mind of a driver who is in a slump: “Most drivers who are in (a slump) are very insecure.  You go to the racetrack and you don’t know what you’re doing different.  It doesn’t matter how many championships you’ve won or how many races you’ve won.  It’s really hard and you beat yourself up when you’re not running well.  It’s a little bit easier like in the (Richard) Childress situation where your teammates aren’t running as well.  Then the focus is more on the team because none of the drivers are running well.  That helps the driver keep his confidence.  In the situation that Dale Earnhardt is in, he’s in a tough situation because his teammates are running well and he’s not.  You don’t sleep at night because you are trying to figure out what you need to do differently and if the team is completely confident in you, you can tell.  But if the whispers start happening, as a driver, you can sense that too and that makes it worse.”
 
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing: Lenox Industrial Tools 301 from New Hampshire International Speedway
Announcers: Ralph Sheheen (play-by-play), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Kyle Petty (analyst); Larry McReynolds (analyst) contributes from the in-field at the TNT Off-track Robotic Car (TORC)
Pit reporters: Lindsay Czarniak, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum
 
Dallenbach on the importance of the double-file restart at New Hampshire International Speedway: “This is one of those places where if it goes green, and you haven’t hit the setup right off the bat, the way the double-file restarts are now, if you go a lap down, you’re pretty much history.”
 
Petty on the unsung heroes in the pit crews: “Those guys on pit row are unsung heroes.  To go out there and turn your back on a car, these guys do an incredible job.  Drivers can’t do what they do without these guys.”
 
Dallenbach on how good No. 48 Jimmie Johnson has been: “These guys are just so darn good.  Everyone has to step up their game to catch No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) but the problem is No. 48 keeps moving their game forward.”
 
Petty on drivers working hard to stay in contention and not get down a lap: “These guys are driving twice as hard as (No. 48) Jimmie Johnson.  They are driving to stay on the lead lap and stay in contention.  The cars just aren’t driving properly and you see the guy go past you 20 miles-per-hour faster and he’s got his arm out the window waving at you as he goes by.  Nothing makes you madder than that.  These guys are really driving hard.”
 
Dallenbach on the importance of keeping up with the leader: “You don’t want to lose (time on) the leader.  If you lose five or six seconds on the leader before your car comes in (to the pits), it’s really hard to make that gap up.  You almost have to be good for the whole run, you can’t give up.”
 
Petty on the multi-car crash at lap 175: “If you look at this at face value and all the people that are No. 18 Kyle Busch haters out there will say that Kyle Bush caused this (accident).  He didn’t, this was a chain-reaction.  This wasn’t anyone’s fault.”
 
TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed No. 1 Martin Truex Jr. who was eliminated from the race in a multi-car accident
 
Truex Jr. on what happened in the accident that involved No. 18 Kyle Busch: “I’m not sure what happened in front of us, either the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr) or No. 2 (Kurt Busch) spun their tires, I’m not sure who it was.  I was trying to do what I need to do to get going.  You can’t pass before the start/finish line and I guess No. 18 Kyle (Busch) decided he didn’t want to do it.  I’m just an innocent victim today.”
 
TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed No. 31 Jeff Burton who was eliminated from the race in a multi-car accident
 
Burton on if the accident that eliminated him from the race was the result of a double-file restart: “Everything you do has a positive and a negative and you hope there are more positives.  There’s no question that the double-file restarts are going to make it more exciting and make more aggressive racing.  When you have more aggressive racing, you’re going to have more wrecks.  That’s just how it is.  We’ve wrecked here on single-file restarts, let’s be clear about that.  That’s what racing is all about and it was our turn today to get in it.”
 
Dallenbach on double-file restarts: “I like the double-file restarts and I think everybody else does.  I think most of these drivers have to like it especially if you’re in the eighth or ninth spot.”
 
Petty on No. 20 Joey Logano: “(Joe Gibbs Racing’s) goal right now is to get this kid to race in the top ten or fifteen.  Has he done that today?  I’m not sure, we could argue that point.  At the same time, he’s with a great organization in the Gibbs organization.  He has a ton of talent.  Whether it’s matured to that point yet, it doesn’t matter because he’s going to win races in the future, that’s a given.  But the point is he’s with a great organization and team and they are giving him the time to learn.”
 
TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed No. 2 Kurt Busch during the rain delay
 
Busch on his intense double-file restarts with No. 24 Jeff Gordon: “When you inject (double-file restarts) into our racing, it seems like it changed the whole game.  There’s more to think about and after lap 150, you don’t know when the rain is going to come.  To me, that’s the whole race and you better go get what you can.  I stepped over the line a little bit but that’s the excitement.  I think Jeff (Gordon) can have a smile on his face right now.  It’s great, this sport has been clean and these guys you race with are clean and you can rub a little like that and still finish second or third, that’s alright.
 
TNT’s Lindsay Czarniak interviewed Lenox Industrial Tools 301 winner No. 20 Joey Logano.
 
Logano on his first Sprint Cup win: “I never thought that I’d be the one.  It kind of bit us in Charlotte when we had the same opportunity to do this and we didn’t.  This was the opportunity we had and we had nothing to lose.  This is a dream come true and the best race track that it could happen at.”
 
Logano on what it means to win his first race at his home track: “It makes it that much more special, believe me.  We struggled a little bit in practice and I was starting to figure it out and we were where we needed to be.  Luckily we had enough fuel and we made a pit stop at the end before the last green flag so we had a little bit more fuel than everyone else.  That’s what it took.”
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