Before and after photographs embrace many articles for various reasons, but the primary purpose is to accent change. Before and after comments from event participants also point to details that predict, and occurrences that had an impact.
Selecting pertinent quotes from the top four NASCAR Sprint Cup finishers before the green flag drops, then comparing statements collected after the checkered flag waves should interest fans.
Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, and Mark Martin discuss many aspects of the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch (No. 2 Dodge) Finished First
“We’ve won the ‘Sprint.' Now we gotta win the marathon."
“It’s a real marathon—600 miles—and you have to stay on top of a continuously changing track. You really have to get your car handling well on the long runs. Then, you have to consider all those restarts that we’ll likely have as the race winds down. It’s definitely the biggest challenge that we face in our sport each and every year, and that’s especially true for me personally.”
“This has been a dream come true. To be able to wrap up this special weekend, to put a bow on it with this Coca-Cola 600 win. It's a prestigious race, a tough race, and most of all it's a team race."
“When you go into hallowed ground, when you go into Victory Lane at Charlotte, I've missed out on a couple poles, never got to taste it, never got to feel it. It was very special.”
Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevy) Finished Second
“Coming home this weekend to race in our backyard of Charlotte is really great for our whole team. Charlotte’s strong link to racing history has only been made stronger the past couple of weeks with the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This is the longest race of the season, and one of the most exciting, so we’ll look to go out and have some fun."
"Really from the get-go the car was really good. They did a nice job on adjusting it all night long. I really felt like we had a 10th-place car at the beginning, made it about a fifth-place car. About a hundred laps to go, track position, we had the best car.”
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) Finished Third
“The track is only going to get faster. We’ll see what we get and that’s what it is.”
“These are the nights that championships are made of. We’ve protected ourselves tonight, got back up through there, got a good, solid third‑place finish out of it, and I’m happy about it. I’m not dissatisfied at all that we didn’t win tonight’s race.”
Mark Martin (No. 5 Chevy) Finished Fourth
"Every race is demanding on your body, being in good shape physically is really important. I'll give everything I possibly have to this race on Sunday, just like I do for every race. I don't really think about how I feel physically during a race. There's just too much going on and I'm too focused on all of that. It's when you get out of the car that you really feel anything.”
“We messed up on a pit stop. We just stayed behind all day. We knew we had a good race car there at the end. This race team pulled a rabbit out of the hat.”
Kyle Busch about Jeff Burton’s Anger After the Race
“After the race he was just real mad at me,” Busch said.
“He said I didn't race him with enough respect, if I'm not going to give him respect, he's not going to show me any. I said, 'Look, man, last restart of the race. You have to go, make some bold moves. It wasn't me that made it three-wide, it was your teammate. Have a chat with him.' I would be more than happy to sit with Jeff Burton and talk with him about it and for him to point out on a replay to me.”
Photo credit: Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com