NASCAR At Homestead: Drivers Offer Quotes On Final Race Of 2011 Season

Tony Stewart grabbed the spotlight as he scored the win and hoisted his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy. 

Carl Edwards garnered much of the attention after leading the most laps and losing out on his first Cup championship in a tie-breaker. 

However, 41 other competitors took part in Sunday's 2011 NASCAR season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 

Although they were unable to celebrate the championship or the win, they had some interesting things to say about the race and the championship battle. 

Here is what some of the competition was saying after Sunday's race:

Martin Truex Jr. (finished third) on team's chances for 2012:

Well, I'm cautiously optimistic. At the end of the season last year, we felt good. We kind of ended similar. We were running well. Our cars were strong. We started this year off really good, but we had too many bumps in the road. We made too many mistakes. 

Matt Kenseth (finished fourth):

It's crazy. I don't know how Carl could have put together a better 10 races. They took bad days and turned them into good days and did all they could, but Tony got on that tear and won all those races on different style racetracks.

I'm not sure how he made it there at the end on fuel, but he did. I thought it was Carl's, to be honest with you. He had tires and Tony didn't, and I thought he was gonna run him down, but he just couldn't quite catch him.

Jeff Gordon (finished fifth):

It's great for the sport and I think Tony is just one of the all-time greats and he proved that over these last 10 races and especially tonight. And it showed Carl what he is made of as well. I think that is awesome.

Look at the people standing up...they stuck around to see how this one was going to unfold. You thought he was down and out and then he came back and you really thought he wasn't sitting in the best position and he had to stretch the fuel and everything. And gosh if he didn't do that too. That is amazing.

Kasey Kahne (finished seventh):

It was good and it was fun passing cars and having a great car again. The guys did a ton of work today. We started off way too loose and we were loose every run and could go at the end. And then that final one, we got a little too tight so we finally went too far. It was still a good day, a good finish for us. The team guys were awesome. They brought a lot of great race cars to the track and nobody gave up and we were right there throughout the whole final three months.

Brad Keselowski (finished 20th), responding to a tweet:

@keselowski  <--- biting my tongue (RT) @jeff_gluck: Seriously, though, could you have a classier runner-up in any sport? I've never covered one if there is.

David Ragan (finished 38th with a blown engine):

I think Carl probably has a real conservative piece. I doubt they will have any issues. Myself, Marcos and even Greg and AJ, not being in the Chase, we have a little R&D going on. We just got the short straw.

Kurt Busch (finished 34th):

I've never been so disappointed in my life. I think I missed a race once my rookie year and this almost tops that.

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