Quotes of the Week
MARK MARTIN, NASCAR driver, Ginn Racing
"I thought Kyle Busch was behind me," Martin said. "I felt confident. Kyle Busch's car was really fast and I thought he was going to be trapped on the inside and he was going to have nowhere to go and have no other option but to push me. His car was fast and we both had Hendrick power.
"I still thought we were going to be alright, but then I didn't realize that he was in the wreck. I wasn't looking back very much. I had my eye on heaven." (After losing the Daytona 500 in the last 100 yards)
"In this sport, no one ever races less. But had that been the case hypothetically, it would have broke me in half. That's what I love about this sport, because it's hard. It's what's driven me for over 30 years, and that's what I love about it, and that's why I'm here, was here today, because I had the choice of whether or not I wanted to race the Daytona 500. I wanted a chance -- I wanted a shot at it, and these guys gave me a shot. I want to say that I didn't ask for a win in the Daytona 500; I asked for a chance. Those guys gave me exactly what I asked for, and I let it slip away, slip through my fingers, and I'm fine with that. I did my best. Nobody wants to hear a grown man cry, all right? That's what it is. And I'm not going to cry about it. This is what it is, and that's it. That's the end. Their decision, they made the decision, and that's what we're going to live with." (Commenting after finished in second place in the controversial finish at the Daytona 500)
KEVIN HARVICK, NASCAR driver, Daytona 500 winner
I'm cold right now. They got me with the water there. I smell like I have a heavy alcohol problem. But it's just hard to put into words. I mean, we got ourselves in a little bit of trouble there with a hole in the nose and got really hot and had to drop out of the draft there with about 20 to go. Luckily we got a caution and were able to come back in and fix the front of the car.
"I knew I was going to be the bad guy there at the end with Mark leading. But we just held the pedal down and hoped for the best.
"I know for me I told them on the radio, I says, I don't know what's happening out here but I'm putting myself as close as I can to the wall so I'll hit something as least hard as possible. There at the end, people were dragging the walls. I know I hit the wall two or three times there at the end of the race. I think I hit the back end of the 17, straightened him back out there, in the next to last caution. It was the wildest thing I've been a part of in a long time.
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NASCAR driver and car owner, Michael Waltrip Racing
"I didn't want to taint this wonderful race. I just didn't know if my car on the track would be right. My world has been as mess. I'm probably the most depressed guy you've ever seen make the Daytona 500. What our team did was a terrible mistake. When I find out who was involved, they will pay. But we all should be embarrassed. I don't need to cheat to win this race."
"We just keep digging, digging, digging," Waltrip said. "Toyota's going to help us. A lot of people are going to help us. We're going to find out what happened. We have a lot of circumstantial evidence that implicates a couple of folks, but we don't have any proof. So we'll just keep digging until we find out what happened. " (Comments made after qualifying in the Duel 150 races for the Daytona 500 where Michael Waltrip Racing has been accused of cheating for using a fuel additive.)
ROBIN PEMBERTON, Vice President of Competition, NASCAR
"There is no scandal here, and very little dirt. There is only the traditional playing of the NASCAR game, with teams that "push to the limits and use every part of the gray area [in the rulebook] that they can (i.e. cheat)," said NASCAR competition vice president Robin Pemberton, himself a former crew chief. "That's been going on for years and it always will." (Commenting after five NASCAR teams have been accused of cheating during qualifying for the Daytona 500)
BRIAN FRANCE, CEO and Chairman, NASCAR
"You can't expect with 120 cars, thousands of rules that are out there, that some teams are either going to intentionally cross the line or inadvertently cross the line. Either way, it's our job to protect the integrity of the sport. What we said in July in Chicago was that we weren't happy with the frequency of those, too many of those. There's going to be some. You can't bat a thousand with a hundred plus cars. As more on the intentional side began to happen, we were going to ramp up the penalties in a strong way. As Mike Helton said, whatever it takes. Now, whatever it takes ought to be measured because we ought to be looking at, you still got to have the punishment fit the crime as well as be a deterrent. So we'll balance that. You can be assured, you'll read the penalties later on today. We don't know the details on the 55. But as these penalties or as these infractions become more frequent, you will see us undeniably step up the punishment. We'll find the right common ground to make sure while there will be some inadvertently flop over or make a mistake, but the intentional pressing, trying to get ahead of the rules, will not work. We'll make sure of that one way or the other. It's our job to escalate penalties. You're going to see it today. It will be undeniable that when you keep pushing the system and test the integrity of the sport, we will do whatever it takes. That doesn't mean you go out and get somebody in the electric chair, but it does mean you step up the penalties to a level that makes it a true deterrent." (Commenting about the cheating scandal the erupted during qualifying for the Daytona 500)
DONNIE WINGO, Crew Chief, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
"The guy is impressive," said crew chief Donnie Wingo. "That's all you can say." (Commenting about Juan Montoya who expects a solid finish in the Daytona 500. He led 18 laps in a qualifying race before a mechanical failure ended his run.)
MARK WEBBER, Formula 1 driver, Red Bull
"Of course Williams is a Toyota B team. There will be denials, but there is a feeling and a perception that a B team is actually how it is now (for them). Not a lot has changed in the structure, so there's no real reason why the results should be any different for them this year. Williams' finances are stretched. We have a Bahrain test at the end of the month which will be good. Williams can't go because of its finances." (Mark Webber has fired a new salvo at his former grand prix employer, describing Williams as Toyota's 'B' team. He switched to Red Bull ahead of the 2007 season following two disappointing years with Williams)