Quotes of the weekUPDATE JASON HAWTHORNE, Champ Car fan "Standing starts are great," exclaimed Jason Hawthorne from San Jose, California. "I really like them and they put on quite a show. I cannot wait to go to the San Jose Grand Prix and see the full field drag race into the first turn." (After seeing the Champ Cars practice standing starts at Laguna Seca Saturday)
03/12/07 CASEY MEARS, NASCAR driver "It amazes me," Mears said. "Every time I think Robby Gordon can't do anything more stupid than he's already done, he one-ups himself. It's so early in the race. The tires are one of the hardest tires to drive we've had all year. It's such a long race, and he puts us three-wide going into Turn 1. It's ridiculous. He's trying to pull something off in the first opening laps when it means nothing, and I guess he's trying to be a hero, you know?" (After being taken out by Gordon in an early race accident in Las Vegas on Sunday)
TONY STEWART, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing “It [stinks],” Stewart said. “You think a company like Goodyear can do a lot better job than what they’re doing. Especially for a company that’s been in this business for so long. They don’t care about the competition. They don’t care about the drivers. They don’t care about the teams. All they care about is not having bad publicity and not blowing tires and getting bad publicity because of that. I thought Daytona was one of the worst tires we have ever ran on, but I will guarantee you this is definitely the worst Goodyear tire I think I have ever been on in my entire nine years of driving [in the] Nextel Cup Series," Stewart said. "It never ceases to amaze me on how they can always trump their ace how bad they can build tires for us." Stewart said he’d give half of his $5 million-plus salary to have the Hoosier Tire Company make tires “instead of the crap we’re running on now.” (Tony Stewart blasted the tire Goodyear brought to Las Vegas Motor Speedway after his qualifying attempt for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400)
TONY STEWART After the Sam's Town 300 Busch Series race, Stewart continued his criticism of Goodyear by saying they were "playing God" by bringing a new, harder tire from the one teams tested with in January. Stewart also blasted the track itself, for its decision to change the banking from 12 to 20 degrees in the turns. The combination of higher banking and harder tire led to a bevy of crashes and a race-record 12 cautions. "If you look at the last 36 hours and look at how many cars we've torn up, ...if I were car owners, I would send bills to the race track," Stewart said. "Goodyear, I would think they would be up on this ... but they don't know how to build a tire [that holds up in these conditions]," Stewart said. "Look at how many good teams and good drivers crashed today. Are they going to say that we forgot how to drive? If the tire used at Las Vegas were any harder, the next thing we're going to be running is forklift tires."
MARK MARTIN, NASCAR driver, Ginn Racing "I knew that Juan Montoya was one of the greatest drivers in the world but boy, did he show everybody last Sunday in Mexico," said Mark Martin. "The incident that he and Pruett had, it was an unfortunate incident. It was not something that needed to take place for him to win the race. It certainly doesn't discredit the win, by any means. He certainly put on a driving clinic for everyone out there and that was awesome." (Commenting about Juan Montoya's first NASCAR win at the Mexico City Busch Series race)
MARK MARTIN “You keep asking -- no change yet.” (Since he is the points leader people keep asking him if he will still run a limited race schedule in 2007)
STEVE JOHNSON, Champ Car President "NASCAR kicked our butts from a marketing side about 10 years ago. We need to bring sponsors in that activate and promote our series. We need to get the youth of America educated about what road racing is. We've lost a generation of fans. We have to educate what we are all about." (When asked "NASCAR fans travel a great distance to attend races. Is the Champ Car product the issue for Laguna Seca because when the Moto GP is here there are well over 100,000 people.")
KEVIN KALKHOVEN, Champ Car Series co-owner "Relax! We'll be just fine in Las Vegas. Certain reports that say Forsythe is not running a second car isn't true. We have a new two-car team in Pacific Coast Motorsports who joined us from ALMS and Grand Am. We have other teams going to join us. Our teams have all had the expense of buying new cars this year." (When asked: "It seems that some of the Champ Car teams are running only one car and are merging with another team. What about the car count?)
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