Quotes of the Week
RACE FAN, Question to Tony George on Wind Tunnel
Eleven years ago your insistence to create the IRL began a crippling downward spiral for open wheel racing in this country. When are you going to address the needs of the open wheel community as a whole instead of this senseless power play you launched in 1996? Fix it or forget it.....fans like me are walking away from the sport.
ROBERT CLARKE, HPD President and Acura and Honda racing boss
The result and the subsequent wave of congratulatory messages have been truly overwhelming. In my entire career in motorsports yesterday's performance was my most special moment. Whereas in CART and the IRL we had assistance, respectively, from Honda R&D or Ilmor, the ALMS program is of HPD's sole conception and ultimate responsibility. Yesterday's event was the first true test of HPD's new development program. Beating the Porsches did give us great satisfaction, but it was actually the personal congratulations from Audi's Dr. Ulrich and his comment that they were "very concerned" that gave us the greatest pleasure. (Commenting on Acura's win on their maiden ALMS race at Sebring Saturday)
BOBBY RAHAL, Father of future star Graham Rahal
Kevin Kalkhoven said he would be in Champ Car, and I take the man at his word. (Commenting on a question posed to him during the 12 Hours of Sebring about whether his son will have a ride in Champ Car this year)
FLAVIO BRIATORE, Managing Director, Renault F1 team
"You need the rifle to get these guys moving. I hope the Federation is doing something." (Referring to slower backmarker rivals at the Australian Grand Prix who according to Briatore "ignore" blue flags)
"Kovalainen had a horrible race. You need to be realistic: he did almost everything wrong. I think everybody was watching on TV. I don't need to protect anybody. It was rubbish. What can I say? If I tell you it was good, I am a complete idiot. Of course he's a rookie but so is Hamilton so in these two weeks before the next race he needs to change his attitude and try to do better, because he has the capability to do it. Nothing went right today." (Commenting on Renault rookie Heikki Kovalainen's mistake-ridden debut at the Australian Grand Prix)
MATT KENSETH, NASCAR Nextel Cup driver
“When I was running fifth or whatever and Juan Montoya blew my doors off and he was running the high side, I said, ‘He’s going to win the race if he doesn’t hit the wall. I thought he was going to (win) because he was flying up there.” (Commenting after Sunday's Nextel Cup race in Atlanta)
TONY STEWART, NASCAR Nextel Cup driver
"I'm pretty impressed. To come to Atlanta and be able to run that well here and figure this place out. I didn't figure it out in one try by any means. He did an awesome job. Every track he goes to this year will be a new track for him That shows why he got his opportunity in Formula One, because he's a great talent." (Commenting on Juan Montoya's obvious talent)
"Nobody ever likes to hit the wall. That's pretty much a no-brainer. I wish he'd have given me a little more room. I don't think I ever pinched him or kept him from having room on the race track to race. He had a faster car. He's probably going to get around us anyway but I'd like to have seen him give me room to race him for it. To be honest whatever I say is probably going to be wrong. I even hate to answer that. We're both racing hard with three laps to go. You don't know if his spotter told him he was clear so he just kept coming. You don't know what the circumstances are with that without talking to him. It is what it is. At the end he's in Victory Lane and we're here talking about finishing second." (Commenting on Jimmie Johnson pinching him into the wall at Atlanta while making the pass for the win)
JAIME MELO, MIKA SALO and JOHNNY MOWLEM, Winning Sebring Ferrari GT2 drivers on beating Flying Lizard Porsche on last lap
"It was a fantastic last lap," Melo said. "I've never had a finish like that. I had brake problems late and tried to keep it steady. He (Bergmeister) overtook me on the backstraight and I braked a little early. Out of Turn 17 I put in a little more and opened the throttle as soon as possible."
"It was really tight with the No. 45 car," Salo said. "We were absolutely flat out the entire way. The GT2 is the best racing in this Series. It's going to be like this all year, so we have to improve so we don't have any more finishes like this."
"It was just awesome," Mowlem said. "Every time we were out there, we were driving as hard as we could. To finally get to the end and have Jaime drive for two hours like he did and have that kind of final lap, he's my hero. To win is just fantastic."
MARK MARTIN, Semi-retired NASCAR driver
I’m looking forward to next weekend,” said Martin. “I just want to thank all the fans for their support, especially with this U.S. Army car and what we have going on. I know a lot of people still don’t believe that I won’t be racing next weekend, but they will have a really hard time finding me. (Commenting on people doubting he will not race at Bristol since he is the Nextel Cup points leader)