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DATE News (chronologically)
04/29/07
Racing News
Quotes of the Week  
TONY STEWART, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing
"I guess NASCAR thinks 'Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too,'" Stewart said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR. I don't know that they've run a fair race all year.  It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year.”  Stewart was so upset at the officiating at Phoenix on Saturday that he blew off a NASCAR-mandated appearance in the Media Center following the race to show NASCAR his frustration.  “I didn’t want to go to the media center and bash NASCAR,” Stewart said. “It’s about the integrity of the race and the integrity of the sport and when I feel like our own sanctioning body isn’t taking care of that, it’s hard to support them.  It’s hard to feel proud about being a driver in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series when they’re throwing debris cautions.”  (On his weekly radio show "Tony Stewart Live” on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, Stewart vented his frustration at the seemingly endless string yellow flags waved for debris which have influenced the outcome of several races so far this season, following a rash of suspect yellows in the Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, comparing NASCAR to the likes of World Wrestling Entertainment)

FELIX SABATES, NASCAR team co-owner, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
"He's a spoiled little brat," Sabates said.  "NASCAR should suspend him.  If he was my driver, I would have fired him on the spot."  (Commenting on Tony Stewart's stinging commentary of NASCAR as a result of Stewart's frustration over several “debris” caution flags that have been called in several races this season, and for Tony refusing to address the media following his second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway)

JEFF BURTON, NASCAR driver
“The first thing I want to say for sure is that I don’t have any doubt in my mind that NASCAR runs a fair race. If I believed for a minute that NASCAR was doing things to impact someone’s opportunity to win the race more than me, I’d quit. I’d find another way to make a living. We have to have integrity and I have to walk into this garage area knowing I have the same chance as everybody else. I’m not concerned about that one bit.”

JEFF BURTON (NASCAR driver, guest analyst in ESPN pit studio)
“What happens is that after the big one, everybody gets on TV and they say, ‘well, that’s Talladega,’ but it’s not Talladega. We start them. The drivers start them. Typically we start them because we’re trying to squeeze into a hole. If you don’t protect your position, if you don’t try to stay in line or make yourself a hole, you’ll find yourself in the back. You’ve got to protect your position. And typically what happens is a guy tries to squeeze into a hole and there’s not enough room there. Once a chain reaction starts, boom! Then you’ve got your big wreck.” (On the multi-car accidents known as “The Big One” that sometimes happen in restrictor-plate races)

MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (to ESPN pit reporter Allen Bestwick)
“It’s always on your mind. It’s always in the back of your mind when you race here. But you can’t go out there and worry about it and wait for it to happen. You hope that it’s behind you or you’re not around it. “ (On the multi-car accidents known as “The Big One” that sometimes happen in restrictor-plate races)

TONY KANAAN, IRL driver, Andretti Green Racing
"If this ever happens again, I will never drive for you - ever!" said an exasperated Tony Kanaan to his team while his car was being repaired during the Kansas Lottery Indy 300.   (Kanaan's teammate, Danica Patrick, was told to go after her pit stop while Kanaan was entering his pit box next to hers.  Danica hit Tony's car which caused damage to the left-front suspension resulting in Kanaan losing eight laps in the pits)

PATRICK CARPENTIER, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series driver, SAMAX Motorsport
"I told her [Milka Duno], 'I think it's a huge step,' " he said. "I think it's almost too big of a step. Those cars are fast. It's no playtime anymore. It's very serious and a small mistake can become catastrophic very, very quickly."  (Carpentier commented on his teammate in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Milka Duno, as she is about to debut in the Indy Racing League.  He wondered aloud if the step was too much, particularly for someone whose experience has been road courses, not the G-force generating ovals that comprise most of the IRL schedule)

NICK HEIDFELD, Formula 1 driver, BMW Sauber
"I know what I can do.  I would rather keep driving quickly than try to respond with my mouth," said Heidfeld after refusing to comment on the insult of Toyota team president, John Howett, after Howett said the German driver belongs no higher in Formula One than the "upper midfield".  Howett said, "With him, we would not improve."   (John Howett's comments follow the speculation that Toyota might be contemplating signing Heidfeld - who has an expiring BMW-Sauber contract - as a replacement for the embattled Ralf Schumacher in 2008 and beyond)

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