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DATE News (chronologically)
05/28/07
racing news
Quotes of the week UPDATE
MARTY REID, paid TV Commentator for Indy 500
"The depth of this field [lineup for the 2007 Indy 500] is astounding."
 
RUSTY WALLACE, paid TV Commentator for Indy 500
"Marty, [Reid] I've been here a long time and looking at this field, this is the most competitive field I've ever seen in Indianapolis during the 500.  Over half the field can win this race."
 
ROBIN MILLER, independent Motorsports Journalist, Veteran Open Wheel Expert
"The depth of this field today was maybe the worst I've ever seen.  There were so many of these thrown-together teams and fly-by-night guys.  Guys that haven't driven in a decade.  Guys that drive every three years.  That's not what the Indy 500 is about."

05/28/07
DARIO FRANCHITTI, Indy 500 winner, Andretti Green Racing
"I can hardly believe it.  Who'd have thought it!  Who would have thought it!  I've got to thank my team.  I've got to thank all these guys here, the whole Andretti Green Racing team.  This man here [team co-owner, Michael Andretti].  This is for him.  And here he comes [an emotional Tony Kanaan congratulates Franchitti].  If you knew the reason why we went with that strategy, we cut a tire on some debris and we had to make the pit stop.  And these guys just called a great race.  I was saving fuel under yellow.  I was saving so much fuel.  But whenever it went green, I had to go.  I had Dixon back there and he's a man to watch.  I can't believe it.  It's the Indy 500!  I've got to thank my whole team, my teammates, and everybody here, and all the sponsors.  It's awesome.  It's not sunk in right now.  I couldn't believe it just driving in there.  To be a member of this club is fantastic.  I have to say it could have been any one of the five of us today.  We rolled the dice.  We were unlucky in the first stint of the race.  Really glad you decided to run the second part.  I would say, 'Oh no, I think we should stop.'   I'm glad we went with it.  I know I kind of have a half an idea what it means to win this race now.  I'm pretty happy!"

ASHLEY JUDD, actress and wife of Dario Franchitti, Indy 500 Winner
"My husband is gifted.  He loved the balance on the car.  He started out with a lot of understeer.  And each consecutive pit stop they took out - or added - they added more wing.  I can't remember.  And then he quit asking for more wing because the car was in a sweet spot.  When I saw him on the grid, and I never tell what I say, but today it's fitting.  I said, 'Babe, just pick them off one at a time.'  And that's exactly what he did.  And I'd like to point out that he raced from 14th to first like a gentleman.  Like a gentleman.  And that's exactly what my husband is and I am so proud of him.  And this is overdue for him.  I'm telling you right now, he's thinking of the great Jimmy Clark [the only other Scotsman to win the Indy 500]."

SCOTT DIXON, 2nd place finisher in the Indy 500, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
"Probably one of the worse races I've ever been in. There was no rhythm to it. There were crashes after crashes, and then obviously it rained twice. It is not the way the people want to see this race. Fans who had to leave because of the rain, and obviously there's not that many people left. We didn't want to see it end when it did at (Lap) 113 because that was just totally unfair." (Talking about how the Indy 500 was ruined because of all the crashes caused by field-filler drivers who had no business being in the race in the first place)
 
TONY KANAAN, IRL driver, Andretti Green Racing
"I don't know what happened.  I think we got caught...  I mean I don't even know who crashed, but somebody tipped me.  I really don't know.  I spun.  I managed to keep it on the track.  After that I knew the day was over, but this is Indianapolis.  This is the way it is.  Out of a bad day for me it became a good day for Dario and for this team.  If I could pick anybody besides me, and Michael because it was hit last try, it was this guy.  He made me cry and that's not good."  When asked about his teammate winning the Indy 500, Kanaan said "We're so close.  He's one of the biggest reasons I signed with this team.  He helped me.  He talked to Michael about it.  He's been here the longest.  It's a good day for him and let's move on.  It is Indianapolis, but there is life beyond that.  One of my best friends won.  If it couldn't be me, it was him.  So happy for him.  So happy.  He came through tough times.  Never had a pretty good season here.  I had my championship.  My day will come if it's meant to be.  If it's not, we'll keep trying."  (Tony Kanaan lead the first half of the Indy 500 before the rain delay) 
 
ROBIN MILLER, Motorsports Journalist, Veteran Open Wheel Expert
"Dario Franchitti's picture is on the Borg-Warner trophy, but it should have been Tony Kanaan's.  Nobody can believe they pitted him on Lap 155, just after he pitted on Lap 137.  He saw the rain coming.  It cost him the race.  And whoever called that strategy owes him a lot more than a steak dinner."  (Tony Kanaan led the first half of the rain-delayed Indy 500, but finished 12th after the re-start)

TONY GEORGE, President and CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Founder of the Indy Racing League
"Would I do it again? If the circumstances dictate, I wouldn't change anything," George said. "I'd do it again if the circumstances would dictate that."  (Responding to a question about creating the Indy Racing League)
 
GRAHAM RAHAL, Champ Car driver, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
"It's a dream of mine to race at Indianapolis," Rahal remarked. "I was talking to my dad recently about the father-son combinations who have won this race and we think the Unsers are the only ones. So it would obviously be awesome to be the second family to do that. So personally, there's great motivation for me to race at Indianapolis."

JACK ROUSH, NASCAR team co-owner and CEO, Roush Fenway Racing
"NASCAR came back and with Goodyear decided that we couldn't own our tires.  They were going to stop us from taking tires home because they did not want us to test these cars.  They were going to start everybody on the Car of Tomorrow on an even basis saying there was four or five tests or whatever it was.  That's what you get, that's what you've got.  Well the teams that have been successful and I'll name names -- the Hendrick organization, the Gibbs organization, the Childress organization -- have been testing these cars multiple times a year, I'm sorry I mean multiple times a week, on race tracks that were outside of NASCAR's control with tires that were not Goodyears for the most part because they wouldn't sell the tires.  So Goodyear is sitting on top of millions of dollars worth of tires that are going obsolete and hard in their warehouses, and the teams were out going around NASCAR's policy and their intention by buying other people's tires and going to race tracks that aren't within....   I got behind on that.  I didn't do that.  But two weeks ago, I hired six people, I dedicated a tractor trailer, and I've gone public that says, ok I'm going to get in the testing game, too.  If you don't want us to test, you need to have us to sign something, and the application says we agreed that we would not test our cars on Goodyear tires or anyone else's tires except for the race tracks that NASCAR approves.  They didn't do that.  That left the door open and we got behind.  But we're going to catch up."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NASCAR driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

"Nothing in the world could make me return [to F1]," Montoya told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.  He said, "In NASCAR I am ten thousand times happier than I ever was there."  Montoya also revealed that he was offered a ride at Red Bull Racing.  "I told them that I would have to be crazy to go back."

JENSON BUTTON, F1 driver,  Honda Racing F1 Team
"I often used to say I wish I could get some space when the media was focused on me," said Button.  "Now I have plenty of space. In fact, I appear to be completely alone."  (Jenson Button confessed to mixed feelings in Monaco when he was asked about the media shadow cast on him this year by his rookie countryman Lewis Hamilton)

NIKI LAUDA, Three times F1 World Champion
"If you start manipulating him [Lewis Hamilton], he will turn into a bore like some of the other guys," the always-outspoken Austrian said.  (Lauda has urged McLaren chairman and team principal, Ron Dennis, to let Hamilton be himself.  Ron Dennis said, "We're trying to give him [Hamilton] every opportunity to concentrate on his job," admitting that the constant back-seat advice from observers like Lauda is "annoying".)
 
RON DENNIS, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes, Chairman and CEO McLaren Group

"I don't like to slow drivers down, I don't like them to be frustrated but it is the way you have to win the Monaco grand prix," Dennis said.  He insisted to reporters that the situation was a "one off", created by the unforgiving Monaco barriers and also McLaren's performance advantage over their nearest competitor here.  "We don't have team orders -- we had a strategy to win this race.  There will be places where they will be absolutely free to race, but this isn't one of them." (Responding to criticism that 'Team order' has returned to the Formula One paddock when Ron Dennis was accused by the British media of illegally preventing former championship leader Lewis Hamilton from challenging his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso in Monaco)   

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