Quotes of the Week UPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Your comment in today's news included in the Mike Hull comment should be cast in stone and sent to Indy. "What he fails to mention is that Barnhart's boss Tony George created the IRL, ripped a hole through the core of USA open wheel racing, destroyed all that CART had built, and now open wheel racing is a mere shadow of its former self to the point NASCAR is sucking away all the talent and money. There really is nothing more to it". What you stated was so simple and brilliant, it should be the beginning statement in all future articles about the decline of open wheel in the US. Again, fantastic job. Mike Ditmer
MIKE HULL, Target Chip Ganassi Racing managing director
“I think that should be a wakeup call to Brian Barnhart and all of his people to what we need to be doing here with partnerships and value back so that we can keep all of these guys in this series and promote the brand.” (Commenting on IRL drivers switching to NASCAR. What he fails to mention is that Barnhart's boss Tony George created the IRL, ripped a hole through the core of USA open wheel racing, destroyed all that CART had built, and now open wheel racing is a mere shadow of its former self to the point NASCAR is sucking away all the talent and money. There really is nothing more to it)
JON FOGARTY, Grand Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype champion
"I didn't like ovals – I was a road racer – so I turned it down [offer to drive for Bobby Rahal in 2004], and that was either ballsy or stupid because I had nothing," said Fogarty with a chuckle. "I mean, I appreciated Bobby giving me an opportunity and I think Buddy Rice (the 2004 Indy 500 winner for Rahal/Letterman) was happy I turned it down. But Bobby deserves big props for keeping American drivers in open wheel. He hired Ryan (Hunter-Reay, another Atlantic grad) halfway through this year and I think he believes in us because that's where he came from (Atlantics). Right now Champ Car is just a blip on the radar and we don't have a huge desire to do it," said Fogarty. "We've got families and we want to be in something with a future. This is good racing and we've got a helluva team."
RON DENNIS, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes F1 team
"We have not had any conversations since that point," said Dennis, referring to an argument with reigning world champion Alonso before the Hungarian Grand Prix that ultimately led to the disclosure of incriminating emails between himself and test driver Pedro de la Rosa. "The relationship between Fernando and myself is extremely cold. That is an understatement," Dennis added. "He does not speak to anyone much," Dennis explained, referring again to Alonso. He is a remarkable recluse for a driver."
PATRICK (PADDY) LOWE, Engineering Director, McLaren Mercedes F1 team
"The value of the dossier is overstated. I have 780 better pages which I do not have the opportunity to read. I don’t know why Mike Coughlan took position of the dossier, as is alleged. I can only think that he had some sort of collector’s mentality. I have come across engineers who like collecting things, like people collect stamps. It is of so little use, genuinely. What we need on our car is what has to do with our car, not on someone else’s. There are teams that obtain information from the experience and knowledge of the staff they bring in. We do not bring in engineers from other teams, on the whole. We like to build people on their experience over years. I believe Ferrari has the same philosophy. We do not buy in ideas from elsewhere. We need to generate our own performance. That is the formula that takes you to the top, rather than a copying formula, which can take one to fourth, third or second place at best."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NASCAR driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, former F1 driver
"Fernando is a nice guy, but he was the No. 1 at Renault and he was used to winning and getting everything. Then he went to McLaren, and when Connie and I heard that Lewis was going to be his teammate, we said 'Oh my God.' We immediately felt sorry for Fernando because Lewis is Ron's baby. Ron paid his whole career, so Ron wants him to win and not Fernando. He would rather see Lewis win, who is like his own child to Ron. Fernando is nothing to him. Ron, outside the work environment, is a great guy," Montoya said. "But he's two different guys. The guy who I signed with and played golf with, he just didn't exist in the office. He was just a different person, you wouldn't even recognize him. He wants to control everything, and I think Fernando is (angry) about that because he is not used to someone controlling everything and did not like that Ron was like that. I think Ron is used to drivers who don't say anything back. They are very quiet and very nice and do what everyone says, and I came along and he didn't like that. Now I guess Fernando is the same way. He thought he was going to come in and be No. 1, and he's just not. They try to make them be equal, but Lewis is genuinely a really fast driver. And apart from being really fast, he's Ron's favorite. It's just the truth, and it makes it bad for Fernando."
DR. WOLFGANG ULLRICH, Head of Audi Motorsport
"We wanted to see a tough, but fair touring car race today. But we had to get the impression that the Mercedes drivers used every opportunity to eliminate our cars. This is not the style in which we want to conduct motorsport. We want to see tough and fair duels but nothing of the kind we had today. That’s why we took the decision to withdraw all of our vehicles. That was not an easy decision, and it cost us points, and maybe even the title. But we wanted to send a clear message for fair motorsport." (An extraordinary move was made on the 49th lap of the Barcelona DTM race by Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich when he called in all remaining AUDI A4s on the track and withdraw them from the race on the spot after both Mathias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk, both in the Red Bull backed works Audis, were knocked out of the race by rival Mercedes-Benz drivers Mika Hakkinen and Daniel la Rosa respectively)
TONY RAINES, NASCAR Busch Series driver, Kevin Harvick Incorporated
"I want to thank RoadLoans.com for sponsoring (my) racecar and sponsoring the race," Raines said. "Unfortunately, they can't keep idiots like Robby Gordon from driving in the race." (With enough carnage on the racetrack to cause 13 cautions, Dover produced its customary share of raw emotion. After Robby Gordon clipped the No. 33 Chevrolet of Tony Raines on Lap 58 and turned the car into the wall, Raines climbed from his car under caution and threw his helmet at Gordon's No. 27 Ford.)
ROBIN PEMBERTON, Vice President of Competition, NASCAR
"It’s like baseball -- if you wanted it to be easy, then they would use aluminum bats.” (Pemberton gave this analogy in answering questions about the Car of Tomorrow)
ROBERT YATES, recently retired NASCAR team owner, Robert Yates Racing
“The thing with Dale [Earnhardt] Jr., people don’t know, but Ralph Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Sr., his dad, they taught me a huge lesson in life. It would be a long story to explain that, but certainly they taught me that respect is earned, and not something that you can demand; you have to earn that. I didn’t quite understand it with Ralph, but after Dale came along—I had so many relationships and deals with those two guys, to see Ralph’s grandson and Dale’s son, he’s going to do a great job with the number . And some of my life really got started with Rick Hendrick, so I think they’ll do that number justice. It’s been a good number with the Gatorade car that I worked on, it’s been a good number for the Quality Care, and we’ve done pretty good with the UPS thing. I think these guys will take the 88 number to where it needs to be. It’s really not so much a number—we were going to do it anyway, but the fact that I could give back to the Earnhardts and be part of that family, for me, and some other people might not understand that, but for me I have a lot of reasons why I want to do that and I’m happy I could do it. Younger fans don't realize I built cars and raced against Ralph. I also had a very close relationship with Dale Earnhardt Sr. I'm proud to transfer this number to Dale Jr. and let him know how much I appreciate the friendship and competitive racing I've always enjoyed with his family."