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DATE News (chronologically)
11/19/07
racing news
Quotes of the Week  
ROBIN MILLER,  Expert Open Wheel Racing Analyst
"It's the saddest story of the year.  It shows you how far down open wheel racing has fallen when people who are successful at driving open wheel cars can't wait to go run 35th in a stock car every weekend."  (Commenting on the defection of open wheel drivers to NASCAR)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE,  President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
"If anyone thinks that's the best thing for Formula One then I'd have very serious thoughts about me retiring," said Bernie Ecclestone said.  (Ecclestone had threatened to quit if Kimi Raikkonen's world drivers championship was snatched away.  McLaren appealed Brazilian GP stewards' decision last month to not penalize four rival cars despite their fuel being found arguably colder than the regulations allow.  If the FIA Court of Appeal in London had excluded three of the four cars and promoted Lewis Hamilton up the Interlagos finishing-order, Hamilton could have belatedly been handed the championship.  Ecclestone revealed that such a scenario could have compelled him into retirement.)

NIGEL TOZZI QC, lawyer for Ferrari
"McLaren are 'shameless hypocrites devoid of any integrity,' " according to Nigel Tozzi, the lawyer representing Ferrari at the so-called cool-fuel appeal in London on Thursday.

JEAN TODT, CEO Ferrari
"The decision of the ICA finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track," declared Jean Todt.  "Today, a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected. Now, all our efforts are focused on preparing for next season." (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is completely satisfied with the decision of the International Court of Appeal regarding the cool-fuel appeal which confirms the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix, as a consequence of which Kimi Raikkonen won the Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship.)

FELIPE MASSA, F1 driver, Ferrari
"The fact is I didn't have any experience without traction control and I was rubbish," Brazil's Massa was quoted as saying.  "First the accelerator is like a button. You have to be as soft as possible. But from a safety point of view, these limitations on the use of electronics seem a step backwards. In wet races we will have a lot more accidents."  (New Formula One rules for next season will lead to more accidents on wet tracks, Massa has said.  Cars will be without traction control and so-called driver aids for 2008, leading Ferrari to test with retired world champion Michael Schumacher, who is used to cars without aids and set the pace in testing in Spain on Tuesday and Wednesday.) 

EDDIE JORDAN, former F1 Team, Jordan Grand Prix
"I'm glad to be out of F1 because, in the last year, it has become so politically orientated.  It's an absolutely fascinating business, but much better viewed from the outside.  God, it was hard work," he added.  "At the end of the day, we delivered.  Only five teams in the last 25 years have won multiple grand prix races.  They are Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Renault and Jordan.  That's a fact.  I mean, Jesus, Toyota and Honda now spend billions and can't even get on the podium.  Can they win a race?  Not a chance," Jordan added.

BRIAN FRANCE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NASCAR
"I will be real clear about this: The beauty of the Internet is that you have a lot of information flowing around. The unfortunate thing is people have lot of time on their hands to speculate.  I am committed to my job for the foreseeable future. That's years, not months or whatever.  Our family has absolutely no interest in selling NASCAR or International Speedway Corp.  We can put that rumor right to bed.  Our management team is the deepest and best it has been, from Mike Helton on down, the people who run this sport are committed for the long run."  (Brian France commenting on recent rumors about possible NASCAR management changes involving himself or family members, and about a potential sale of NASCAR to some outside interest.)

BRIAN FRANCE
"They are not leaving the sport, but they are getting their NASCAR fix and information differently than they did before. There are lots of different ways to watch, read of pick up video clips about what goes on. That has some impact on your ratings.  I would tell you about ratings, you have to put it in some context. We’re still the No. 2 sport on television. Everyone has had ratings erosion and I am just not talking about sports – shows in prime time and 'American Idol' and lots of big franchises.  That’s the nature that we are seeing with the rich content. Obviously, with the Internet, the choices that are there, and it’s clearly harder to build and grow audience. But we like our position and where we’re at.  We do want to work harder in the future with our fan base who likes NASCAR the most, our die-hard fans, to make sure we’re not missing anything.  There’s always the possibility that you’re not focused on the core fans enough, and we’re going to make sure we’re doing that. But we like our position going forward."  (Commenting about a substantial drop in television ratings and polls showing indications that older and presumably more long-term fans are leaving the sport)

JIMMIE JOHNSON, 2007 and 2-time consecutive NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion, Hendrick Motorsports
"Last year was an amazing season and to come back this year and not lose anything over the off season and get this opportunity to win it again, I can't thank these guys enough," Johnson said. "I can't believe all the success I've been able to achieve. It's awesome stuff.  Everything came together, we're rocking," said Johnson who rode a four race winning streak into Sunday's season finale. "We stayed focused on the right things and got the job done. I can't thank Jeff Gordon enough, too, for helping me get this job and I can't thank Rick Hendrick enough, too.  We knew what we were up against and we were up against the best in the business. We got it and finished 1-2 in points and did all that we could. Hopefully, we come back again next year and do it again. We're just really hitting our stride," Johnson said. "I think that we have a lot of good years ahead of us and we'll be fighting for more championships and certainly winning more races as the years go by, and hopefully be a three-time champion in the near future.  Losing those two championships taught us a lot. It was painful," Johnson said. "And there were points there where we went back, looked at it and tried to adjust. And it's led to these two championships."

DARRELL WALTRIP, 3-time former NASCAR Winston Cup Champion; TV race commentator
"NASCAR has sucked the life out of the sport and emasculated all the drivers' personalities like [Tony] Stewart and Kevin Harvick."

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