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DATE News (chronologically)
09/08/08
racing news
Quotes of the week 
"I left him [Raikkonen] enough room, yet he picked up more pace going into the corner, and drove me as wide as he possibly could. I was accelerating so that I didn't lose too much ground because I thought that would be unfair. I didn't want to wait until he'd flown past because we were still racing.  Eventually I could see him accelerating and I knew, ok, this is alright, so I began to accelerate, but slowly.  I don't believe I was full throttle, I was waiting for him to accelerate past which he did. That was a great fight and I don't think there was anything wrong there. What more could I do?  I don't know what more I could have done. This is motor racing and if there's a penalty, then there's something wrong.  But you know what they're like, so we will see." Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 driver, McLaren-Mercedes, commenting after receiving a penalty and losing his victory in the Belgian Grand Prix for cutting a chicane when battling with Kimi Raikkonen

"I think we put on a great show, but you saw there wasn't any overtaking. I was working my ass off in the race [European GP] and doing the best job I could. You couldn't get close to other cars [at Valencia], which is the same at a lot of the circuits we have. The new circuits are potentially just flat and boring." Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 driver, McLaren-Mercedes 

"It might be his [Kimi Raikkonen] last chance [Belgian GP] to re-ignite his F1 career. Ferrari can't watch the man they brought in to replace Michael Schumacher self-destruct and become a midfield driver." Gary Anderson, former Jordan F1 team technical boss

"I came here to win and I came close. In the final laps the track conditions were very critical and unfortunately, I ran wide and when I tried to get back on track, I spun and ended up in the wall. It was a shame because today the car was working really well. I got a good start and managed to pass Felipe on the straight and then overtook Hamilton when he spun at the start of the second lap. On the soft tires, I could run at a good pace, while the final set, the harder ones, was not quite there - definitely not as good in performance terms as those I'd used in the past couple of days - and the balance of the car was not as good as earlier. The arrival of the rain definitely did not help. In these conditions, if you are in front you have to be more cautious as you don't know how much grip you'll find in each braking area. That's how Hamilton managed to close on me and then happened what you all saw. It's the second race in a row that I've failed to score points. Clearly the championship situation is what it is, but I'm not the sort to give up that easily." Kimi Raikkonen, Formula 1 driver, Ferrari, who led almost the entire Belgian Grand Prix, but lost control on the wet track with dry tires and crashed into the wall finishing 18th.

“We were trying to work out where we needed to be, and I think I got a little complacent in the middle there. Some of those guys are so quick, some people we didn’t expect to be racing with. We got shuffled back in line a little bit, but what a great day. I still can’t believe it.” (About whether or not this trumps his championship in 2003) “Yeah, I think it does. We had to go through the cycles. In ’03 we really knew what we won, but today was so emotional for the team. Everyone at Team Target worked together to make it happen. My hat’s off to them.” (About tough years in his career) “Yeah, it was so tough in those years. I think we tried to forget about them, but I think those years have made the team what it is today. I think those years were tough, but you’ve got to have those years to make sure that you come back and work hard. I’ve got to thank Chip (Ganassi) for keeping me around. It was a revolving door there for awhile. I’ve got to thank my teammate, Dan (Wheldon). He was a great help today.” Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 2008 IndyCar Series Champion; 2nd place finisher at Chicagoland which was the closest race in IndyCar history

“I found out [I won] when I was walking to the podium to receive the second-place finish. I actually thought I really won it, but sometimes when you’re going 215 mph it’s hard for me to see in the blink of an eye. But what a great effort by Team Penske. Ryan (Briscoe) helped me out tremendously. We put ourselves in that situation today. And I’m sure next year is going to be a lot of fun as well, so I can’t wait for 2009.” (About coming from last to first) “We tried to keep everything that happened behind and keep racing. I had no doubt that we’d have a good car. It was a big task but, like I said, we believed, we did everything possible. But unfortunately Scott (Dixon) was right there, too. I have to congratulate Team Ganassi, but what a great finish, what a wild race. It was kind of a little close, but I’m extremely happy for the way it came out here.” Helio Castroneves, IndyCar driver, Team Penske, winner of the closest IndyCar race in history at Chicagoland; runner-up for the 2008 IndyCar Series Champion

I feel like it’s important for the fans to know what I think about everything that has happened this last week. I didn’t want to leave Panther and the No. 4 car because I know how good this team is going to be next year. I feel like I’m a big part of the foundation of this team in the new generation of the IndyCar Series. I’m sad to leave, and I don’t agree with all the decisions that have been made, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about Panther Racing, and I’ll always have a lot of respect for them. I feel like I’m personal friends with every member of this team. That will never change. I’m also happy to have had the experience with all the sponsors who have supported me, especially Delphi for the two years of support and trust. The National Guard, as an institution, and the soldiers as individuals, changed me personally and the way I look at everything. One of the key words in the National Guard is ‘honor’, and I’m honored to get to know every member of the National Guard and I always will be, even if I don’t drive their car in the future. I will always know, no matter what, that wherever I am the Guardsmen are Always Ready and Always There. I look forward to continuing my career in the IndyCar Series, and will share any updates as they come available.” Vitor Meira, IndyCar driver, Panther Racing, who was unceremoniously dismissed from the team via an email from John Barnes

“Tony Stewart will at times do or say things that make our skin crawl. He’s been an asshole at times”. Jim Hunter, NASCAR Vice President Communications

"When you consider all the time, effort and millions of dollars that is expended into R&D and testing on these cars how amazing would it be if the final solution turned out to be a bag of corn chips? Biffle's car actually ran better during the latter stages of the Pepsi 500 with the Doritos bag stuck to his car and he was gaining ground on Johnson. Eventually the debris dislodged itself and all of a sudden Biffle was losing ground to the race leader." David Grayson, NASCAR journalist

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