Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At The Glen

Best Quote:

“I’ll win a million bucks for anyone. I don’t care. I just want to get to Victory Lane again. It just feels great right now. It’s just a dream come true. The fans out there who have supported Richard Petty and this whole team through the turmoil last year, I can’t thank them enough. We’re gonna go onward and upward from here. It’s a proud day. No one realizes how much everybody puts in to try to get to Victory Lane and when it actually happens it’s almost a surreal moment.”- Marcos Ambrose, winner, on qualifying for the $3 million Sprint Bonus at Atlanta.

Make no mistake, this first win has been a long time coming for Marcos Ambrose. He has won 3 of the last 4 Nationwide Series events at Watkins Glen and has been oh-so-close to that first win that it was only a matter of time. Now the tricky part begins for Ambrose. He feels in order to prove his worth in NASCAR that he needs to win on an oval track. It’s become somewhat of a quest for the holy grail for Ambrose and now he has to prove, not just to the NASCAR fan base, but to himself that he can win on the ovals as well. If he can keep this momentum going, then the first oval win won’t be too far away.

Worst Quote:

“I’m more upset with Greg Biffle. He is the most unprofessional little scardey cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after. So, if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a…whooping and I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean he is a chump.”- Boris Said, 22nd, on his post-race altercation with Greg Biffle

Hmm, let’s see here… dump David Ragan on the last lap, send two cars to the scrapyard, and get into a fight with Greg Biffle? Yeah, it’s safe to say Boris Said has more than his share of pissed off NASCAR drivers right now. Boris needs to learn in NASCAR that he can’t just plow over people to race for 22nd. And to be quite honest, he’s damned lucky somebody didn’t get seriously hurt after his careless actions. Greg Biffle was merely standing up for a team-mate and if Boris can’t handle that, then maybe he’s worn out his welcome in NASCAR.

Most Controversial Quote:

“Yeah, I’m okay, I’m sore. That was a hard hit. I looked down at my feet and my pedals and my leg rests were all pushed over. It’s a shame that a race track we go to in 2011 doesn’t have a better wall design all the way around the race track, so hopefully they’ll look at that. I’ve been to some dirt tracks that have better walls than that. It was a hard hit, but our cars are safe. Thanks to everyone back at home that builds us safe race cars.”- David Ragan, 28th, on whether he was okay after his hard hit.

The most common denominator today from the drivers was the pleading and urgency for SAFER barriers all the way around the track. After Denny Hamlin’s harrowing crash into the turn 7 wall in an incident eerily similar to Jimmie Johnson’s hit in the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series race at The Glen and the scary last lap crash between David Reutimann and David Ragan, there were more than a fair share of drivers criticizing the walls at Watkins Glen. Ragan’s comments were by far the most critical of the bunch and after the hits he took, who can blame him?

Best of the Rest:

“It was. At the beginning, it was pretty hairy. It started misting pretty good and there wasn’t very good visability for the spotters. From a driver’s standpoint it wasn’t too bad. But it was unpredictable in trying to guess at it from a crew chief standpoint was pretty tough. You never know when the rain is coming around here.”- Jeff Gordon, 13th, on track conditions early in the race.

“My pride mostly. Something came in and kind of got into the uniform and ripped a hole in it there. So, something flew in there and got a hold of my shin and ate it up a little bit. I’m not exactly sure what, but just not a very good day for us. I’ve got to thank everybody at Aaron’s, Best Western and Tums and the guys at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) for building me safe race cars. Just a pretty dismal day all day and didn’t look like we were going to finish all that well, but I didn’t figure we were going to finish that bad. Disappointing. Didn’t really need to happen unfortunately, but that’s just how it goes.”- David Reutimann, 29th, on what hurt the most after his hard crash.

“Nothing really changes. Every week we show up and try to get the most points we can. Nothing has changed all year for that. Might take a gamble to try and get a second win. If we miss on that and run out of fuel or something, at least we tried.”- Paul Menard, 32nd, on his approach for the next few races following his hard crash at Watkins Glen.

“The only thing really maybe harder was the Talladega one I had when I had the concussion a couple years ago. That was about the worst. This was just terrifying because you know there’s nothing you can do and you’re headed straight for the fence. That was the scariest I’ve been in my car.”- Denny Hamlin, 36th, on whether the throttle hung in his car.

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