Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2011 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, race winner, on qualifying for the $3 million Sprint Bonus at Atlanta

Make no mistake, this first win has been a long time coming for Ambrose. He has won three of the last four 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 fanbase, 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, finished 22nd, on his post-race altercation with 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 Biffle? Yeah, it’s safe to say 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. Biffle was merely standing up for a teammate and if Boris can’t handle that, then maybe he’s worn out his welcome in NASCAR.

Most Controversial Quote

“Yeah, I’m OK, 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 racetrack we go to in 2011 doesn’t have a better wall design all the way around the racetrack, 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 racecars.” – David Ragan, finished 28th, 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 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, finished 13th

“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 racecars.

“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, finished 29th, on 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, finished 32nd, on his approach for the next few races

“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, finished 36th

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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