Quotable Quotes from NASCAR
Condolences go out to Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Amy), Kelley Earnhardt Miller (L.W.) and all their children for the loss of Mother and Grandmother Brenda Jackson, another victim of Cancer. 65 is far too young to die in this day and age. Everyone here at RFF is sincerely heartbroken at your loss.
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and as always a cordial “Hey Y’all” to our assigned reader of all things NASCAR on this bright and sunny spring day in the hills of North Georgia. This one got passed over by your scribe, for absolutely no reason but carelessness… or failing eyesight. Actually, I presume I was looking for the “Lighter Side of NASCAR” and this one wasn’t captioned that way.
The following passages are the result of my search for some truly quotable quotes throughout the years. Some are funny; some are serious; some border on the ridiculous and a couple have been appropriately edited in order that your children might read them. I Hope y’all have as good a time reading these as I did unearthing them. Quotes appear in Italics and my comments, if any, in parentheses.
The first two are from a long-ago meeting of “Winged Warriors”:
"I don't think bigger spoilers are the answer… what we need is a rear wing like you saw on the Dodges in the late 60's."
Ricky Rudd, commenting on the early 80’s NASCAR cars' handling problems
"Forget that, we're not going back to the Batmobiles!"
NASCAR Top Cop Bill Gazaway, answering Ricky Rudd's comment
(These were the cars with the beaks in front and wings at the back… Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Super-Bird)
Here we have a couple from gentlemen who were lucky to be able to say anything, let alone something witty:
"When I saw the wall coming through the car, I knew I was in trouble."
Mike Harmon, after walking away from a gruesome crash during a Busch Grand National practice session at Bristol.
When I started out on asphalt and wound up on dirt, I knew I was in trouble."
Jimmy Horton, after exiting Talladega the hard way (over the wall and onto a dirt lane outside and well below the track) in 1993
The boys in the booth all claim to be “Trained Broadcast Professionals”, but they have their moments, just like the rest of us:
"Richard Childress recently went polar-bear hunting up in the Northwest Territory near Antarctica."
FOX commentator Larry McReynolds
(Larry, you might want to check your atlas.)
"I’ve always said your legacy is what you leave behind you."
Darrell Waltrip, enlightening Fox TV viewers
(Umm…yep, what he said)
"Lowe’s Motor Speedway is one of those tracks where the sun usually sets in the west."
MRN radio commentator Barney Hall
(Maybe there is an exception when there is a full moon?)
Drivers of course, are always articulate, sometimes to a fault. Here’s a few from the men behind the wheels:
"The track is so fast, it’s not made for racing. It’s made for speed."
Ryan Newman, on Texas Motor Speedway
(Ya know, I almost understand that one)
"At this point, I think if I saw someone on the side of the road selling horseshoes, I would stop and buy one."
Bobby Labonte, in the midst of a tough season.
(Been there, felt that way)
"We’ve got heavy hearts in the backs of our minds."
Kurt Busch, expressing his feelings on owner Jack Roush in the aftermath of Roush’s injuries in a plane crash
(Well, you know what he meant)
"I thought maybe he needed a psychologist, first off for owning a race team and secondly for hiring me."
Bill Elliott on Ray Evernham
(We still love ya Bill)
"They’re going to have to come in here and bulldoze the place."
Rusty Wallace, complaining about New Hampshire International Speedway.
(All those years and nothing’s changed)
"Don't come here and grumble about going too fast. Get out of the racecar if you've got feathers on your legs or butt. Put a kerosene-soaked rag around your ankles so the ants won't climb up there and eat your candy a**."
Dale Earnhardt on slowing down races
(He always had a way with words ~ Lord I miss him)
“God created bumpers and… Bumpers were made for bumping!”
"I taught you everything you know but I didn't teach you everything I know"
(I've seen this one credited to Dale Earnhardt, but I remember Bobby Allison saying it years before that and it probably wasn’t new then)
"I keep trying to get Junior to come back to the track and help me. I asked him at Bristol, 'Junior, just come over and stand in the pits with a headset on the wall like you used to.' And he said, 'Boy, you ain't running good enough for me to help you.'"
Darrell Waltrip, when he was owner/driver
(Junior had a way with words as well)
“Money buys speed. How fast do you want to go?”
I’ve seen this attributed to Smokey Yunick, but I have reason to believe that it originated with Banjo Matthews and was the slogan for “Banjo’s Performancenter.”
This next bunch is all from the same man; someone I could listen to for days without ever getting tired of listening. Here are just a few from the “Gentle Giant”, Buddy Baker:
"Ernie Irvan could go bear hunting with a switch. He ain't never afraid."
On Rick Hendrick and Felix Sabates - "Well I don't know which one has more money but I'll tell you what. Either one could burn a wet mule with hundred dollar bills."
On a newly re-paved Darlington - "The new asphalt is like putting a tuxedo on a rattlesnake."
On being asked to do a TV piece on conserving fuel - "I told them they better get somebody else; that I didn't know anything about saving gas."
"Man, I've hit everything but the lottery."
On the Gibson Guitar Buddy himself won at Nashville - "I was like a pig with a wristwatch"
From Hickory Speedway "Short track racing is by all means a contact sport"
(The man is a classic)
Then, of course, there are always the words of wisdom that emanate from the hierarchy of NASCAR itself:
"Certainly it's not a playoff. No matter what we do, it will not be a playoff format. A playoff implies a lot of things, notably best 2-out-of-3, single elimination. We're not talking about something like that. We're talking about something that still has a big element of consistency."
"It is what it is."
(What can one say when faced with the innate logic of that brilliant statement?)
That’s all for today gentle readers, so it’s time for our Classic Country Closeout. This week we’ll be listening to one of my all-time favorite singers, Hank Thompson. This man literally flooded my teen-age years with song after song, and never one I didn’t love. He recorded and sang almost up to the day he left us, November 6, 2007. I have pounds of his albums and play them often. This collection looks to be pretty inclusive of his best. Please enjoy!
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!