Tales from the Lighter Side ~ Another Round of Quotes
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and our usual cordial greeting to that person assigned to read everything written here and keep your scribe honest… or something like that. For those in need of a smile, here are yet more quotes to add to your collection of witty or reflective statements by the luminaries in NASCAR. I truly hope that you all are having as much fun with these as is your writer.
Quotes are in Italics and my comments are in parentheses.
"If somebody was building another Dover today and the word got out, I'd bet at least three of four drivers would chain themselves to the bulldozers in protest.''
Kyle Petty discussing Dover Downs
(Aw Kyle, I love the Dover race)
"I told Joe a month ago that winning is like sex. The more you do it, the more you like it."
Felix Sabates to Joe Nemechek
(Felix, here’s hoping that you get one more often than the other)
“There’s no bigger surprise than to be tooling along at 200 mph and suddenly getting hit from the rear”
(Yep! Sounds right to me)
“When today’s race is over, it's over. The only race that matters is the one coming up.”
(Miss you Handsome Harry)
“The good Lord doesn't tell you what His plan is, so all you can do is get up in the morning and see what happens next.”
(By Jove, I knew there was a reason to get up in the morning)
“Why did I take up racing? I was too lazy to work and too chicken to steal”
I would like to thank everybody. You know who you are and your last names.”
Ward Burton after winning at Loudon
(Maybe just a tad overexcited)
“After nine laps at Dover several years ago, Ken Schrader got hit from behind and spun out. I had to go back to the garage and interview him. The team was working on the bent-up racecar so I asked him, ‘Kenny, can you get back out on the track?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I'm afraid so.’"
(I remember that interview. It was funny then and it’s still funny now)
"The playing field has never been level, and it sure ain’t this time. NASCAR looks at it different than racers. NASCAR looks at it like a show: ‘We need to throw the checkered flag at the end of 500 miles, and 43 cars need to be running side by side.’ We want to try to get the edge. This year they’ve been jacking around with the rules, like they do every year. It’s going to be good for somebody, and it’s going to hurt somebody. There’s no way of making it even all the way through.”
(The more things change, the more they stay the same)
"NASCAR has proven time and time again that they’re willing to change the rules at any time for any or no reason. I don’t get too excited about rules anymore because they could change at any time."
(We got rules?)
"We had the wrong gear, wrong springs, wrong shocks and wrong car. We had the right beer, but other than that, we got stomped."
Sterling Marlin (Coors Lite)
(Sounds like a bad day)
"We’re having chassis, aero and motor problems. Other than that, things are great."
(And yet another bad day)
"I’m not quite ready to kick a** and take names, but I am taking names."
William C. France, recovering from illness at Daytona
(Sincerely wish you never had to leave us Billy. You’ve no idea how much you’ve been missed!)
"Oh, great! He’s killed a bear this morning, and he’s back there eating it."
Rev. Dale Beaver (On his first meeting with Dale Earnhardt, when he was told Earnhardt was having lunch.)
This is more of a story than a quote, though it ends with one. Back in the early 1980s, Junior Johnson was having a banner year as a car owner. Actually, he was doing so well that some publications, which normally thought they were above auto racing, wanted to interview him. When a writer from one such newspaper in the Carolinas seemed disdainful while conducting an interview, he didn’t realize with whom he was dealing. When he sarcastically said to Junior, “I’m sure that you go to engineers in Detroit to learn a lot about motors, right?” “No” replied Junior, without missing a beat, “they come to me.”
(And they really did you know)
“I don’t think our system of provisional starting spots is right. The nature of this sport is competition; to me, you’re either fast enough or you don’t make the show. Do the Green Bay Packers get a free spot in the playoffs just because they won some Super Bowls?”
(Dave, that just makes too much sense)
“A lot of people give me advice, and I realize they mean well. Like, they’ll tell me, ‘You ought to hire an engineer.’ But you know, you’re talking about $150,000 a year to do that, and I don’t make that myself.”
(File that one under “painful truths”)
“My dad’s pretty special. I still remember the day he told my mother I was gonna race at NASCAR’s fastest speedway. Daddy was spearing a piece of meat at dinner. Looking away from her he said, ‘Pass the potatoes Eula Faye. Sterling’s running at Talladega this weekend.’”
(That story has been retold by every broadcaster that’s ever covered a race)
"What makes the Monte Carlo so good? ME!"
(You’ll get no argument from this old fan)
"I felt like the track came to us, but then it went beyond us."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., on California Speedway
(And yet another bad day)
“I don't feel I'm a step above anyone on this team. I'm just another link in the chain.”
(Well, maybe, but I think he was the strongest link)
I hope my boys make good in racing cause they'll starve to death if they don't.
George Elliott, father of Bill, Ernie and Dan
(George, I don’t think you ever had a thing to worry about)
And for our last quote today, here’s some more fatherly advice, which was obviously heeded well:
“There is only one lap you want to lead, and that's the last lap.”
Ralph Earnhardt, advising Dale on racing
(Teach your children well)
That’s all for today gentle readers. Time now for our Classic Country Closeout and this week features one of my all-time favorite Country Crooners, Gentleman Jim Reeves. Please enjoy:
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!