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The 2007 Food City 500: In Their Words

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Food City 500

The 2007 Food City 500: In Their Words

The Crittenden Automotive Library March 26, 2007

"Mark has laid the foundation for this team.  All I am doing is trying to pick up where he left off."
Regan Smith, taking over the 01 U.S. Army car for Mark Martin

"To be honest, I didn't even look [above] the door before getting in the car.  It might say Mark Martin on there, for all I know."
Regan Smith, taking over the 01 U.S. Army car for Mark Martin

"Mark is a class act.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  he's a legend and someone that I look up to with the utmost of respect.  If he wanted to leave his name above the door there and say it was still his car, I would be fine with that -- because he is the man."
Regan Smith on taking over for Mark Martin

Regan's biggest challenge at Bristol will be to try to avoid everyone else's troubles.  Obviously we'd like to see him run all 500 laps, and that's not easy to do even for a veteran up there."
Mark Martin on Regan Smith, who actually finished 501 laps, 3 laps down from the winner

"Did I mention how much I love the Car of Tomorrow?"
Jeff Gordon, sarcastically, after taking the pole for the race

"I've said the whole time, whether I like the car or not, we are going to do our best to be competitive.  I don't care what the car is."
Jeff Gordon, seriously, after taking the pole for the race

"It was all relief.  I was getting tired of answering the questions of when will I make the race.  It kind of goes through the emotions of relief, and then you're happy, and then you come back here and you're ready to do the job again.  As a racecar driver, you always want more."
A.J. Allmendinger, after qualifying for the Food City 500

"We've just had so many things go wrong.  It was just a matter of, when are things going to turn around?  When are we going to get over the hump?  Obviously, as we see every weekend, it's so close.  There's no cut and dry, these guys are going to be in, these guys are going to be out.  Every weekend, the times are close.  Last weekend, Brian made it by a hundredth of a second, at Vegas I missed it by two hundredths of a second.  This week, I made it in by three hundredths of a second.  You know it's going to be tight."
A.J. Allmendinger, after qualifying for the Food City 500

"It's monumental for our race team.  I always thought there was a little bit something missing, in that the 83 made some races.  There wasn't just one reason why the 84 didn't make races.  We had some issues along the way.  It's a big day to have both cars in.  It actually now feels like as a team, we've accomplished our goal of making the race."
Marty Gaunt, Red Bull general manager

"I think we've taken the disappointment of the first four races like men.  We don't want people to feel sorry for us.  Nobody has given up."
Jeremy Mayfield, after qualifying for his first Nextel Cup event of the year

"We've just been really working with the car and I feel we got it running pretty good.  The track is rubbering up -- it's really hot -- and I was real happy with the Energizer car."
David Stremme, the day before the race

"Well, good job guys.  We'll do what we can.  I can't promise you anything."
Kyle Busch, during the final caution

"He'll be nice.  He'll play nice."
Alan Gustafson, Kurt Busch's crew chief, during the final caution, referring to second place driver Jeff Gordon

"Tell that 5, if I get a fender underneath him, he better think about the fact that we're teammates.  If I don't get a fender underneath him, I won't move him out of the way."
Jeff Gordon, during the final caution

"Without Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton behind me, I never would have won this race."
Kyle Busch, after he won the race

"I could have used the bumper to move him out of the way and win the race, but I didn't want to.  I can lay in bed tonight and wonder 'What if?' but that's what I chose to do.  If you can't pass him without knocking him out of the way, do the best you can.  He's driven me clean, and that's what I did with him."
Jeff Burton, after the race, he finished second

"We got the car home and scored some more points and just go on to the next one.  It was pretty easy, to be honest."
Juan Pablo Montoya, former Formula 1 7-time Grand Prix winner on racing at Bristol

"We struggled yesterday in practice and we fought really hard today.  We're fortunate.  We stayed on the lead lap. I'm really happy for Kyle."
Jeff Gordon, after the race, he finished third

"You know, I used to think Champ Car was tough to drive.  But do 500 laps around this place.  That's a lot of work."
A.J. Allmendinger, after his first Nextel Cup event

"If the car is safer and races better, then I am all for it.  But we can't answer that question this weekend."
Jeff Gordon, on the new Car of Tomorrow

"From the tower, I thought it was a good race.  I think you saw there were more competitors up front ... teams that aren't used to running in the top 10 or 15.  And there were people concerned with the splitter hitting the race track and all kinds of nightmarish things, you saw there were no problems with that.  We were pleased."
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Competition Director

"This is not the first time that (Kenseth's) done something like this.  Everybody has this great vision that Matt Kenseth is this nice guy on the race track.  He is a nice guy away from the track.  But he's a rough driver on the race track when he doesn't have to be.  We'll have a discussion."
Dale Jarrett, on an incident with Matt Kenseth

"My mother always told me to do onto other people the way you want them to do you.  That's the only thing I know to do.  I've always tried to let the guy I am racing with set the rules. ... Kyle drives hard.  He drives really hard.  But he's always raced me with respect."
Jeff Burton on Kyle Busch

"Jeff Burton easily could have dumped me there in 3 and 4, but I think our Vegas finish helped me out a little bit with that.  I think I had some brownie points to use up."
Kyle Busch on Jeff Burton

the headline on NASCAR.com Sunday after the race, under a photo of Car of Tomorrow critic Kyle Busch in Victory Lane

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