Quotes , Racing

"Gotta work on the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing bolts on the car".

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, Roger Penske


Colin Chapman: Simplify, then add lightness

Roger Penske: the harder you work, the luckier you become

Jackie Stewart: It is not always possible to be the best, but it is always possible to improve your own performance

When you think you know it all, it's a sure sign you don't

The best way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a large one and work down from there

On racers that favored implementation of restrictor plates:
"If they don't want to go that fast, all they have to do is lift...and somebody better tie a kerosene soaked wrag around their legs to keep the ants from eating their candy a$$!"

As an instructor getting into a car for the first session with a student:
"don't try and impres me, you won't." "don't try and scare me, I already am."

"Straight roads are for fast cars, turns are for fast drivers." -Colin McRae

"It's not a throttle-it's a detonator." -Jeremy Clarkson

"Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines." -Enzo Ferrari

"Racing is the best way to convert money into noise" - unknown

"To finish first, you must first finish" – unknown

Oversteer is hitting the wall with the back of the car,
understeer is hitting the wall with the front...

Newman's first law: It is useless to put on your brakes when you're upside down. -Paul Newman

If the car feels like it is on rails, you are probably driving too slow. -Ross Bentley

Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall.
Torque is how far you take the wall with you.

"Cheap, fast and reliable. Pick two."

"Racing ... because golf, football, and baseball only require one ball." – Anonymous

Racing costs today exactly the same as it did twenty years ago.. it takes every penny you have.
- Unknown

I was doing fine until about mid-corner when I ran out of talent
- Unknown

Juan Manuel Fangio:
"Driving fast on the track does not scare me. What scares me is when I drive on the highway I get passed by some idiot who thinks he is Fangio."

Mario Andretti
“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”
"If you don't come walking back to the pits every once in a while holding a steering wheel in your hands, you're not trying hard enough"
"It is amazing how may drivers, even at the Formula One Level, think that the brakes are for slowing the car down."

You'll know you've made it.....when you wear out your rear tires.....before your front tires..... ( Former IP Champ and all around great fellow)

I KNOW I'm the slowest part on the car..... ( B. Wright, repeated too often....)

"Never run out of real estate, ideas and traction at the same time." - seen on a Track Daze T-shirt

"Oh yes. It's not when you brake but when you take them off that counts. Most people don't understand that." - Jackie Stewart

"He who turns least wins." Ross Bentley

Poverty is owning a racecar. (bumper sticker)

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece...but to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, and defiantly shouting "wow, what a ride." (On the back of a race car trailer somewhere).

"Here, hold my beer" - anybody before doing something arguably awesome

Wide open until you see God, then brake – unknown

Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?

Friend of mine used to say: "Hang on, saw this in a cartoon, I think I can pull it off."


"When building engines I have found the piston to ground clearence to be ever so critical." - Geri Tarvin

"Never race anything that you are not prepared to push off a cliff."
-Will Hartje

"Everyone behind me is an incredibly talented driver - Everyone in front of me is cheating!"
-Bill Haney

"At some point in every racer's life he has to make his peace with cheating. I do not approve of cheating ... at all. Of course, like every successful racer, I differentiate between taking advantage of loopholes in the regulations, stretching the grey areas and outright cheating. In any given racing series I will not start the cheating. If someone else starts it, I will appeal to them and to the officials to stop it. If my efforts do not succeed, then I'll show them how it is done ...."
-- Carroll Smith, Drive to Win

"Cornering is like bringing a woman to climax" - Jackie Stewart

"Juan Fangio was the great man of racing, whilst Stirling Moss was the epitome of a racing driver." - Jackie Stewart

"Money is how we keep the score in motor racing nowadays." - Colin Chapman

"Simplify and add lightness" - Colin Chapman

"Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy." - Colin Chapman

"You won't catch me driving a race car that I have built." - Colin Chapman

"My goal is not to be a race-car driver. The reason I'm racing is because I enjoy being in the car and being on the edge." - Jacques Villeneuve

"You win some, lose some, and wreck some."- Dale Earnhardt Sr.

“I love this kind of racing, (but) these guys sure change their personalities in race mode. They’re like Doberman pinschers with a hand grenade in their mouths.”- road racer Boris Said speaking of NEXTEL Cup drivers

"Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines." - Enzo Ferrari

"All I had to do is keep turning left! " - George Robson - Winner of the 1946 Indy 500

"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports... all the others are games." - Ernest Hemingway

"Calling upon my years of experience, I froze at the controls." - Stirling Moss

"The cost of racing hasn't increased in 30 years. Back then, it took everything you had. And it still does." - unknown

"Fast cars drag race, fast drivers road race." - unknown

"Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death..." - Hunter Thompson

"Friends don't let friends apex early." - unknown

"Horsepower has this tendency to break things. If you're not breaking anything you're not going fast enough." -unknown

"I always ask God for blessings of protection on that person in the car, for blessings of protection on the crew as they're attending to the car on pit road. And I always ask for peace of mind for the wife." -Dale Beaver, NASCAR chaplain

"I don't know driving in another way which isn't risky. Each one has to improve himself. Each driver has its limit. My limit is a little bit further than other's." -Ayrton Senna

"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol." -unkown

"I feel safe when I'm on the racetrack, I really do. I know that I'm surrounded by the best drivers in the world. That's something you can't say when you're driving down the interstate." - Sterling Marlin

"I feel safer on a racetrack than I do on Houston's freeways." - A. J. Foyt

"In the old days drivers were fat and tires were skinny." -Foilan Gonzalez - Ferrari Team driver in the early 1950s

"It has been said that motor racing shares in common with sex the distinction of being one of the most popular, most maligned and least understood of human activities." -unknown

"It is amazing how may drivers, even at the Formula One Level, think that the brakes are for slowing the car down." -Mario Andretti

"It is not always possible to be the best, but it is always possible to improve your own performance." -Jackie Stewart

"It's basically the same, just darker." -Alan Kulwicki - on racing Saturday nights as opposed to Sunday afternoons.

"Life may begin at 30, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 150." -unknown

"Never run out of real estate, traction and ideas at the same time." -unknown

"The number of laps remaining is always one more than the amount of fuel left in the car." -unknown

"The number of times you get hit in a pileup is directly proportional to the number of times you said 'I think it will go ok today'." - unknown

"On the other side of fear there is freedom!" -unknown

"Once you've raced, you never forget it...and you never get over it." -Richard Childress

"Oversteer is when your a$$ hits the wall, Understeer is when your face hits the wall!" -unknown

"Oversteer scares passengers, understeer scares drivers." -unknown

"A part never breaks during a test session, only during a race. And the part you need will be the one you left at the shop." -unknown

"The price for men in motion is the occasional collision..." -Carroll Smith

"Race cars are neither beautiful nor ugly. They become beautiful when they win." -Enzo Ferrari

"Racing is living, everything else is just waiting." -unknown

"Racing is the process of turning money into noise." -unknown

"Racing's less of a sport these days than a commercial break doing 150 mph. " -Peter Dunne

"Second place is the first loser." -Dennis Anderson

"Straights are for fast cars. Turns are for fast drivers." -unknown

"There's no secret. You just press the accelerator to the floor and steer left." -Bill Vukovich

"To achieve anything in this game you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster." -Sterling Moss

"What sets these, and all, racers apart from less daredevilish mortals is their complete lack of fear and their joy of doing something on the edge. They love to speed because it is dangerous." -Peter Golenback

"What's behind you doesn't matter." -Enzo Ferrai - explaining the lack of a rear view mirror.

"When I look fast, I'm not smooth and I am going slowly. And when I look slow, I am smooth and going fast." -Alain Prost

"When you win a race your on top that day, so take it for what its worth, have a good time and party, cause the next day when you get out of bed, the meter goes back to zero again." -Bobby Allison

"Wrecks are going to happen in this business, that's just a risk of the sport. If you can't keep from worrying about it, then you're in the wrong line of work." -Coo Coo Marlin

"You will never know the feeling of a driver when winning a race. The helmet hides feelings that cannot be understood." -Ayrton Senna

"After the third flip, I lost control............"
Don Roberts after crashing in the Jade Grenade at New England Dragway in 1975.

"Everything was fine until I left, and then I ran out of talent!"
Don Garlits after a red light in the final

"Alcohol is for drinking, gas is for cleaning parts, and nitro is for racing!"
original author unknown, used by Gene Adams and Don Garlits among others

"We worked 80 hour weeks for 30 years to keep from having to get a real job." "T.C". Tom Lemon's comment on the rigors of being a drag racing touring professional in the 'Golden Years' of drag racing.

" Nope it wasn't helping me one bit and I didn't want to loose any teeth on it when it drove me into the wall, so I got rid of it."
From an old time northeast modified racer when asked after a crash if the steering wheel broke off on his ill handling race car after it comes flying out the window just before impact - courtesy of Jeff Howe

"Dad, why did you redlight?", "Because the light was too slow."
Mike Dunn question to his father, Big Jim Dunn in 'Funny Car Summer' movie

"Not bad for a coupe...."
Don Garlits after watching the first Funny Car in qualifying make a pass that was slightly quicker and faster than he had just run. Courtesy Museum Dave Crain.

"You could unwrap a Fudgesicle at the first light and never touch the brake lever till you threw away the stick."
Tom Hannah

"See that helmet, It will fit your head too MOTHER ****ER!"
Connie Kalitta to a strip owner with no lights at night after the finish line and insisting that Connie make a full pass in a match race. Courtesy of Roy Steffey.

"Driver of genuine 'Kill yourself Kits' .... Seeks employment."
Olin Davis on looking for a ride in the late 50's.

"Rear Engine Dragsters are just a fad and front motor was the only way to go."
Floyd Head to Frank Huszar in 1971 when the old man tried to talk Floyd into building a RED instead of a FED. Courtesy of Gordon Leland.

"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."
Bones Carroll on the fine art of telling a story.

"Count to five and duck."
Said to Don Ewald by Fred Smith after they replaced a broken rod/piston with a counter weight on the crank to make a final round.

"F--k the trophy, give me the check."
Jerry Ruth after winning the 1972 Winternationals.

"It doesn't matter what they say about you as long as they spell your name right."
Tom McEwen 1967

"There's no such thing as bad ink."
Tom McEwen 1968

"I quit."
Don Prudhomme after the final round at the 1969 US Nationals when Nicoll's car was cut in half and passed in front of him.

"We haven't given up on these yet - there's some hope for a rear engine car."
Warren Welsh (driver of the 1957 built rear-engined 92" w.b. Shoehorn)

"You never get out of the throttle unless you see the timing tower."
Doger Glenn to Dale Thierer during Dale's last qualifying run for his drivers license at Maple Grove Dragway in 1970.

"It needs to reach from the header flange to the end of the tube, or at least real close to it ."
David Pace to Tom Barnhill when asked " How long should the pipes on a set of zoomies be ?"

"I know that he is cheatin! Cause, I'm cheatin and he beat me"!
Unknown from long ago.

"At Lions one night, I was on a strong pass and about half track I saw a blower belt go past me, then about 3/4 down track, I saw another blower belt go by. Then as I pulled off the track I noticed I didn't have any front tires either".
Retired Top Fuel driver Walt Stevens.

"Hell, If it was easy anybody could do it and it wouldn't be called Racing!"
This is what I tell most of the drivers who have had a bad run of luck or are paying their dues to become true racers. Bruce Pedretti/TopWop Chowchilla Chicken Chokers

Guys, you can date whomever you want, but marry a girl who

can back up a trailer. - Michael Martin Murphy

Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?
It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car

slow. - Abner Perney

If lightning strikes while you're in the car it's your fault. - Doc


Duct tape is The Force: It has a light side, a dark side, and it

holds the universe together.

Better to be a racer for a moment then a spectator for a