Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway – July 9, 2011

Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Race #5

Kentucky Speedway – Quaker State 400

Saturday, July 9, 2011

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Quote of the Day:

TNT “Countdown to Green” host Lindsay Czarniak explained the population of Sparta, KY is 231 compared to the two biggest cities in Kentucky (Louisville pop. 741,096, Lexington pop. 295,803). During the weekend Sparta swells to more than 126,200 people and becomes the third most-populated city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: “Tonight as fans pack into the stands, Sparta becomes the third most populous city in the [Commonwealth].”

TNT NASCAR: Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut

Lindsay Czarniak (host), Kyle Petty (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst)

TNT analyst Larry McReynolds on the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway: “We go to eight mile-and-a-half race tracks. This one [Kentucky Speedway] has more character than any of them. It’s rough. It’s bumpy. Yet the speeds are fast with the least amount of banks in the turns.”

TNT analyst Kyle Petty on Kentucky Speedway: “Larry calls it character, I call it bumpy. It’s just a rough old race track.”

TNT “Countdown to Green” host Lindsay Czarniak explaining the audio-enhanced coverage: “We are using special affect sound by bringing you something we call “Inside Trax Enhanced Audio.” We’ve added 40 microphones all along the track walls, through the turns and down in pit road to get you closer to the action on the race track.”

Pit Reporter Marty Snider on what it will take at Kentucky as told to him by Denny Hamlin: “The leaders will probably choose the outside to avoid the bumps.”

Pit Reporter Chris Neville on his thoughts about Kentucky: “Once you figure out the race track, don’t forget about pit lane.”

Petty on the Cup Series standings and who might be desperate: “If you’re outside the top 10, you’re close to desperate with nine races to go.”

McReynolds on the standings: “When you think about the wild card positions.we have four drivers that are outside the top 10 and they each have a win. Denny Hamlin and David Ragan would be the wild cards right now with nine races to go. Brad Keselowski will be good tonight,. Regan Smith, they have the win but they’re outside the top 20.”

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in pre-race interview on his season so far: “We’ve had one odd year where anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. To be 12th in points for as bad a season as we’ve had so far, I think we’re sitting pretty good considering the circumstances. If we get the bad luck out of our system I think we’ll be fine.”

Stewart on the Kentucky Speedway: “It’s definitely the roughest mile-and-a-half we’ve got. It’s a different challenge to the crew chiefs. It’s [the track] got some age to it and a welcome challenge for us as drivers and crews.”

Stewart commenting on blocking after Petty addressed it: “For some reason we’re seeing more and more of it and it’s kinda time to get the etiquette squared away again. The drivers have always been able to figure out how to set the boundaries. The competition is so tight that it’s forced guys to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. We’re not going to let them keep doing it.”

PRIDE OF NASCAR feature: Terry Labonte

Terry Labonte on his career as a driver: “To be able to that [winning the championship] driving with two different teams and 12 years apart, I was lucky being in the right place at the right time.”

Rick Hendrick on Terry Labonte: “If you had to pick a guy to be in the foxhole with, and you only had one choice, Terry Labonte would be that type of person. He is just one tough customer. He’s really the John Wayne of our sport.”

Petty commenting on Terry Labonte: “Terry drove a race car because he loved to drive a race car.”

Czarniak explained the population of Sparta, KY is 231 compared to the two biggest cities in Kentucky (Louisville pop. 741,096, Lexington pop. 295,803). During the weekend Sparta swells to more than 126,200 people and becomes the third most-populated city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: “Tonight as fans pack into the stands tonight, Sparta becomes the third most populous city in the [Commonwealth].”

Petty on whether Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win again this season: “He’s knocking on the door. Remember, we’ve got 19 races left in the season. There’s plenty of time to knock that win out.”

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon who has won three inaugural races (1994 Brickyard, 1997 California, 2001 Kansas) and how he has mastered that and what it might take to win at Kentucky: “When you come to a track for the first time it’s a total team effort and diagnosing the bumps and different challenges that new track presents like here in Kentucky. The best team knows how to sort through that information and communicate.and we’ve got some great guys who know how to go through that data.”

NASCAR driver David Ragan on continuing momentum from last week: “Now more than ever our UPS team has to buckle down and try to go out and get another win.”

NASCAR driver Carl Edwards on being second in the points standings: “The race at Daytona was a reality check for us. If the chase were today we wouldn’t be leading the points. This is an opportunity to show ’em what we’ve got.”

McReynolds on first-time winners this season: “We knew coming into 2011 that drivers that had not been to victory lane was a top core of drivers and they have not let us down – Trevor Bayne at Daytona, Regan Smith in the Southern 500 and David Ragan last week in the Coke Zero 400. Don’t close that file because don’t rule out that Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose or A.J. Allmendinger cannot win a race this year. It may start out right here at this inaugural event.”

TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing: Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway

Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst)

Pit Reporters: Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum

Petty on the way the drivers have chosen to drive the new track at Kentucky in the first few laps of the race and racing in daylight moving into night: “The middle of the race track seems to be the bumpiest part of the race track. It’s going to start out as one race track and finish as another.”

TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Post-race remarks

Top 5 Finishers:

18 Kyle Busch: “This is cool [winning the inaugural race at Kentucky]. I can’t put it into words. It was a fun night, a good night.”

00 David Reutimann: “[It was a] total team effort, just a little short at the end.”

48 Jimmie Johnson: “We had a solid race. We had a shot with new tires.”

39 Ryan Newman: “It was a good last restart. I was proud of the last restart. I did what I had to do.”

99 Carl Edwards: “It felt insane [at the end]. It was a spectacular finish. It was a great finish. I haven’t had that much fun racing in quite a while.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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