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BangShift Question Of The Day: What Is Your Favorite Racing Quote?

BangShift Question Of The Day: What Is Your Favorite Racing Quote?

The world of racing draws out some of the craziest, smartest, coolest, funniest, most intense, and most straight up nuts people in the world. Because of that, there’s always something interesting being said at the track. Quotes fly from announcers, fans, racers, team owners, and crew guys a like in all forms of motorsports. We’re not just talking drag racing here, we’re going across all the party lines for this one. We want to know what your favorite racing quote is. Lots of people have them posted in their shops or even on the walls of the house. Here’s a couple of ours.

Only an asshole would go racing with a Pontiac if you had the opportunity to go with a Chrysler,” Mickey Thompson’s right hand man Fritz Voight on the early land speed efforts Thompson made with Pontiac power.

“I know, but my girlfriend has nothing against it.” –  AJ Foyt after being asked about his wife being annoyed that he was racing the Brickyard 400 in 1994.

I didn’t want my Mom to know I was drag racing for 20 years so I told her I was in prison.”
T.C. Lemmons

“Never think of your car as a cold machine, but as a hot blooded horse” – Fangio 

BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s Your Favorite Racing Quote?


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70 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: What Is Your Favorite Racing Quote?

  1. nada

    “Adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”

    – Colin Chapman

  2. Slim pickins

    About 15 years ago Prudhomme said ,That Kalitta is really something he\’s off buying another 747 and I\’m trying to figure out how to pay off my Sears card. Now that\’s funny.

  3. Steve

    “I didn’t want my Mom to know I was drag racing for 20 years so I told her I was in prison.”
    T.C. Lemmons

    LOVE IT!

  4. CoffeeJoe

    “Like the sign says, “speed’s just a question of money. How fast you wanna go?”
    Grease Rat

    “She sucks nitro… with Phase 4 heads! 600 horsepower through the wheels! She’s meanness set to music and the bitch is born to run!”
    Barry, MFP Garage Mechanic

    Both quotes from Mad Max (the original)

  5. orange65

    “If you’re not first, you are last.”

    “I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence. ”

    -Ricky Bobby

  6. fuel10922

    After seeing a an ARCA car slam the wall at Atlanta Motor Speedway during a test session……..He didn’t run out of car…and he didn’t run out of track……he ran out of talent! – Ernie Irvin

  7. Kudzu

    Spending money you don\’t have to buy parts you don\’t need to impress people you don\’t know – Grumpy Jenkins

  8. malibumonte78

    Leave First, Don’t Red Light, Don’t Cross the Center Line, Don’t Lift. I don’t know if that is a real quote but Ed Pink says that to Tom McEwen in the Snake and Mongoose movie.

  9. Dave Dusterberg

    “The driver ran out of talent before he ran out of nerve”

    – Mark Martin after crashing @ Talledega where he went through a couple fences in the infield

  10. Tubbed Pacecar

    “To become a millionaire racing, you must start as a billionaire”

    “There’s no such thing as too much power, but there is such a thing as not enough traction”

  11. Dave Aijian

    “Keep the beer cold and the oil warm”.
    Tom Senter
    Ardun White Paper author, engine builder, Bonneville racer, and automotive publication writer/editor

  12. JTHapp

    Norm Thatcher.
    A favorite quote from him was:
    \”Torque gets a car moving, horsepower keeps it moving.\”

    Think about it.

    Norm was being interviewed at Bonneville…
    … at one point the interviewer asked him if he was worried about the younger competitiors and their new ideas.

    He replied, \”Youth and ambition are no substitute for age and experience.\”

  13. Joel

    Fred Duesenberg scolding a mechanic for painting and polishing an engine instead of wrenching when they were thrashing to get 6 cars ready for Indy in the early 20’s: “Nobody is going to care how pretty the engine is on the 2nd place car”

  14. Matt Cramer

    “I’ll say it has too much power when I can spin the tires all the way down the back straight.”

    – supposedly from Mario Andretti

    1. 79TA

      I think this originates with Mark Donohue when he was speaking with the Porsche engineers who were tuning the 917-10 engine. The anecdote can be found in his biography, “The Unfair Advantage.”

  15. Race Car Alex

    Theres too many to list. I will say Brian, that yourself and Lee Sebring are surly responsible for some. Some inspirational, some hilarious, theres just too many.

    1. orange65

      During Drag Week live feed, while a driver waited to leave on the green light, Brian made a comment about the driver “savoring” the green light. Freaking funny!

      1. Matt Cramer

        My favorite No Mercy 8 one: “If the generator don’t generate, and the alternator don’t alternate, and the battery don’t… uh… battery, you ain’t getting that thing started!”

  16. jerry z

    I always lived by this motto, “keep the shiney side up!”.

    Also “there’s no such thing as too much horsepower”.

  17. GeorgeA

    It’s the night before the Indy 500, and an eager young reporter comes up to Uncle Bobby, sticks a microphone in his face, and says, “Who’s gonna win the big race tomorrow, Bobby??”

    Bobby looks at her, looks down at the microphone, looks back at her, and says, “I dunno . . . that’s why we run the sumbitch!”

    This one has also been attributed to various USAC badasses including Foyt, JR, and Parnelli.

  18. BJ

    Tech inspector at an NHRA race in the mid seventies: \”They told me to say something nice about every car, I\’m telling you right now this is a damn nice door handle.\”

  19. BigDogSS

    Joe Pisano telling his Funny Car driver Mike Dunn, when they were trying to reset the NHRA national speed record:
    “Unless you are upside-down or on fire, keep your foot in it.”

  20. thefatguy

    john force, interview at the top end, after a crazy
    sideways smoking run that ended in the sand traps
    and flipped the car end to end–

    “well i tell ya–i saw elvis at a thousand feet!
    she lit the tires all the way down, then
    the chute didnt drop, she burned the brakes
    and hit the sand and hooked in, she went over and MAN,
    what a ride ” !!!

  21. VRMN8R

    ” Put the fire in the pipes ” big Daddy D. Also …. ” There I was upside down , backwards & on fire …. not only did I win the lap …. I set the low E.T. of the meet ” You the man Big .

  22. rambler racer

    Well, we\’re finally going fast enough to wreck . Wayne Yauney, Huron SD super modified driver.

  23. Truckin Ted

    Listening to Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller interview AJ on Marshall’s podcast……..

    Miller recounts the story of AJ winning the 500, and then grabbing only 1 mechanic to drive the pickup and sprint car up to PA to run a USAC dirt race. AJ chimes in that he hated the Firestones that USAC made them run.


    AJ- “I come in from practice pissed off and told my mechanic to grab those NASCAR roll-around tires and put them on the sprinter.”

    Miller- “Wait a second, you ran Goodyear asphalt tires on dirt? Are you kidding me?”

    AJ – “Yea, anything was better than those Firestones. You gotta understand, them damn tires they made us run were harder than a whores heart.”

  24. gary

    no damn fruit cup is going to out run me! PARNELLI JONES to BUD MOORE, after beating all the other FACTORY CARS IN THE REAL TRANS AM SERIES in 1970

  25. Dirt Track Doug

    \”keep adding gear until you slow down,..then add horsepower\”
    — Jack Costella, Land Speed Racer extraordinaire

  26. Shawn Fox Firth

    interviewer – Do you think Mario Andretti in over his head ? Richard Petty – well yes we do but we’ll race with him anyway …

  27. Shawn Fox Firth

    after being cited for 20some violations Smokey starts the car Without a gas tank in it and says while driving away ‘Better make that 23’ . . .

  28. Shawn Fox Firth

    a conversation between Jimmy Shine and his Fiancee – Her “it’s only 3 weeks to the big day” Jimmy “no it’s 4 weeks” her ” no it’s 3 weeks ! ” Jimmy “it’s 4 weeks to Bonneville” her “it’s 3 weeks to our wedding” Jimmy “oh yeah sorry”

  29. C Wright

    Ettore Bugatti when asked why he didn\’t use hydraulic brakes on his race cars \”I make my cars to go, not stop.\”

  30. Shawn Fox Firth

    Carrol Shelby to a female interviewer – “well you have the personality of a wet fart on a hot skillet”

  31. MIKE


  32. Bill Greenwood

    Darrell Waltrip- My car’s all ate up with motor.
    Harry Hyde- (when asked to opine upon a conversation that had been observed, but not heard, between Junior Johnson and a driver) – Ah think ol’ Jooner tol’ ‘im if he cain’t run wi’ the big dawgs, stay on th’ poach.

  33. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    I know its not strictly a racing quote, but the best ever car-related quote is:

    “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

    From The Italian Job…

  34. Gary Burkholder

    “Rules are for the obidience of fools and interpretations of smart men.”

    “Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.”

    “You won’t catch me driving a race car that I have built.”

    -Colin Chapman

  35. Clarence Sifton

    Garlits commenting on women racecar drivers and suggesting maybe they shouldn’t be allowed back in the day………Well, why do you think they call it a cockpit!

  36. Jeff Billeter

    On a tombstone:

    I spent most of my money on liquor, fast women, and drag racing.
    The rest I wasted….

  37. Tubbed Pacecar

    “To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one’s ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.
    Bruce McLaren”

  38. Tubbed Pacecar

    “Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even usually surpassing knowledge.”
    E.J. Potter, The Michigan Madman

  39. Tubbed Pacecar

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower.- Mark Donohue

  40. MGBChuck

    The Smokey Yunick book has so many quotes it’s unbelievable, tough read though-free form thoughts

  41. chassis bulider

    The problem with racing car drivers is that their presence prevents proper triangulation of the chassis.

  42. DynoDave63

    As a very good friend of mine once told me \” The track couldn\’t hold my cars combination\”

  43. DynoDave63

    As a very good friend of mine once told me ” The track couldn’t hold my cars combination”

  44. nxpress62

    Junior Johnson? when asked about his cars chances the next day; “She may not be the prettiest girl at the dance, but she’ s got her dress on, and says she’ll go..”

  45. Greg K

    Paraphrased somewhat.

    \”I may not be the smartest person at the track but, when he leaves I will still be there collecting data\”.

    Ron Sutton,
    Multiple team owner, business owner and tuner.

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