Drag Racing Unplugged II

Following on from our highly-popular selection of quotes from the 1999 season, we are pleased to bring you the equivalent selection of our favourite quotes from the 2000 season, as uttered by drivers, riders, Crew Chiefs and crew and scribbled down by the Eurodragster staff.

We open with Tog and Sharkman's choices as their own favourite quotes of the year.

Tog's Quote Of The Year

"How often do you change the oil in this engine?"
-- Exchange between Super Pro ET racer Mick Cheley and Stephen Talbot, from whom he bought an engine

Sharkman's Quote Of The Year

"I accelerated off the line, the wheel spun, then I ran out of petrol"
"I leave you one job..."
-- Exchange between Super Street Bike racer Pete Bellinie and his Crew Chief

And the rest of the 2000 Drag Racing Unplugged collection...

"It's freezing cold, it's pouring with rain, and they're playing Shania Twain on the PA"
-- Tog's triple nightmare at the season-opening test session at Shakespeare County Raceway

"I'd go through the gears, one - two - three, then put my hand back on the steering wheel, and the shift light would come on and I'd think what's that for?"
-- Pro ET racer Steve Wells, getting used to his four-speed manual transmission

"It cost the same as a house in Barnsley and it doesn't work!"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar describes his new on-board computer

"Rico likes to win by racing"
-- Top Fuel Team Switzerland crew member Horst Pauli on the possiblilty of Peter Beck and car owner Rico Anthes meeting in the Top Fuel final at Hockenheim

"I'm not going to call it six hundred inches because it isn't"
-- Stephen Talbot on the new 599.8 ci Koffel engine in the E-Manumit.com Super Pro ET dragster

"We want to set it up initially to spin the tyre off the line, because then we can back it down. With the old clutch we couldn't get it to light up at all whatever we did"
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King's approach to traction control

"It hooked up and went, and I shut it off before the eighth as I was told"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills resigns from the Long Short Passes Club

"They really know about drag racing and they make you feel welcome"
Regula Stucki of Top Fuel Team Switzerland about the fans at Santa Pod Raceway

"It'll either fly or blow up!"
-- Shockwave Fuel Funny Car Crew Chief Dave Bryant

"I'm not a morning person"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson

"He was at such an angle, and it looks even worse when you're only sitting three inches from track level"
-- Super Pro ET racer Pat Talbot, in the other lane when Roger Moore's Herald pulled a near-vertical wheelie

"Send more money"
-- Showtime Fuel Funny Car Crew Chief Bob Jarrett's message to wife Nancy on her birthday

"After you've spent the off-season riding a push bike and stroking the cats it's a bit unreal getting back on these things"
-- Top Fuel Bike rider Brian Johnson at his first race of the season

"You don't come to a race without a spare engine"
-- Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget states the obvious

"I don't know what it was but I fixed it. It occasionally coughs to remind me that I have to do something"
-- Super Pro ET racer Steve Green on a series of nitrous burps

"It's not even the rod which broke which came out through the block!"
-- Mick Cheley ponders the vagaries of bullet perforation

"And what was wrong was that an aircraft was landing on the shutdown area"
-- We couldn't have made this up; the reason for an aborted Fuel FC match race at Super Series 1

"What? They're miles away, they won't get this far will they?"
-- The pilot of the light aircraft in question

"The bike is capable of cleaning up, but the rider isn't!"
-- Chris 'Cannon' Hannam at his first race with the ex-Jay Regan Funny Bike

"We had to go home for work, and to pick up some dry clothes - and get some money!"
-- Super Street Bike racer Klaus Sarembe on commuting from Germany to the UK

"I can't hear that from where I am, can I?"
-- Pro Mod racer Nick Davies, on being told that the crowd went mad after a long burnout at Super Series 1

"The car was full of smoke, so I couldn't see them could I?"
-- Nick Davies after Tog got track announcer John Price to encourage the crowd to wave to Nick after his subsequent burnout

"We'll be able to have girlie races"
-- Pat Talbot about Fay Fischer's return to Super Pro ET competition

"Now it is a question of who is going to be the first to run a six in Europe"
-- Michael Malmgren's Crew Chief Christer Gustafsson, three days before Michael recorded the first Pro Stock Six

"When we asked Peter about his first run, he said it was boring! But then when he did his next run, we asked him again and he said ah, that's different"
-- Regula Stucki on Peter Beck's first passes in a Top Fuel Dragster

"They're pricey but you can't spend thousands of pounds on a bike and then put a cheap tyre on it"
-- Super Street Bike racer Graham Dance, the first kid on his block with the new Mickey Thompson SSB tyre

"They ran it like a final, not a qualifying run!"
-- Manty Bugeja's tuner Charley Draper, about Manty's Top Methanol Dragster qualifying match-up with fellow Maltese racer John Ellul

"You just know that you're going to get out of bed on Tuesday and it's going to be dazzling"
-- Brian Johnson speaks for us all on the subject of the British weather

"The kids could kill each other, the phone could ring and I won't answer it."
-- Don't bother calling Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä whilst UK soap opera Emmerdale is on Finnish TV

"He would like to drive, but only one person can drive the car - that's a sign of true love!"
-- Anita Mäkelä, about Crew Chief and husband Tommi Haapenen

"If you ever leave me to cover a race on my own again, I'll kill you!"
-- Sharkman to Tog after Mrs. Tog's birthday fell on Super Series 2 weekend

"The only time something didn't fall off, we lost"
-- Dave Wilson about the Nemesis team's trip to Alastaro

"What does 'banzai' mean?"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer John Ellul has a question for us

"When I'm on the throttle, my leg is straight and my knee is locked. When the parachutes open, I get pulled back, my foot comes off the throttle. No problem."
-- John Ellul - not, in fact, banzai but equipped with an automatic throttle cut-off

"They don't all have boyfriends, but don't tell anyone because our pit will get crowded"
-- Pro Mod racer Peter Wacker, whose Cannonball crew included three girls

"We solve each problem then move on"
-- Fuel Funny Car racer Tony Betts on the Fuel learning curve

"I know what it is, it's not important and I've got spares"
-- Graham Dance to the starter at Drachten, after pieces fell off his bike during a burnout

"I don't mind making crazy runs but I'm not into killing myself"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Peter Lantz

"When I am in the left hand lane I can only see the first amber light, of course that's all I need to see"
-- Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson, about the cockpit of his ex-Al Cook Corvette

"I thought I was going for a 5.0, and Morgan had it set for a 4.9"
-- Peter Lantz after the first qualifying session at Piteå

"If the track had been a few feet longer I would have crossed the centre line"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Alan Jackson after the first qualifying session at Piteå

"Take your camera, this will be Peter's first four-second run"
-- Crew member Vidar Engh before Peter Lantz's third qualifying pass at Piteå. Alas not.

"What staging battle?"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Monica Öberg after a minor battle of wits in the first round of eliminations at Piteå

"Most of the applause was from a hairy, vertically-challenged photo-journalist who spent the rest of the day wondering if everyone would be waiting outside for him"
-- Ever the diplomat, Tog breaks the silence at Piteå after Peter Lantz takes out crowd favourite Monica Öberg

"Is that a Junior Dragster or a real one?"
-- A young fan's innocent question about Fay and Paul Fischer's Super Pro ET dragster

"I'm eating my reaction time"
-- Team Top Banana Super Street racer Brian Huxley breakfasting on a banana

"We've made some changes and now we can rev it as high as we want, but then other things go wrong"
-- European Top Gas Champion Job Heezen comes dangerously close to summing up drag racing

"Hello, Mister Fish Head"
-- Len Paget's young daughter greets Sharkman

"The general idea was that it looked like a Pro Mod"
-- Jon Hogarth, about his and Sharon's stunning Super Comp 'Vette

"We weren't going to make any changes to the bike but then Tony went quicker"
-- Graham Dance worries about losing the 'Daddy' epithet

"I felt OK on Sunday night, but the more people who said to me 'You must feel really bad about it', the worse I felt!"
-- Ian King on a perfect weekend at Hockenheim - until a fuel pipe broke in the final round

"Nick isn't going to do anything silly like thrashing the engine so I'm quite content to leave it in his hands"
-- Jon Webster on hiring out his Super Gas/Super Comp Roadster to Nick Davies

"They're both great guys whom I know I can trust with my life"
-- Returning Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter reunited with Crew Chief Eddie Corr and crew member Stuart McDonald

"I'm a bit scared, but he's done it before"
-- Andy Carter's wife Sarah on having a Top Fuel pilot for a husband

"Time was when if I took it home and it was still running, then it was a successful race!"
-- Supertwin Gas racer David Hirst extols the joys of a reliable engine

"It was chuffing like a steam train"
-- Super Comp racer John McIntyre loses two head gaskets

"I like running here, and it'll be nice to beat up on Spuff again!"
-- Fuel Funny Car racer Gordon Smith, happy to be back at Shakespeare County Raceway

"It doesn't worry me, but my missus doesn't like it!"
-- Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Jeff Meads scares his wife with 9.2-second runs in a miniscule-wheelbased car

"Tog has the pizza and Sharkman gets the beer!"
-- Quick Times Racing News editor Ozzy cuts through the waffle and defines the Eurodragster staff

"I could hear the crowd cheering over the noise of the engine"
-- Super Street Bike racer Mark Pointer on the Hockenheim crowd's reaction to a huge burnout

"It's not very easy"
-- Rookie Top Fuel Dragster racer Tommy Möller, three days after a sideways licencing pass and four days before winning his first race

"We couldn't turn the coach into our allotted pit space and there were two of us hanging onto the steering wheel"
-- Magnus Cato of Malmgren Racing bemoans the loss of power steering

"With all the Scandinavians here I figured if you can't beat them, join them!"
-- Gordon Appleton's Crew Chief Adrian explains why he dyed his hair blonde at the FIA European Finals

"I am John Force!"
-- Swedish TMFC racer Leif Helander announcing a one-off paint job on his Saab body for next season

"I just wanted to see how it felt"
-- Swedish TMFC racer Micke Kågered when asked why he was sitting in a Top Fueller during a warm-up

"I'm not an awning person"
-- Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson in joke shock

"It's been a cheap season for a Top Fueller!"
-- Lend us a tenner then, mate. Horst Pauli of Top Fuel Team Switzerland

"Hagi was a little afraid to come to Santa Pod, he was worried what might happen to him!"
-- European Super Street Bike Series originator Peter Calwer hints at pitside naughtiness at a previous round

"My car broke down, I had a fuel explosion in my trailer, that burnt my arm, I was stung by a wasp, and the Nitrous packed up on the bike, not once but twice"
-- Other than that, 9.90 Bike racer Steve Ashby's European Finals went perfectly

"In Australia they record track temperatures in the thirties at night - I can live with that"
-- Supertwin Fuel racer Ben Beneke explains his emigration

"I've had help from 9.90 Bike racers, 10.90 Bike racers, car racers, everyone"
-- One of those heart-warming moments in drag racing, when Super Street Bike racer Tony Clark damaged an engine and the help came from all directions

"I'll give you a quote for your web site - my wife buys loads of crap from the market"
-- That wasn't quite what we had in mind, Dave. Super Gas racer Dave Gadney asks for trouble on the distaff side

"Those octane boosters can be a bit temperamental. When we got home from the meeting I put the left-over fuel in my motorbike and that didn't run properly either"
-- Maybe Super Pro ET racer Roger Moore should have shaken the fuel, not stirred it

"You had to be there to get the full impact"
-- Tog after an unintentionally bruising encounter with a baseball bat-equipped Mick Smith

"It's not broken!"
-- The last thing anyone thought they'd hear Spencer Tramm say this year

"Off-the-trailer qualifying, that's what it's all about. As long as I run a 9.90!"
-- Dave Gadney on one-shot qualifiers

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