FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Top Shakers Talk Speed before and after Phoenix

Dwight DrumCorrespondent IIIFebruary 27, 2011

Jeff Gordon talsk to media in Daytona
Jeff Gordon talsk to media in Daytona

Wikipedia defines a mover and shaker as a person who wields power and influence. Few ever harness the power displayed routinely on a NASCAR track, and even fewer get the influence to gather the all important points that lead to a Sprint Cup championship.  

Jeff Gordon was the best mover and shaker in Phoenix today when he bumped aside a trifecta-seeking Kyle Busch, who snared wins in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series.    

This week’s power and influence happened in Phoenix, and the thrust moves on to Las Vegas next week.

Kyle Busch manned up and apologized to Carl Edwards multiple times about his mistake that caused Edwards to crash. Time will show whether Edwards makes a similar mistake that puts Kyle Busch in crash position.     
FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics by Dwight Drum at with a select quote quest tailored just for fans. 

Before and after quotes by the top five shakers going in and coming out of this week’s race in Phoenix say much about the next race and the long season. 


Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Chevy, finished first)

Before Green flag:

“There will be some new things that we will need to adjust to this weekend,” Gordon said.

“In the past, the sun can be difficult to deal with while driving into turn 1. It’s not like Daytona where you can go from 10th to the lead in one lap. Sometimes it can take several laps just to gain one position.  And the fewer positions needed to gain to get to the front, the better.”

After Checkered flag:

“Pinch me man, pinch me,” Gordon said. “I don't really care how we do it, we just want to get to victory lane. But to do it that way and to see the fans reaction. I mean, we beat Kyle Busch. We were the only ones to beat Kyle Busch this weekend and he's so tough to beat. What a race car. Just so thankful.”

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota, finished second)

Before Green flag:

“Being as though it’s the last race on the old surface here this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, I’m kind of sad to see it go,” Busch said. 

"But I’m excited to see what new changes are in store for us when we come back in November.”

After Checkered flag:

“We had a fun time today,” Busch said. “We came through a lot of adversity.  We worked real hard, Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys never gave up.  The pit stops were good all day.  We kept battling through everything that was thrown at us.  There at the end, Jeff (Gordon) just had a better car than us.”


Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevy, finished third)

Before Green flag:

“We love the tracks that are worn out and on the verge of needing to be resurfaced,” Johnson said. “I think we put on our best races there. So, disappointed to hear it go, but Phoenix has done a good job in speaking with folks, drivers, trying to understand the track from a safety standpoint and to make sure that we don't have single-file racing starting at the first race after the repave.”

After Checkered flag:

“It was a good day for us,” Johnson said. “I’m happy to see Jeff (Gordon) in victory lane and the more of these Hendrick cars that are running up front, the smarter we’re all going to get as a company.”


Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Chevy, finished fourth)

Before Green flag:

“To carry that momentum from Daytona to Phoenix is going to be exciting for all of us.” Harvick said.

“I know that I look forward to going there just for the fact that I grew up racing there, and I enjoy the race track.”

After Checkered flag:

“It was a good day for everybody,” Harvick said. “Everybody did a great job keeping the fenders off the tires. I wish we could have had the car straight there at the end to race with those guys, but we’ll take a top five and get out of here.”


Ryan Newman (No. 39 Chevy, finished fifth)

Before Green flag:

“Phoenix is really one of my favorite racetracks because the design of the racetrack makes it fun and challenging to drive,” Newman said. “It’s definitely a driver’s racetrack.”

After Checkered flag:

“The restarts were crazy to start with, but it was a good run today,” Newman said. “I’m proud of all the guys. We didn’t have the greatest stops, but we fought back and fought hard and came home with a top-five finish.”

FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics by Dwight Drum at 

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