NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR BANQUET: BEST QUOTES By Mike Twist
There Was Plenty of Quick Quips Among the Racers
When you get hundreds of people together in a room to listen to speeches for several hours, there are bound to be some memorable quotes.  Here are a few of the best lines from the 2005 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour banquet held at the Mohegan Sun Resort:
“A Modified to the uninitiated probably looks like the product of a shotgun wedding between an Indycar and a Nextel Cup car, but the passion and the excitement felt on the Modified Tour is unmatched in auto racing.” – Mike Joy

“You can go on the website every single day and find out something new about Modified racing – or what Teddy [Christopher] is saying about me.” – NASCAR’s Don Hawk on Speed51.com.

“It’s awesome to be back home.  The last time that I was at a Modified Toru banquet, Tony Hirschman was also the champion after beating Steve Park by three points.” – Speed51.com’s Bob Dillner.
“Five times.  That’s incredible.  I’m very proud to be standing here as the champion again.” – Tony Hirschman.

“I’m about as good at speaking in public as I am at qualifying.” – Dave Etheridge in accepting the Powerade Move of the Race Award for the driver who advanced the most positions from start to finish in the 2005 races.

“Last year, I sat pretty far back in the room.  We were back near the bar.  We moved up quite a bit this year, but my goal for next year is to move up more.  I want to keep the championship trophy on Mud Lane, but move it about a half-mile east.” – Eric Beers referring to his neighbor and Modified Tour champion, Tony Hirschman.
Dave Etheridge (R) accepts his award.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
“Did we lose him on the redraw?” – Emcee Mike Joy looking for Steve Whitt after announcing him as the recipient of the Driver Achievement Award.

“He went to the bathroom.” – Whitt’s car owner Richard Greenfield in accepting the award.

“That’s an achievement in itself.” – Mike Joy.

“Whose speech is this?” – Rookie of the Year Tyler Haydt after pulling a speech from his pocket and looking at it.

“Will one of those Christopher, please come up and accept this?” – Mike Joy in presenting the 9th place trophy to Mike Christopher.  Twin brother Ted accepted the award.
“This Tour has definitely come a long way since we started in 1985.” – Tony Ferrante, Sr.

“This is a great surprise.  I want to thank everyone for the support that they give me – my father, my team, everyone.  I love all of you.” – Tony Ferrante, Jr. accepting the NASCAR Dedication Award.

“I love everyone in this series, they are just like family.” – Jake Marosz accepting the Sportsmanship Award.

“There’s going to be three drums of Sunoco Race Fuel in your stocking.” – Mike Joy, who is also the Sunoco Fuel Distributor in New England, to Jake Marosz.
“Now, if they would only do something about that redraw thing.  I won the pole seven times this year and never redrew to start there.” – Tony Hirschman, accepting the Bud Pole Award.

“It was just about this time last year when Eddie Flemke talked Don King into getting an unknown driver from the sticks in Pennsylvania to drive for him.  Thanks for taking a chance on me.” – Rookie of the Year Tyler Haydt.

“I am a long time Modified fan.  It’s been a busy year with the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina and my race attendance has suffered.  But in the spring I plan on being back in the stands at Stafford and Thompson.” – NBC News anchor Brian Williams in a videotaped message.

“I’ve met Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher.  We used to go to Waterford and watch a bunch of Pasteryaks race there,” – NBC’s Brian Williams.

“Oh, that feels good.” – Tony Hirschman putting on his fifth NASCAR Championship ring.
“I have a great girlfriend and she’s looking pretty sporty tonight.  I’m watching if any of you guys are checking her out right now.” – Chuck Hossfeld.

“I want to thank all of my competitors for a great year…well, almost all of my competitors.” – Ted Christopher.

“You can always judge a person by the things that they overcome.  After the wreck, Eric had a huge mountain to climb.  When he came back in June, all that were left were a couple of speed bumps.  That was unbelievable.” – Car owner Michael Boehler on Eric Beers’ recovery from a hard wreck in the first race of the year.  Beers missed a race and still finished fifth in the standings.

“How do you follow something like that?” – Eric Beers on Michael Boehler’s speech.

“It was an honor just to be considered to drive ‘Ole Blue.  Then I wrecked it in my first race.  My first remark to Michael when I was lying in the hospital was, ‘Am I fired?” - Eric Beers.
Comedian Jimmy Travis.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
It's nice for Eric Beers that his neighbor won this year's big trophy, but it would be even nicer in 2006 if Beers got to be the toast of Mud Lane.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
“He’s lost so much money today that they have made him an honorary member of the Mohegan Tribe,” – Comedian Jimmy Travis on Jim Hunter’s time at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino.

“I feel pretty good down South saying that I came out of the Modifieds.  They respect that.” – Steve Park.

“He’s weighs a few pounds more and I have a lot less hair.” – Geoff Bodine talking about Mike Joy and the differences between when both were a part of the Modified Tour in the 1970’s.

“Table 14, you’re shut off until we are through.” – Emcee Mike Joy to the very lively Tony Hirschman crew.
“It seems that this thing grows every year and that there are even more Harrys screaming over there every year.” – Jerry Marquis on Hirschman’s crew, who are all nicknamed “Harry”.

“I don’t know how he read a tape measure some mornings.  It’s a good thing that most of our races are at night.” – Tony Hirschman on “Harry” his tire specialist.

“We’re all like a big dysfunctional family, but who has more fun?” NASCAR’s Jeri Duefrene while accepting the Donna Park Memorial Award.

“This is a great tour to run.  Everyone who I’ve met here, I really enjoy.  I’m glad that I found a home here.” – Chuck Hossfeld.

“There’s snow outside.  That’s why I live in North Carolina now.” – Geoff Bodine.
“I’m not going to put it on him, he’s go to do that himself,” – NASCAR’s Don Hawk when presenting a NASCAR ring to Whelen’s Phil Kurze.


"Harry" - The #48 team's wild and crazy tire guy gets up on stage.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
“If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you’re from New England.”  - Whelen’s Phil Kurze.

“Our goal for 2006 is to under promise and over deliver.” – NASCAR’s Don Hawk.

“I think that we’ve taken back our identity as the Modified Tour.” – NASCAR’s Don Hawk on 2005.

“This is like being back home for me.  About 10 years ago, my Mom and Dad told me that I had to get a job, so I left the Modifieds and went down south.” – Modified Tour alum Steve Park, who went on to win races in NASCAR’s three biggest series – Cup, Busch and Trucks.

“Thank you for being part of our family,” – Whelen’s Phil Kurze to the competitors on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Tony Hirschman gets his Bud Pole Award.  Now if he could only start from the pole sometime...
(Howie Hodge Photo)