"Everybody's playing hardball out there." —Brandon Bernstein after defeating a strong-running Zizzo in the first round

"I told (crew chief Ed) McCulloch before the run that this reminded me of our race in the finals at Indianapolis in 1992. He dug down deep inside and ran quick and fast to beat us. I said that's what we have to do. I have to run not the best race of the day, but the best race of my life. And that's what we did."—Herbert after edging Schumacher for the win in the final round

"We couldn't have picked a better time to run our best speed and elapsed time."—Herbert again, on his career-best 4.516 at 329.75 that beat Schumacher’s 4.527 at 329.18 mph


“The last time we raced at Joliet, we saw the first 330-mph Funny Car pass. This time, there’s definitely a chance we could see the first 6.6-second E.T. from a Funny Car.”  -- Ron Capps before the race, proving he knows what he’s talking about

"We'll find out just how fast 85 percent will go. There won't be any question, because everybody will have it right on the limiter."  -- Gary Scelzi on the aggressive approach most teams take to Chi-town

“When the air is cool, which it usually is when we're here, it's like racing downhill. If you look through the record books, you'll find a lot of drivers who have set their personal bests at Route 66.”—Del Worsham on the speed-conducive conditions at Route 66

“The Chicago races are always really fun races because the crew chiefs can throw everything they’ve got at the car. You know you’re in for a good ride at the Joliet track because that’s about as good as it gets.” -- Tommy Johnson Jr. on why the Chicago strip is the site of so many record-setting runs


"It's great to win on tricky tracks, and it's great to out-pedal the other guy. Really, it's great to win any way you can! But when the conditions are prime and everyone's flying down there, side-by-side with the flames up, it's a major rush to put on the win light. It feels just a little better, and for a guy like me it reminds me that I'm at this level and beating the best. That's awesome."—Phil Burkart on why he likes the prime racing real estate at Route 66 Raceway

“It's probably the best track we race on. We're going to have a high-pressure cold front coming down, so those conditions might be there where the fans will really see some good performance despite the new rules that are designed to slow the cars down a little bit.”—Whit Bazemore on what it would take for record-setting runs

“Route 66 is one of the best track's we've raced at this season. The fans are great and you've also got Al's Steak House around the corner, so I'm looking forward to that. It should be a lot of fun."—Jeff Arend on some of the peripheral advantages of racing at Chicago

"Just like with your horse, you have to be one with your racecar."  -- Eric Medlen, a former rodeo star, on the Zen of drag racing

“It is a steep learning curve.”—Norm Grimes, veteran NHRA Sportsman tuner with five Alcohol Dragster championships to his credit, on his progress after joining Jerry Toliver’s team just a couple of weeks before the Chicago event

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