They said it: Quote board from last night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards

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In addition to new champion Kevin Harvick, the other 15 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders were also recognized during last night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.

Each member of the Championship 4, as well as each of the four drivers knocked out in the Eliminator Round, got their own time on the podium. As for the foursomes eliminated in both the Challenger and the Contender Rounds of the Chase, they shared their thoughts on the season together.

In case you didn’t get to watch last night’s festivities, here’s a little bit of what each driver had to say during the evening. We’ll start with the guest of honor:

Kevin Harvick – Champion

“The first time I was able to get in my No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, we were fast. And it didn’t matter if it was at an open test at Charlotte last December, a practice session, a qualifying session, or a race – we wanted to be on top of the board. After 13 seasons at Richard Childress Racing, I made the move to Stewart-Haas Racing and I have to admit, I was scared to death. I tried to play it cool, but it was a pivotal moment in my career. I was venturing outside my comfort zone, and I had to make it work.”

Ryan Newman – 2nd Place

“I’d like to congratulate Kevin, [crew chief] Rodney [Childers], everybody at SHR, Tony Stewart – my buddy’s here, just got out of the hospital [after] surgery. I think if he hasn’t got the nurse’s phone number by now, he’s probably not going to get it. *Crowd laughs* Richard and Judy Childress, thank you for the opportunity to drive your race cars. It’s been an amazing year. I really appreciate the opportunity. We had a lot of fun. We didn’t win anything, but we did have a lot of fun along the way and that’s really hard to do, so thank you very much.”

Denny Hamlin – 3rd Place

“It was an up and down year with our No. 11 team. We won, we wrecked, we fought, we were fined, but with all that, we still had a shot with one race to go. And with this great new Chase format, that’s all you can ask for. I have to thank [crew chief] Darian [Grubb] for three great years together. You’re a great leader, a motivator, and I’m proud of the success we had together…However, I’m not so proud of the things we did bring attention to such as Macklemore’s haircut at the beginning of the year, Taylor Swift, and Brad [Keselowski].”

Joey Logano – 4th Place

“Thanks to the entire 22 team – what an amazing season we had. Five wins, 16 Top-5s, 22 Top-10s – you guys are the best example of teamwork I’ve ever seen. And what a great season for all of Team Penske with the Nationwide owner’s championship and the IndyCar championship…Brad, you’ve still got a friend in me, man. We’re alright. *crowd laughs* It’s great to have a teammate that really knows the definition of teamwork and for a two-car team to win 11 races, it takes real teamwork and I appreciate that.”

Brad Keselowski – Eliminator Round

“Tremendous season. I can’t really tell you how much fun I had. It might not have looked like a lot of fun at times this year, but I had a blast…It couldn’t have been possible without a lot of great people and when I think about a great team and a great year, I think about great people. That really starts with the Captain down there, Roger Penske, everyone in the leadership team. The guys stick behind me, seems like, every time I do something dumb [laughs], so I’m really lucky and very fortunate. Thank you for that.”

Jeff Gordon – Eliminator Round

“Even though we didn’t make it to Homestead to battle for the championship, I truly believe that NASCAR got it right this year with the new knockout format for the [Chase for the] Sprint Cup. I cannot begin to describe the pressure and intensity we faced week after week, race after race. And this year, we crowned a deserving champion…I think most would agree this was a successful season for the 24 team. It felt incredible to go into each race with a car and a team that was capable of winning, and that was certainly highlighted by some big wins – especially that fifth Brickyard 400, an amazing weekend for us.”

Matt Kenseth – Eliminator Round

“This is the most dreaded three minutes – or in the case of my speeches, one minute – of the season. *crowd laughs* But I got to think about it last night, and it’s so easy to lose sight of how fortunate we all are to do this. The group that gets to compete at stock car racing’s highest level is so small, and the ones that get to drive for top-notch race teams and enjoy the successes are even smaller. I’m so incredibly thankful to be part of that group, and it really starts with NASCAR. Thanks for creating the most competitive form of motorsports and allowing us to compete in it.”

Carl Edwards – Eliminator Round

“Jack Roush – you are a man among men. You have taught me a lot, you have given me opportunities that I’ve never dreamed of, and particularly this year, when I came and told you my plans for next year, you stuck your hand out and said, ‘Let’s go win this championship.’ And you said some other things that I can’t say up here. *crowd laughs* But that part, seriously, you lived up to it. You never quit. You never gave up on me. Thank you very much, sir.”

Kasey Kahne – Contender Round

“I don’t know why it’s happened that way, but we’ve been able to perform late before the Chase a few times over the years. To get that win at Atlanta this year was big, and to get all four Hendrick cars into the Chase was big for our team at the time. It was great to do that, and from there, we just tried to do the best we could for the rest of the season.”

Jimmie Johnson – Contender Round

“I definitely want to be back at the head table, and a big congratulations to everybody on the 4 team. A Hendrick chassis and engine won the championship, which we’re very proud of. But I definitely want to be back and I’d love to have the opportunity to tie the greats, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. We’ll go to work hard, and get our Lowe’s Chevrolet tuned up, and hopefully, we’ll be back next year.”

Kyle Busch – Contender Round

“It was obviously an exciting season for us making it into the Chase and then having a great Chase going our way. To be here as an honorary member of the Hendrick Driver’s Club tonight in our elimination round is a bit awkward. But we’ll make it through and hopefully, we’ll get more success next year.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Contender Round

“Every [Chase] round was exciting with the elimination factor. I think the fans were pumped up throughout the whole thing. We had an awesome year. Thanks to [crew chief] Steve [Letarte] and the whole team. Getting back to Victory Lane felt great. We really enjoyed it, and we’ll try to do it more next year.”

Aric Almirola – Challenger Round

“[The highlight of the year] had to be the big win at Daytona. That was huge for me personally, but when I signed at Richard Petty Motorsports, I said I wanted to be the guy that brought the 43 car back to Victory Lane and we were able to do that this year – 15 years after the 43 had won its last race…Our Chase didn’t go exactly to plan, but we have a lot to be proud of from this year and I’m looking forward to 2015.”

Greg Biffle – Challenger Round

“We certainly had a tough season altogether with Roush Fenway and the 16 team, but we certainly made a charge there at the end [of the regular season] and got ourselves into the Chase. Like Aric, we didn’t make what we wanted of it, but we’re excited for next year.”

A.J. Allmendinger – Challenger Round

“A special year for us. I think it’s really cool that my team owners, Tad – and the real boss, Jodi Geschickter – are sitting here with us. To be able to share such a year – they’ve made me feel like family, so to be able to go out there and get our first Sprint Cup victory together was something very special. And to come here for my first time and be a part of Champion’s Week and see what it’s all about and be somewhat in the same breath of all the great drivers that we have – it’s an awesome year. Hopefully, next year will be even better.”

Kurt Busch – Challenger Round

“It means a lot to me personally to have Gene Haas select me to try and give all of Stewart-Haas a shot at a championship. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and his team, everybody, Rodney Childers – they did a fantastic job. Thanks to Tony Stewart, Gene Haas, everybody at the whole program. You have to be competitive and you gotta do it week in and week out, and Daniel Knost did a great job as a first-year crew chief to lead us into this position. And now, with Tony Gibson taking the reins – we finished the season strong and we’re looking to build on that.”

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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