On Thursday, NASCAR's three championship contenders held a press conference to discuss Sunday's season finale. Along with the usual "blah, blah, blah, we're going to try to do our best" quotes, there were some decent one-liners and trash-talk among the three drivers.
We skipped the boring parts and went straight for the good stuff. Here's a sampling of some of the best moments from Thursday's media event.
On the beards worn by Harvick and Johnson, but not Hamlin:
Hamlin: "I'm a Gillette Young Gun."
Harvick: "Even though you're 30? (Hamlin turned 30 today) Don't they kick you out when you're 30? I thought that was the way it was supposed to work."
Harvick, on staying at Ron Hornaday's house while coming up as a young driver (as Johnson also did):
Harvick: "I think probably the biggest thing we learned to do at Ron's was drink beer."
Harvick, responding to Hamlin's comment that the press conference was "one of the most awkward 30 minutes" he had been through:
Harvick: "(Hamlin) definitely seems the like the most nervous, though."
Hamlin (seated with Johnson on one side and Harvick on the other): "I'm between you!"
Hamlin on why he said the press conference was awkward:
Hamlin: "Oh, just all the shit-talking that's going on, then we're like two feet away. Other than that, it's good now. I'm OK."
The drivers, asked what bothers them the most about the other two competitors:
Johnson: "For me, (what bothers me about) Denny is the fact that he's in the lead. I guess Kevin, (it's that) he's lurking back there in third. ... What else did you expect out of me? Come on."
Hamlin: "I was told in these situations to deflect, so I turn to Kevin."
Harvick: "I'll give you something. I think the thing that irks me the most probably about Denny's team is his crew chief. Jimmie is the fact that he's probably won the last four championships."
Hamlin, on how he deals with the mental stress of the championship:
Hamlin: "I try not to give myself too much time with myself. You know what I mean?"
On Hamlin's poor fuel mileage last week at Phoenix:
Harvick: "The fuel mileage is going to be a big factor was we come to Sunday. (Turns to Hamlin) I hope they put that same carburetor on your car Sunday."
Hamlin: "(The carburetor) won't be."
Johnson: "Hopefully it's one that's worse." (smiles)
On the "Boys, have at it" highlights video shown prior to the press conference:
Johnson: "One of the things we were laughing at on the video is how consistent some drivers were in every highlight. Might think about that one a little bit." (laughs)
Johnson trying to rattle Hamlin, Part 1:
Johnson: "We have nothing to lose. This guy does."
Johnson trying to rattle Hamlin, Part 2:
Johnson: "I'm just trying to remind Denny that he has everything to lose and we're only 15 points back. Really not anything to fret over, Denny. That's it, you know, just having fun."
Hamlin responding to Johnson's mind games:
Hamlin: "I don't have the crown on my head. I think if (I win) the championship, I think half the headlines will talk about us winning the championship and the other will be Jimmie Johnson's streak ending. So I think he has equally just as much to lose as we have to gain."
Johnson, on whether he thinks his trash-talk toward Hamlin will work:
Johnson: "Based on his expression, I don't think he was even listening to me. So I don't know if it went well."