Bristol: Martin rain delay media visit

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, and Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion are all in the top 10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings after...

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, and Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion are all in the top 10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings after four races. All three drivers held Q&A sessions during Friday's rain delay.

MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion

THE WEATHER SETS THINGS BACK DOESN'T IT? "This is just part of racing, so I don't feel really set back because it's the same for everyone. There hasn't been any testing up here, so it will be the same for everyone. Right now, the way I look at it the less practice the better. Our AAA Fusion has been incredible this year and the team is just really on the money. It wouldn't bother me if we just lined them up and raced."

THOUGHTS ON CHAD KNAUS COMING BACK THIS WEEK. "I have some love deep down inside for Chad Knaus because I raced against his dad in Wisconsin and Illinois when Chad was a little boy. I'm so happy to see Chad do so well. On the other hand, the racing has changed to some degree and you can't do some of the things we used to do in the competitive spirit. NASCAR is very strict today and teams work really hard to work the gray areas and when you step over what NASCAR considers the line they strike pretty hard today. Chad's under a little bit of pressure, but Chad will be fine. He's under a little bit of pressure because the team has done so well while he's been at home watching on TV, but one of the reasons the team has done so well is that he has been so instrumental in putting that team together and people can't forget that. A lot of the success that team has experienced has been on Chad's back for the last several years."

YOU SEEM TO BE HAVING A LOT OF FUN THIS YEAR IN TRUCKS AND CUP. "It's gone so great. The fans have been so good with us and so supportive of the new AAA colors. I picked up a lot of fans through AAA. There are about 48 million members and some of those members realize that that AAA car is their car, so I have some new fans through AAA. I've got a great race team and a great car with our Fusion. Our Ford F-150 truck is spectacular and I'm having a lot of fun with it and I'm enjoying being a contender in Cup. This is the way I want to finish off my Nextel Cup racing -- near the top of my game. I don't feel as much pressure this year as I felt last year because I tried so hard to finish it off at the top of my game and didn't realize that something was gonna happen that would bring me back another year. I kind of went into this year with no pressure and thinking that it will either be good or it won't. I can't change the outcome of it, so I'm not stressing about it nearly as much as I did last year and I'm actually getting great results -- maybe even better results which would really be a dream come true. This is probably the time of my life. I'm sure a few years down the road I'll look back and say that 2006 was the time of my life and that these are the good old days. I just don't realize it right now."

DID THAT STRESS AFFECT YOUR DRIVING LAST YEAR? "No, that's the same stress I've always had. I've always stressed about the racing and the performance. I really worked hard, really stressed hard, really thought about it a lot. I'm very intense. Nothing else matters much when racing is on the table, but I'm busier than I've ever been in my life and I've turned loose with some of that this year because I just don't have time for it all. I've had to move some of the stuff off the table and that was some of the stuff that I've tried to move off the table."

DO YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE DONE THAT 10 YEARS AGO? "No, I am who I am. I can't help it, but you can get so busy that you can't do and feel everything that's going on, so I've managed to move it off the table for now, but we've only run four races so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. I can't guarantee that things will continue like they are, but I've been so busy that I haven't had time to think. It's incredible and the results have been spectacular. I really believe that this is the time of my life right here."

HAS ANY TRACK CHANGED MORE PHYSICALLY THAN BRISTOL FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED RACING CUP? "It has. The track itself -- maybe Dover has changed as much because of the surface from asphalt to concrete -- but no facility has even come close to changing. This thing takes your breath away. We flew over it yesterday afternoon coming in and it's breathtaking."

IT'S SO LOUD HERE. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? "Certainly this is the loudest venue that we go to because of the bowl and the track being down in a crater, plus it's so close and so tight. I think the best way to put it is that it wouldn't be sold out and have a 50,000 wait list for tickets if it wasn't more awesome than anything else on the circuit. It is different than going to Lowe's Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway, in my opinion, is awesome but this is in a different category. This is a whole different thing. When you put all this action in this small of an area it's different."

IS THIS A GOOD SYMBOL OF NASCAR'S GROWTH OVER THE LAST 15-20 YEARS? "I think this venue would be the shining symbol of their growth."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Chad Knaus , Mark Martin