MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion DOES THIS RACE KIND OF GET LOST IN THE SHUFFLE WITH SOME OF THE OTHER TRACKS IN THE CHASE? "I don't know. It was a pretty good one for us last year, so we're glad to be here." HAS THE TRACK CHANGED ...
MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
DOES THIS RACE KIND OF GET LOST IN THE SHUFFLE WITH SOME OF THE OTHER TRACKS IN THE CHASE? "I don't know. It was a pretty good one for us last year, so we're glad to be here."
HAS THE TRACK CHANGED SINCE OPENING? "This is a great place for me because I grew up racing not that far from here, really. I have a lot of fans from up in this area. I raced at I-70. I raced in Springfield, Missouri. I have a lot of fans that don't get to come to a lot of other races, so they come down here."
DENNY HAMLIN SAID THE CHASE IS A BLAST. DO YOU SHARE THAT FEELING? "Probably for a guy that it's his first time and for a guy that it's his last time it's not that stressful. For everyone else in between it's probably too early to get stressed. They don't even know yet if they're really in the running for it yet. As we get closer, the stress level will, but I'm just having a good time here with being in it again and I'm thankful to AAA and all my fans."
CAN YOUR NOTES TRANSLATE FROM LAST YEAR? "A lot of times you hope and would expect that they would be really good, but things are evolving. We were a contender to win the first race at Dover with the very same car and the very same setup we were around a fifth-place car. So we're coming in here saying using last year's setup is probably not gonna be enough. We're gonna try to move forward."
JEFF BURTON SAID HE GOT A LOT OF HIS MINDSET FROM YOU. DID YOU TALK A LOT DURING HIS SLUMP AND DO YOU TALK NOW SINCE YOU STARTED OUT AS SUCH CLOSE TEAMMATES? "We talked, but we didn't discuss directly. He never used me as Dr. Phil for his win drought. We have used each other from time to time to on other issues, but Jeff is a strong person. He is a guy that I look up to and look to for strength from time to time and I think that he feels the same. I think he handled going five years without a win incredibly well, considering he won 17 in a similar amount of time before that."
DO YOU THINK YOU BOTH LOOK AT THE CHASE FROM THE SAME PERSPECTIVE? "I think it's more of the person. I look at it the way I do and we do look a lot alike at things because I think that we approach our racing alike. Jeff has great respect for the sport and for the many people who are in it, and I think he should be well respected for that. I look up to him a lot just because of the respect that he gives the sport in general."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT KANSAS? "It's a great place to race. The asphalt has cured to the point where it really is an incredible place to race on. This is almost like home for me. I did a lot of racing in Springfield and I-70 -- not far from here."
ANY UPDATE FOR NEXT YEAR, ESPECIALLY WITH THE 6 CAR? "I really don't have anything new to talk about right now."
HAVE YOU MET WITH BORIS THIS WEEK? "Boris and I haven't even discussed things that much."
ANY TIMETABLE FOR THAT? "If we get a sponsor, then we'll be talking, but first we have to have the sponsors."
IS THE TRUCK DEAL COMPLETED YET? "It's not complete yet. There's no rush. We've got a target and the target is the chase here and making the best out of great opportunity and trying to have some fun. We're just trying to do our job here."
DO YOU FEEL ALL OF THE ROUSH CARS TO BE GOOD HERE? "I expect them all to be good. Right now we're pretty much on it as of last week, so we hope to have it going again this week the same way."
WHAT DID THAT WIN HERE LAST YEAR DO FOR YOU? "We felt great. That was exactly what you need to do if you want to be a championship contender. Like I said before, every win is a big deal in this sport."
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE CHASE NOW WITH IT THINNING OUT A BIT? "There's a ton of movement right now because you've only had two races. It's still wide open. Every race you'll have movement and you'll have less movement as we get closer to the end."
-credit: ford racing