MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the race weekend, aggressive driving in NASCAR and other topics. TALK ABOUT BEING BACK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: "Happy to be...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the race weekend, aggressive driving in NASCAR and other topics.
TALK ABOUT BEING BACK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: "Happy to be here. We had a good time the last time we were here. We've got a lot of new things to look at with our car and we are looking forward to getting our practice started here today. We've got a whole bag of things we want to have a look at and sort of evaluate so we can eliminate some of things that we are going to look at tomorrow. We just can't wait to get started."
CAN YOU COMMENT ON SOME OF THE CHALLENGES DANICA PATRICK IS GOING TO FACE ON THIS TRACK? "I think this race track is pretty straight forward. I don't think it will be nearly the challenge that say a California would pose. This is a very straight forward race track. Sharp turns, not a huge amount of options on where to run and what-have-you so I think this should be a comfortable deal for her here this weekend. Give her a chance to get acquainted to this kind of racing on this size race track."
WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD NASCAR WAS GOING TO THE BRICKYARD, WHAT WERE YOUR ORIGINAL THOUGHTS AND HAS IT GROWN INTO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOU ANTICIPATED? "If you want me to be really honest with you, I thought it was ridiculous that we were going to go run there. I didn't thing we belonged there. I didn't think the race track would be conducive to stock car racing. All of which was very wrong. I was really really wrong in my impressions of it. I think it we do belong there. I think that the cars race really well there. I have a blast racing on that race track and I think it is a tremendous addition to our schedule and it is great for all of our fans."
JEFF BURTON WAS IN HERE AND TALKED ABOUT WHAT HE CONSIDERS A LACK OF RESPECT AMONG THE DRIVERS FOR SOMETHING LIKE LAST WEEK BEING CRAZY AT SONOMA, IS IT GETTING WORSE, HAVE THINGS CHANGED THAT MUCH? "It happens every week though. I understand he is pointing at certain things but it wasn't just last week, it happens all the time. I agree. It is getting worse mostly because the nature of our racing and the growth of the sport. You wouldn't be able to keep a job if you raced 20 years, if you drove for somebody and you wrecked as many cars as you wreck today, you wouldn't keep a job. The teams could not justify it. They didn't have the manpower. They didn't have the money, they could not repair these cars and get them back out there. You wouldn't last. But it is a different day and age now. It is just different and there is a lot of pressure on these guys. You don't see Jeff Burton and I running over each other and Bobby Labonte and a number of the veterans. We still try to race the way we raced but we also are having to learn to race differently as well. It puts you in a bind. Just for example, I almost spun Jeff Gordon out and boy, I didn't want to. But, I was racing all these cats around me and we flew into the corner harder than I wanted to because I was having to race the cats around me and I almost ran over him and he did some guys. I almost got lured into the same situation. It was very close. The racing today is about the thrill of watching it on TV and the racing 20 years ago or 25 years ago was about the sport. It wasn't really about the thrill, it was about being a part of something that you loved and it was a lot smaller, less entertainment oriented. If you weren't one of the top teams, you just had to survive. You couldn't afford to go out there and wreck these things every week. You just had to do the best that you could with what you had to work with and close the deal the best you could. So it is different now. It is much more entertaining. It is what it is, you take a 25 year-old driver and it is NASCAR racing to them but you take a Jeff Burton or myself or whatever and you might think that Whew, this is different. But to the kids, it is different."
HOW DO YOU SEE THE 10 RACES LEADING UP TO THE CHASE WITH THE COMMENTS ABOUT ROUGH DRIVING, ARE ALL BETS OFF? "It is the same thing as it is every week. It is no different. Don't over-dramatize it. It is what it is. It's been this way all year long and it was this way last year as well. As we go forward, the kind of racing that we had at the end of Pocono and at Sonoma will not be every three weeks in the future, it will be every week, everywhere. Right now it is every third week or so. Every other whatever. It is moving toward that more and more. That is what equal cars, double file restarts and all that stuff, that is what it brings you do. Which is going to be fun to watch."
TO A DEGREE, YOU'VE BEEN IN (MARCOS) AMBROSE'S SHOES. YOU'VE SORT OF EXPERIENCED THAT TYPE OF HEARTBREAK. HOW MUCH DO YOU FEEL FOR HIM? "Well I feel for him a lot, but on the other hand I know that he will survive because I did. [laughs]. I feel for him, but I can share stories with him--I already have today--that are of anguish and heartbreak, and a long-time coming stories, and stuff like that as well. I've had many, many wins slip through my fingers before we finally got our first one, including running second six times. It was a long-time coming. He's a great, great person and a great driver, and he'll survive it all and win."
-source: gm racing