MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 3rd) TALK ABOUT THE STRETCH. "Early in the race we were running about eighth and we worked our way up to sixth and it seemed to stabilize quite a bit there. We were running along pretty good. We...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 3rd)
TALK ABOUT THE STRETCH. "Early in the race we were running about eighth and we worked our way up to sixth and it seemed to stabilize quite a bit there. We were running along pretty good. We never got any cautions with a chance to catch up, but when we finally did get that caution we got a set of tires on the car that seemed to work well. I was pretty proud of the Valvoline team. They had good pit stops today. They gave me a reasonable race car. We had a pretty good running engine and a pretty good handling car and we were able to do the most with it I think we could. I think coming home in third was about all we could ever expect out of that piece, so I'm pretty pleased with it."
WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE WITH THE 28 CAR? "Well, I guess if you ask Ricky I asked for it. You race hard and it's very close and very slick. I got under him and I touched him and he wiggled, so he didn't think that was right. So he blasted me in the back and made me earn it without touching him. I guess Ricky has a little bit shorter fuse than I do. He's had a history of retaliating. He should know that I wouldn't lay a fender on him to pass him. It was slick out there and I got inside him and I touched him. I don't have a problem with it because I know what his logic was. His logic was, 'Hey, you touched me and made me wiggle, that's not right, you're gonna have to earn it without doing that.'"
WERE YOU AWARE EARNHARDT HAD LEANED ON HIM? "I wasn't aware of that. That's OK. Everybody's got their own deal and everybody's got their personality. Ricky and I get along real good, but at the time I was a little quicker than he was and I got under him. I had two wheels on the apron and I slid up six inches and I touched him in the quarter panel. I did. So, I got a shot back for it, but that's OK. I just sat back and collected myself and worked my way back up to him and got by him without touching him. We couldn't win the race anyway, but, of course, we race for every spot like it's the last lap of the Daytona 500 for the win. That's what we were doing out there is putting on a hard race for the fans."
HOW HOT WAS IT? "It was pretty hot. I'm not really worn out, but I am hot. I do have a headache from the heat and the carbon monoxide. I'm not as physically tired as Bristol, but I'm as hot as just about anywhere we've been this year."