MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd) "I've got to give the credit to my race team. I had a super race car today. Ben Leslie and the whole Viagra team were determined to make that a good car for me. They were on and off and then back...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I've got to give the credit to my race team. I had a super race car today. Ben Leslie and the whole Viagra team were determined to make that a good car for me. They were on and off and then back on during qualifying day and were on the money when it counted. We were on the money for half the race and got way off for one run and they got it back in the hunt and gave me a chance. That's about all I ask for. If I've got something where I've got a chance, then I'll get my share. It was a great race for us."
WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE WITH JOHNNY?
"It was good. It was a good show for the fans. It was good to see Johnny get a win. It was long overdue. That was good to see. I really knew that I didn't really have the car to beat him with, but I didn't know that I couldn't win because I knew he was gonna be getting pretty nervous with pressure. I laid some pretty good pressure on him and managed to even get beside him, but I couldn't make it stick. His car was as good as mine, if not better. The reason he got in front of me is because it was a little bit better. There at the end I was just kind of throwing everything at it and really taking some crazy chances with the thing to try to put the pressure on him and we did. We made it exciting and second will be OK for today."
ARE ALL THE ROUSH CARS PRETTY COMPARABLE?
"No. It means that they ran good today but our setups were quite a bit different. I just think all the cars ran good. They've got great race teams. Roush Racing is very fortunate to have such tremendous drivers like Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton. These guys are awesome and they've got great race teams. None of us were set up alike today and all of us ran very well, so I was just glad to be able to keep up with Kurt. I haven't been able to do that lately, so I was pretty happy with my stuff."
HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THIS GIVE YOU GOING INTO THE LAST TWO RACES?
"None. I've always said that confidence doesn't score the points, the result really does. We've got to go and put up performances like we did today. If we get lucky, then maybe we don't have to perform as well as today, but it all comes down to each and every race means the same. The Daytona 500 meant the same as today. We've had a lot of good races this year and we've had our share of disappointments and so has everyone else. It's kind of boiling down here. I am very pleased with my team, with Ben Leslie and all these guys. They've revived my career."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT PHOENIX AND HOMESTEAD?
"We've won at Phoenix before and last year we ran like junk. We've won here twice and in the spring we ran like junk. This is a hard business to be on top of every single week. I certainly feel good about the car we're taking there. We ran decent down in Homestead last week testing, but the 20 runs good there too. The 20 car runs good here, too, so you never know what each race day is gonna bring. That's one of the reasons why these grandstands are full every week -- you don't know, you just don't know."
HOW MUCH WILL THE TEST AT HOMESTEAD HELP IF THE TITLE COMES DOWN TO THAT RACE?
"Unfortunately, Tony is going this week, so it's even for everybody."
WAS THERE ANY DISCUSSION ABOUT WHO WAS GOING TO LEAD THE MOST LAPS, YOU OR KURT?
"There was something said, not between us. I have no idea. I can tell you one thing, when Kurt got ready to go, he blew me off. I ran my car really, really hard. I knew we had 100 to go and when we re-started in front of Kurt, I drove my car harder than I wanted to to stay in front of Kurt so that we could try to get the most laps. Whether or not Kurt was patient with me or not, when it came time to go, he stepped on the gas and blew me off and drove out front, and so did the 10. Then they started backing back up, so that's about the gist of it. There's only so much messing around you can do on a race track."
DOES IT FEEL GOOD TO SEE JOHNNY WIN?
"I'm very happy to see Johnny win. He is a tremendous race car driver. It's a shame it's taken this long, but I'm happy for him. I know how he feels. He deserves it and they earned it. He was close at Martinsville and they pulled it off today. I put a lot of pressure on him there at the end and he made no mistakes. That was really what I was hoping for, but I was not expecting it because I've raced Johnny a lot."
DOES THIS POINTS RACE WHET YOUR APPETITE OR DO YOU STILL STICK TO YOUR STATEMENT OF SAYING IF YOU NEVER WIN A TITLE IT WILL STILL BE A FULFILLING CAREER?
"Let me tell you something, man, I've had a great career. If I could have won 'em, I would have won 'em all. I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I've had and the success I've had. We're still working on earning one. We haven't done it yet."
WILL YOU RUN BUSCH RACES NEXT YEAR?
"I don't know. It's possible."