Texas Motor Speedway November 7, 2010 An Interview With: MATT KENSETH - 2nd place finisher MARK MARTIN - 3rd placed finisher THE MODERATOR: We're now joined in the Samsung Mobile Media Center by our third-place finisher, driver of the No....
Texas Motor Speedway
November 7, 2010
An Interview With:
MATT KENSETH - 2nd place finisher
MARK MARTIN - 3rd placed finisher
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined in the Samsung Mobile Media Center by our third-place finisher, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet, Mark Martin. Mark, this is your 11th top 10 here at Texas which is most all time. It's also your seventh top-5 finish, best finish at Texas since 2005. Obviously a good day for you guys. Take us through it.
MARK MARTIN: It was a real good run for us today. The car was stronger than we expected in practice, or stronger than I expected for sure. It was really awesome on the long runs, wasn't quite as sharp on the restarts on new tires, and Alan made a great, great call at the end. I think it ran better on the ten-lap tires than it would have on new tires. It was a very good call. Like I say, the car ran probably better there at the end by not changing tires than it would have on new tires. It took it a while to come around.
THE MODERATOR: Did you need the restarts there at the end?
MARK MARTIN: Well, we were going to be third without it, and when those two just about tangled, I was just in the wrong position to be able to capitalize. But if had been just a little bit different mix-up, we would have been in position to capitalize on it.
My race team, CARQUEST, and Go Daddy, I want to give a shout out to them for their support through this tough summer, and it's great to be a contender again.
THE MODERATOR: Now joined in the media center by our second-place finisher, driver of the No. 17 Ford, Matt Kenseth. This was his eighth top 5 at Texas Motor Speedway, which is also the most among Sprint Cup Series drivers. It's his 11th top 10, his fourth 2nd place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, an eventful day where he came from one lap down. Take us through it.
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, we had a pretty fast car all weekend and got some paper or something on the grille early in the race and got it real hot and had to pit under green and lost a lap there.
We just kept adjusting on the car, actually about the best we had it was then. Everything actually lined up exactly in our favor. You know, short run, Denny gave me the inside, which I probably would have chosen if I had had to choose one, and I got actually a really good restart. I've been jacking that up most of the time lately, so got a really good restart. We were side by side there, and I just couldn't quite get by him.
So I've lost a lot of close ones, like you said. I think we've been second here four times, and really happy to run that good but really disappointing to be going for the lead on the last lap and not come back with a win, either.
THE MODERATOR: This has been the best finish for the 17 Team since March in Atlanta and obviously something that you guys needed. Good to see you back running well here at Texas. Can you talk a little bit about the day as far as compared to how some of the struggles have been the rest of the year?
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, it's been an interesting day. All our cars were fast today. Greg probably had -- I didn't see the except race for the scoreboard, but it seemed like Greg probably had the best car if he wouldn't have broke his transmission or whatever happened there. But we just -- our pit stops were really good today. They were better than they have been.
I didn't speed on pit road today, which was a bonus. I've been doing that too much lately.
Just all day we had a mistake-free day. Even when we had trouble we were able to stay calm and fix our problems and get back in the lead lap and be able to pit the race right and get tires we needed to to work our way through traffic and get to the front.
So just everything went just right today in the pits and on pit road and pretty much on the track, too. I wish I could do the last one one more time and try something different, but other than that, everything went as good as we could have expected today.
Q: Can you just talk again about the restart there and when Denny got by you I guess coming out of there in turn 2 and what happened?
MATT KENSETH: Yeah, I mean, he -- we took off, and like I said, I got a really good restart and he pulled as close as he could to me to get the wind off of me, which in lap 100 you wouldn't do that to somebody because they'd be mad, but over last ten laps that's totally fair. I'd probably be trying to do the same thing as much as I could to get the inside guy loose and get him uncomfortable.
So surprisingly my car was pretty stable and it lasted for a lap, and I just lifted real early because we were side by side and I wanted to actually keep him outside of me, and I thought if we left turn 2 at least nose to nose and I could get into 3 and still have him outside of me that we'd have a shot to the finish line.
So I lifted real early when he lifted, and then I got back to the gas real early, and he must have slipped a little bit, and I got a really good run. When Mike told me clear, I was a little surprised we cleared him, and I just pulled up in front of him and starting getting off the corner. I probably shouldn't have been holding the wheel as much as I did but wanted to get a nice run off the corner, and as soon as he got away from my side for whatever reason and got behind me, my car just took off. It just felt like it raised the car half an inch and went straight, and I had to get out of the gas, so I had to keep from hitting the wall.
Part of that is the way I tried to drive the corner and part of it was maybe from not having him outside me anymore, not having the car turning as loose as it was when he was there.
I don't know, it was a heck of a race down to the finish. Like I say, you hate it when you get beat.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on your second place finish, and good luck the rest of the season.