Fontana: Martin pre-race quotes

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 21 F-150, will have a chance to defend his race title tonight in the San Bernardino County 200 behind the wheel of a Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford. Martin, who will make his debut for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing as a ...

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 21 F-150, will have a chance to defend his race title tonight in the San Bernardino County 200 behind the wheel of a Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford. Martin, who will make his debut for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing as a teammate to Stacy Compton, commented on his return to the truck series.

MARK MARTIN-21-Bad Boy Mowers Ford F-150

YOU ARE IN A FAMILIAR VEHICLE, BUT WITH A NEW TEAM THIS WEEKEND AS YOU ATTEMPT TO DEFEND YOUR TITLE IN THE TRUCK SERIES RACE. "Well, it's awesome to be back in the truck series. We're just trying to get to know one another and trying to get meshed together. We have a really nice truck here, and Bad Boy Mowers out of my hometown of Batesville, Ark., are onboard. I think that's pretty cool to represent the home folks. The truck is fast, but we're just trying to get all of the pieces of the puzzle kinda meshed together here. I think we can get ourselves in a position to be contenders with the equipment that we have. We'll have to see what the last bit of practice brings us and how things go on pit road and those kinds of things. I believe that the potential to get it done is here."

YOU DID NOT COMPETE IN THE TRUCK SERIES SEASON-OPENER, A RACE THAT YOU WON LAST YEAR. DID YOU MISS NOT BEING PART OF THAT EVENT? "I don't know if I missed it or not. I love truck racing and it looked fun and it looked wild. It was definitely an exciting race. I love truck racing, and I'm glad to be out here. I wanted to run at least a few truck races this year, and I'm excited to have that opportunity with the Wood Brothers and Tad Geschickter."

YOU WERE KNOWN FOR BEING THE DRIVER OF THE NO. 6 FOR MOST OF YOUR CAREER, BUT HERE THIS WEEKEND YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE NO. 21, ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT NUMBER IN NASCAR FOLKLORE. "It's an honor and a privilege to be with JTG and the Wood Brothers. The number 21 really means something to me. It really means a lot to me. It might not to some folks, or they might not recognize that, but it's iconic. It's huge for me, and though I may never drive the 21 Cup car, it still has a lot of the same meaning to me. They're heroes, my heroes from the 70s when I was trying to get my feet on the ground and get started racing. There's a lot of history here and it's just a real special opportunity that I have to work with these guys."

WITH THIS TEAM BEING RELATIVELY NEW TO THE TRUCK SERIES, ARE YOU BEING LOOKED TO HELP DEVELOP THE PROGRAM? "Yes. I'm to that point in my career where trying to develop one for myself is not really practical. These guys give me an opportunity to do what I love to do, and they get the opportunity to have my experience, input and guidance to help them get on good, solid track. I guess it works good for them, and it certainly is fun for me."

HOW WELL DO THE TRUCKS HANDLE ON THIS TWO-MILE SPEEDWAY? "They're pretty stable. They're a lot of fun. They really stick good here and handle good. They really go through the corners and it's a lot of fun. I'm thrilled to be out here and tickled to be representing the hometown folks and having the 21 on the side and working with a new group. It's all fun and exciting."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Stacy Compton , Mark Martin