MARTIN WINS FOR THE FIFTH TIME IN 2006 * Mark Martin took the checkered flag for the sixth time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career with today's victory. Martin won the pole and went to victory lane in the inaugural truck series race at...
MARTIN WINS FOR THE FIFTH TIME IN 2006
* Mark Martin took the checkered flag for the sixth time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career with today's victory. Martin won the pole and went to victory lane in the inaugural truck series race at Talladega Superspeedway, and now has wins at the 2.66-mile track in all three of NASCAR's major touring series.
* In 10 races this season, Martin has driven to victory lane a series-high five times, and extended Roush Racing's all-time series win mark to 42, the most in series history.
* Martin swept both superspeedway events this year with his season-opening victory at Daytona in February.
* Ford has now won 77 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races all time, and seven in 2006 with three different drivers (Martin, Cook, Crawford).
MARCOS AMBROSE-20-Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 (Finished 17th)
WHAT ARE YOU IMPRESSIONS OF YOUR FIRST SUPERSPEEDWAY RACE? "I need something to calm my nerves. That was out of control. We really just fiddled around there until the last 30-odd laps. We fiddled around there and stayed at the back and we just wanted to get to the last 30 laps without doing anything silly. When it was time to go, the truck would only really run on the middle and top groove. We tried to run the bottom but got bogged down every time. Whenever I wanted to move forward I had to run the middle groove and that's three wide and that's never a good place to be. We had a good day. I thought we were pretty close there at the finish. It looked like we were five or six back from the lead on the outside groove, but that's still 18th when you're three wide."
WHAT DID YOU SEE FORM YOUR VANTAGE POINT AT THE END? "I went right underneath it. I saw the 40 go in, he went in pretty hard, bounced up in the air and started pirouetting. I either went underneath him or went to the bottom of him, I'm not sure. But, I'm just glad I got through it."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Finished 15th)
"We had a flat tire under green and had to pit, just racing luck I guess. The Circle Bar Ford F-150, Kevin Starland and all of the guys worked hard all weekend and we had a pretty fast truck. I think we made it back up through half of the field when we got back started with 14 laps to go. I had a lot of fun out there today, but they just didn't give us enough time to position yourselves back up front and we weren't strong enough to make a move by ourselves. We'll just take it and go on from there. I'd love to come back here to Talladega."
TALK ABOUT THE EMOTION AT THE START OF THE RACE. "It's pretty neat. Coming up here when you're 11 years old with your parents, grandfather and uncle and wishing you could this one day, and 37 years later you don't have to sneak in the gate, you have a pass and you have a fast race truck, the American dream came true. We made some bold moves today."
TERRY COOK-10-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Finished 13th)
ASSESS THE RACING TODAY, AND IS THIS A PLACE WHERE THE TRUCK SERIES NEEDS TO COME BACK? "They definitely need to come back here. I was afraid of this when we were practicing that the racing just wouldn't be what everybody thought it would be. It raced more like the Cup here. For whatever reason, we just couldn't pass like we could at Daytona and it ended up being a lot more single-file racing than I would have liked to have seen. I'm not sure exactly what precipitated that, but I definitely thought that there could have been more side-by-side competitiveness. I think we saw that later in the race, but at the beginning of the race it was strictly single file."
ERIK DARNELL-99-Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Finished 19th)
"We just didn't have any drafting partners there at the end. Our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 was really good today, actually. I couldn't get out front by myself and go anywhere, but when I was behind David and behind Mark, it seemed like would could make some progress up towards the front of the field. Our plan was just to get up there and ride. We didn't take that early pit stop and led a couple of laps and got that caution and came back in and made our stop there, and I think we had a lug nut hang or something happened and we came out in the back there. Unfortunately, we were just fighting from there. Unless you had a really solid partner to stick with you and a good line to go with, it was tough in the back of the field there and hard to move up. Unfortunately, that's where we ended up."
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
"I'll tell you what, without Mike Wallace's help there I knew we were in trouble because we had all of those Toyotas. I knew Mike Wallace would help me some, and I also knew he'd try to beat me, too. The race was really going to get interesting there before the crash happened. If that wouldn't have happened, it was going to be interesting getting back to the start-finish line. It was just one of those great days. This Ford F-150 had a great motor in it and this Scotts team did a good job. We dodged a bullet early in the race there with overheating and got that cleaned up and were able to make it back."
TALK ABOUT THE PASS BODINE MADE THAT WAS DEEMED BELOW THE YELLOW LINE. "I wasn't going to give him the bottom. That wasn't going to happen. When that team started to force the issue, I went ahead let him have it. Todd knew that he wasn't going to get the inside. I had that spot covered."
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THE RACE STAYED GREEN AT THE END? "The bottom was that I wound up without a pusher and they were all three wide and four wide back there. Anything could have happened there on that last lap, but I sure would have rather be in the front than in the middle and it got pretty exciting back there it looked like." YOU'VE WON FIVE RACES IN 10 STARTS. "Well, I love these trucks and I love to drive them. I hope to drive some next year."
DAVID RAGAN-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 7th)
"We had an awesome truck. This is the most fun that I've had all year. This was a blast to drive. It was tough to get people to work with us. I could pull a line really well, but as soon as they'd get a run on me they'd leave me hung out to dry. This is the best racing that I've ever been a part of. This was awesome today and it helps when you're driving a Roush Racing Ford. I'd like to come here a couple of times a year. I had a great time and they're really stable here. They're not as bouncy and jumping around as I thought they would be. It handled great all day and it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully I made a few new friends where I can come back one day and draft a little bit and have some help."
-credit: ford racing