MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 DELPHI/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed the All Star, driver health and other topics. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ALL-STAR RACE AND HOW SPECIAL IT IS TO RACE IN...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 DELPHI/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed the All Star, driver health and other topics.
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ALL-STAR RACE AND HOW SPECIAL IT IS TO RACE IN THAT RACE... "Well you know it all starts with the fans and the fan enthusiasm. To have something that is that much different than the format that we usually race week in and week out really brings a lot of excitement to the whole thing--to the race fans as well as the competitors. To have the opportunity to race a little bit more all for the win, and not have to worry so much about minimizing or back stopping your strategies or decisions; you can go out there and it's sort of winner-takes-all. That makes it really, really special. There are a lot of sparks that fly out there in these races, so it's pretty cool."
ANYTHING NEW IN YOUR FUTURE IN TERMS OF NEXT YEAR OR 2012? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'LL BE DOING YET? "No. Everything is still as planned. There are scenarios beginning to formulate, but I would expect it to be a long time until those boil down to real options. It could be as much as a year until those boil down to real options. Everything is pretty quiet; there is a little bit rumbling around out there. By the way, I heard you guys talk about the speedway and I've been around a long time. I came here the first time in 1981, and it's always been Charlotte Motor Speedway to me."
SO YOU WILL DEFINITELY BE IN THE 5 CAR IN 2011? "Yes."
HOW CRAZY DO YOU THINK SOME COMPETITORS CAN GET WITH TRYING NEW THINGS AT THE ALL-STAR RACE SINCE IT ISN'T A POINTS COMPETITION RACE?
"Well, it does give you an opportunity to try some things that you're unsure of that might work, but in a points race you really do need to backstop yourself. You need to minimize your risks even at the compromise of some possible performance. This race gives you the opportunity to either refine what you plan on using in the 600, or look at a whole new package and decide if you want to try it in the 600."
YOU'RE ONE OF THE MOST HEALTH-CONSCIOUS GUYS IN THE GARAGE. LOOKING AT WHAT HAPPENED WITH BRIAN VICKERS, DID THAT SURPRISE YOU AND DOES IT MAKE YOU LOOK AT YOUR SITUATION AND YOUR HEALTH GOING FORWARD? "I haven't reexamined my situation, but I truly, truly feel for Brian. It's just unbelievable to be in a situation where you can't drive a racecar--I can't imagine what that's like to deal with on top of being young, and a fit, young man. It's something that I don't understand yet. The condition, I really don't completely understand. Our coach, Mark Maldin, came down with the same thing over the winter. So we were already in tune with it at the 5 car and with Hendrick Motorsports with what he had been through, but he's not a young man by any means. It's a little bit of a strange condition, but my guys did say that if you have a twitch or shook your legs you wouldn't get it. So there is no chance in hell that I will get what he got because I shake my legs too much. I'm not worried about getting it myself! Seriously, my heart goes out to Brian. I'm glad that he's ok, but I can't imagine what it's like to be knocked out of your seat. It's our lives, guys, and it's got to be devastating for him on one hand. On the other hand, at least he's healthy to a good degree. He isn't completely disabled like something that might keep you from driving otherwise--something more traditional that might keep you from driving. I feel bad for him."
YOU HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH SOMEONE ON YOUR CREW, HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN IN TREATMENT AND ON THE SIDELINES? "I am not as close to the situation as Alan would be because he directly worked with Mark on a daily basis, I know that Mark hasn't been to the race track this year and it is a fairly serious condition that they don't want him sitting for long periods of time or anything like that. He is doing fine, that I know. I do see him, I saw him at the shop the day before yesterday. There are limitations on what the doctors want him to do right now. I just know bits and pieces of the story."
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE GOING IN TO THE LAST 10-LAP SEGMENT AND WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY OVER THE FINAL 10 LAPS? "I don't to get to exactly choose where I am. I hope to be able to see the front. Close enough that you can see the front. There is all different scenarios that puts you in position to win that thing like if you are running third and second place gets into first place and they slip up the race track. There is just a million different scenarios. Restarts, double-file...who knows what will happen. Obviously I would like to have the fastest car in the field and be leading, but I don't get to choose that. Hopefully I get that dropped in my lap. We've been in different situations at the end of the race and that is what makes it great for the fans, I would like to have the fastest car and be out front. But even if you have that, then you will have a restart and it is double-file and sparks will fly. Who knows how it turns out you know."
-source: gm racing