Atlanta II: Martin post-race press conference

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd) "We had a great car today and a great effort by our team. I don't think there was any real failure on any of our parts. The competition knew that the way they were gonna win was try to get us ...

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd)

"We had a great car today and a great effort by our team. I don't think there was any real failure on any of our parts. The competition knew that the way they were gonna win was try to get us caught in a box, so with only nine cars or something like that on the lead lap when that last caution came out, gosh, I didn't think we had hardly any laps on our car at all. I thought we'd be OK there. If we pitted, they'd stay out and it would be incredibly difficult for us to win. We might have, and I thought we could stay out and maybe pull it off. That last caution really put the hurt on us. It was just a tough deal. We were just in a situation where I don't think Pat Tryson could win. Either thing he did, the rest of the guys were gonna do the opposite based on how our car ran."

YOU TESTED HERE. WAS THAT THE KEY?

"I think it didn't hurt, but the main thing is we test all the time and it doesn't help us that much. Right now, we just have such a great team. The team effort is just incredible. I have the best guys I've ever had to work with in my racing career and it really showed today. We had fantastic pit stops and the whole works."

DID YOUR TEAMMATES PROVE TO BE MORE COMPETITION THAN YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED AT THE END WITH THE 16 AND THE 99 RACING YOU SO HARD?

"I told you all those weren't my teammates (laughter). If they were my teammates, they'd only be on the race track to make sure I won. They were trying to win themselves. They're competitors and I was having to race them just as I was having to race the rest of the competitors."

THOUGHTS ON THE CHASE CLOSING UP.

"I'm not that excited. I had a pretty exciting day today and really wasn't counting the points. I need a little bit of time to wind down and as I wind down I'll pick up a piece of paper and see what those numbers say. They tell me that it's closer than it was. There are three races to go and we should run well at all of them. We're doing what we do. Today, we did everything that we could do. I'm so proud of my team and what they've done and I appreciate the opportunity that they've given me to drive race cars that run like that. Hopefully, we can keep running like that and maybe we can win some of these last three races."

ANY CONCERN ABOUT HAVING ENGINE ISSUES?

"No, I felt like when Kurt broke his engine that it was kind of how luck goes. I felt like he was having some of the even-up luck that I had early in the year. I broke several engines. I guess what I'm saying is I didn't feel like we had a problem with our engines. I felt like he had a problem with luck. I didn't know Matt was out and I don't know why he went out of the race, but I never felt like ours was gonna let us down. We had incredible horsepower and we've had terrific reliability since I showed them I could break their engines. They've gone back and fixed them. I demonstrated that what they had wasn't strong enough for me. It was strong enough for the rest of the guys, but it wasn't strong enough for me, so they've gone back and fixed the stuff and now it's just incredible - horsepower and reliability."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup