Charlotte: Martin - Thursday media visit

MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the importance of the Coca Cola 600, Humpy Wheeler, the difference in racing 600 miles and other subjects. IS THE COCA COLA 600 HAS A ...

MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the importance of the Coca Cola 600, Humpy Wheeler, the difference in racing 600 miles and other subjects.

IS THE COCA COLA 600 HAS A SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE? "This is a great weekend and a great program for the whole NASCAR community with the Salute the Troops. It is something to help out the families as well as our men and women in uniform.

"It is a race and I want to win them all. This is the next so this is the one I want to win. That is the way it always is. This is my favorite race track-ever. But I will still take a win at my least favorite if I can get one."

HOW DO YOU APPROACH 600 MILES AS A DRIVER? "Well, 599 to go after the first one.

"It is really about the same thing as always. Just try to put enough adjustment in the car to be able to drive it at 5:45 in the afternoon and still be able to make it good at 10:00 o'clock at night."

IS FUEL MILEAGE GOING TO BE AN ISSUE THIS YEAR? "It can be. It is possible, but that is always a wild card, you never know for sure."

WHAT IS IT ABOUT JOEY LOGANO THAT MAKES EVERYONE EXCITED ABOUT HIS POTENTIAL? "I don't know what it is. Joey is magic, take my word for it. You will see soon."

WHAT HAS HUMPY WHEELER MEANT TO THIS SPORT? "In 1981 when I came here for the first time as a driver from the Midwest, he was the go-to guy. He was the one that could help the little drivers from the Midwest possibly transition to NASCAR. That was Humpy Wheeler in 1981 and still is today. He deserves a big trophy."

DID YOU PICK DOVER AS ONE OF YOUR RACES? "I choose all my races. It is number two on the list of all time greatest. I love it, can't wait to go. I go up there expecting to be a contender.

"I always run good there, I don't know why."

WHAT MAKES LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY YOUR FAVORITE TRACK: "It is fun to drive on, good to race on. It is like the heart and soul of stock car racing. It was in 1981, the first time I came here, I really liked it."

WHAT DO YOU THINK FANS CAN EXPECT WITH THE NEW CAR IN THE 600-MILE RACE? "I don't know. It is a NASCAR race, it should be exciting."

IS THIS THE MOST GRUELING TYPE OF RACE? "A lot of different things go in to making one. Heat, how your car handles, humidity. There are a lot of different aspects to it. The length of the track can affect all the things lining up to make it really tough on you or not so tough. The heat is the worth.

"I don't know what has been the most grueling for me. I don't keep track of it like that. I am not sure."

WHAT DID YOUR WIN IN THE 2002 600 MEAN TO YOU? "I had gone through a spell there where I was afraid that I may had seen my last Cup win. It was really neat to pull it off. It was the first time for my crew chief, Ben Lesley, and man of the guys on the team to go to Victory Lane with a Cup car. That is what really made it special to me."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO REPRESENT THE US ARMY ON MEMORIAL DAY? "It is just a real honor to be a part of their team. Makes me feel good to see the whole NASCAR community salute our troops."

KYLE BUSCH IS RACING TRUCKS IN TEXAS, NATIONWIDE IN NASHVILLE AND CUP IN POCONO, AT ANY TIME IN YOUR CAREER WHERE YOU WANTED TO RACE THAT MUCH? "I did a lot at the time. But there wasn't the opportunity to maybe do quite so much. He is a very optimistic, young and enthusiastic young man right now. I don't blame him, I would be too if I were in that position and the opportunity was there."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN LAST WEEK IN THE ALL STAR? "I was very encouraged last week by the performance of our team. We didn't finish that great, we finished ninth, but we ran a long a lot better than that most of the race. We just got off at the end. I look forward to the 600 using the same logic that we used for the All-Star and hopefully we can be a contender."

DO YOU HAVE MUCH INPUT IN TO THINGS AT DEI OUTSIDE OF THE NO. 8 CAR? "Max, Teresa and John have been more interested in my opinion than anywhere else I have ever been. It still isn't very much, but they are very interest in my opinion. I have a great relationship with Max and respect. The same with John Story and of course with Teresa as well. It is pretty cool, it makes me feel good that they are interested in my opinion on things from time to time. But, I don't have a big role in it.

"I feel really good about where the organization is today versus where it was in October. I think it is very sound and made a lot of progress from where it was in October."

HOW MUCH DOES EXPERIENCE PLAY A ROLL IN A 600 MILE RACE? "It can a big deal or it can be nothing or somewhere in between, just all depends."

DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT WITH YOUR FANS MAKING THE EXTRA EFFORT TO GET TO A RACE WITH THE GAS PRICES? "We are well aware of where the economy is right now and have concerns about where it is headed. It isn't the first time, I have been around a long time, it is not the first time we have seen this kind of thing. It may be the last time I see it, but I am sure it will come around in the future.

"We have a lot of really great fans in stock car racing."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup