Daytona 500: Tryson, Martin - Ford interview

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, probably will not participate in Friday's lone practice session, according to crew chief Pat Tryson, as the team continues to repair the primary car after it was involved in a multi-car accident...

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, probably will not participate in Friday's lone practice session, according to crew chief Pat Tryson, as the team continues to repair the primary car after it was involved in a multi-car accident during one of Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150s. Tryson says that the repairs on the car have been ahead of schedule. Martin will start 32nd in Sunday's Daytona 500.

PAT TRYSON - crew chief, No 6 Viagra Taurus

HOW CLOSE WAS THE DECISION TO GO TO THE BACK-UP CAR INSTEAD OF REPAIRING THE PRIMARY CAR? "It all depended on how bad the frame damage was more than anything, and how much the sheet metal was messed up. We just looked at it, felt like it was close enough to fix it and felt like it would be to our advantage to fix it because we would be better off that way."

HOW CLOSE BACK TO 100 PERCENT CAN YOU GET THIS CAR? "I don't know, I'm hoping 110. We hope we're going to get it back to where it was. Realistically, call it 80 percent right now, but hopefully it's going to be 100. Hopefully, it could be a little bit better."

ARE YOU GOING TO PRACTICE TODAY? "We probably won't even practice today; we're probably just going to get ready for tomorrow. We still have to put our motor and stuff in, and do some Bondo and mud work, so we're probably just going to get ready for tomorrow. Rather do it right than go out there and get frustrated because we missed something or didn't get something right."

WAS THE TEAM HERE LATE WORKING ON THE CAR LAST NIGHT? "Just a little bit, they only let us stay a half hour, so we got to come in an hour early this morning and a half hour last night. We'll probably be here a little late tonight, too." DID ANYONE COME IN FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO HELP OUT? "We had two guys that were already here to take care of our speedway body program, and then two guys stayed that were here yesterday for the 125s."

ARE THINGS PROGRESSING AS WELL AS YOU WOULD'VE HOPED? "Actually, a little bit ahead of schedule right now, so we'll see what happens. But, I feel pretty good that we're ahead of schedule right now."

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, will not practice today as his team continues to make repairs to his primary car. Martin spoke about the job his crew is doing and how he feels going into Sunday's Daytona 500.

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus

WHAT THOUGHTS DO YOU HAVE WHEN YOU SEE YOUR CREW DOING WHAT THEY'RE DOING? "It would be so much easier to pull the backup car that ran in the Bud Shootout out and get it ready to go, but that's what I love about these guys. They've seen the Shootout car run. They know what it's capable of, and they've seen this one run and they know what it's capable of. I'm sure it's happened, but I haven't seen a car on a superspeedway torn up worse than this ever be repaired for anything other than a start and park situation. So it gives me even more pride. I'm so proud to be associated with them. They have great confidence in what they're doing and I have great confidence in them."

PAT SAID YOU DIDN'T CARE IF YOU GOT ANY PRACTICE IN THE CAR BEFORE SUNDAY. "I would rather run this car repaired and unpracticed than run the other car in practice for two days. The other car is OK, but it's not special and it's not gonna be special. This car appears to be special. It's been our pet since they started hanging the body on it on the surface plate in November and it's been our pet through January. We had hoped that it would perform as it did yesterday and that's the car I want to use. If they can fix it, I didn't care if we practiced or not because we would work it out on Sunday."

NOW THAT THIS SITUATION HAS HAPPENED, HOW DO YOU ATTACK THE REST OF THE WEEKEND? "My official comment now after I'm over being halfway locked up with anger is that I didn't see anything but the back end of the 29 car. Once the wreck started happening, the rest of it really doesn't much matter. Why it happened, who caused it or anything else is not really important to me anymore. What's important to me is to recover and the team is in the process of that recovery. I'm 100 percent confident in what they're doing and they're confident in what they're doing. This is my last shot at it and they're gonna do everything they can to have our best effort."

DOES THIS SPEEDWEEKS SEEM TO HAVE MORE OF AN AGGRESSIVENESS TO IT? SOME DRIVERS HAVE COMMENTED THAT THE SHOOTOUT AND EVEN PRACTICE SESSIONS HAVE BEEN MORE INTENSE. DOES IT FEEL ANY DIFFERENT TO YOU? "It doesn't feel any different, but it does look a little different. I think what you're saying is there. It looks to me like it's there. It has had a more aggressive look. It doesn't feel any different than normal to me, but it may feel different to other guys. Both of the qualifying races were rougher than normal. The Shootout seemed to be a wreck looking for a place to happen and it was incredible that we didn't have one."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin