Dover II: Mark Martin press conference

MARK MARTIN-6-Pfizer/Viagra Taurus (finished 2nd)- "That's a case of the cars being the same speed. You never used to have that many, cars that ran that close to the same speed. When we caught cars that were a lot slower than us, we went right...

MARK MARTIN-6-Pfizer/Viagra Taurus (finished 2nd)-

"That's a case of the cars being the same speed. You never used to have that many, cars that ran that close to the same speed. When we caught cars that were a lot slower than us, we went right by 'em. But somebody like Jimmy, he was running almost the same speed as us. It makes it hard. We do have a lot of downforce in these cars, and obviously when we get behind cars we lose a little downforce on the front."

ON THE TIRES.

"I thought they were great. I wasn't too sure about 'em before the race, I wished they had brought the other one because we can hit the setup so good on the old tires. About halfway through the race we got a grip on it, and got our car really working, and I agree with Dale. I think they were great. Did a super job."

ON THE TIGHT POINTS RACE.

"We didn't run very good at the end of Richmond and finished sixth. We ran real good at New Hampshire and finished 16th. That's the course of business nowadays with all the cars as close as they are today. Jimmy and us ran well, but next week, you know, both of us may not. It's real close right now. And I'd like to say, it's still up in the air. It's more competitive on the race track than ever before, and one little stub of your toe, whether it's your fault or not, can cost you 10 to 20 positions."

LATE IN THE RACE, YOU WERE RIGHT THERE.

"We tried pretty hard. And, when I got there I tried a little too hard. If I'd a been a little more patient I wouldn't have lost him there a couple of times. I wanted to win real bad, and I'd get a push when I'd get behind him, and that's what we had. He was so fast that I couldn't overhaul him. The other cars I'd caught throughout the day, I had been able to. I had not gotten stuck behind anyone for any long period of time throughout the day until we met our match at the end."

ON HIS SUCCESS AT DOVER.

"I think if you're fast, you stand a good chance of winning. I don't see many people win with a slow car here. It happens at some of the other race tracks sometimes."

ON HIS EXPERIENCE AND HIS ABILITY TO ADAPT AS THE POINTS RACE WINDS DOWN.

"I really wouldn't comment on that. I don't know. I certainly have a lot more experience than I had 12 years ago. I've already said, I may not be as fast as I was 12 years ago, but I sure have a lot more experience, and being as trying to use that as a tool to help him, and all we can do is use what we have. And what we have is working okay right now, and we're working real hard at it."

MORE ON THE POINTS RACE.

"I did say when I left New Hampshire that I was glad we were coming here because if nothing went wrong, I could leave here with the point lead, too. And, something went wrong on Friday and we overcame it, and nothing went wrong for us today, thank goodness. But we got a lot of racing and a lot of tough races to face yet, and lot probably tough situations to face that we don't even now about."

NOW THAT YOU'VE ADDED TO YOUR LEAD, DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE?

"When it comes to competition and getting your heart broken, I'm an eternal pessimist. I don't think I padded my lead, I think I lost because Johnson gained on us, so I know I gained on Sterling, but to me I still lost ground. That's just how I operate. This business has dealt me some very cruel and heartbreaking blows and it's not going to this year, because it just won't. I'm prepared for whatever happens. I'm so proud of this team and we're gonna bust or but to win this championship, but if we didn't run another race this year, we've already done more than we probably hoped to accomplish this year, by winning that big race at Charlotte. That was the win of my life. Having a team that had not been to Victory Lane before, with me in Victory Lane, and my family and making Janet Hogan a millionaire. This is great. I hoped to be able to make the stage in New York and we're on track to do that. Anything in the top 10, but certainly this is the best crack I've had at it in a while. Although in '98 we did win seven races and were awesome. I mean, we were. We were awesome. But, Jeff Gordon was more awesome than us by winning 13. So, you never know."

DID YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES DURING THAT LAST PIT STOP.

"The car was in need of a slight adjustment and Ben and I discussed it and didn't do it because we've had a tough time this year. We were running awfully good, equal to better laps than the leaders when that caution came out, because we got better the longer the run. And we were equaling to bettering the leader. I left the door open and Ben didn't do it. So, Ben didn't want to and I didn't make him do it. I said maybe a half a round out. I don't think it got done. I didn't hear him call for it. I understand why. If we had taken a half out and the car would've went berserk, we would've shot ourselves. We were running pretty well. I think we elected to leave it alone. A little adjustment would've helped, in retrospect, but sometimes you got to stay the course. And I think that as a team we stayed the course on that. I think it was a wise decision, even though it could've made a little bit of a difference. You know, we could've made it a lot more exciting had we maybe taken a round out, which I recommended, the possibility of a half. So, at the end of the day I don't think it would've made the difference, except that it sure would've got the fans on their feet. I could've stayed there when I got there and I could've got them up on their feet. But, it was a good result."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin