MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 3RD: TELL US ABOUT YOUR LAP "We weren't that good in practice; 17th quickest. We weren't expecting to be a pole contender, for sure. But you know, you never know. There are times when you...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 3RD:
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LAP
"We weren't that good in practice; 17th quickest. We weren't expecting to be a pole contender, for sure. But you know, you never know. There are times when you think you're going to be a pole contender you're not and you wind up sorely disappointed, and today we really got a great lap; Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and I, though our experience here, made a judgment on some changes to the car. We hit it just right and I really got a great lap. It was a little eventful up off of (Turn) 2. The car started spinning the tires and got loose, where I've not had a car do that before in qualifying. I actually had to lift out of the gas there for a just a split second. It was fixing to get big there for just a second. So I was real happy to be that fast. I certainly was on a pole run up until that point."
ON THE TRACK CONDITIONS
"Well it was really hot this afternoon. It surprised me how warm it got. The track's in the same old condition; typical good condition. It feels like that Goodyear has brought just an absolutely incredible race tire. In race trim, the car almost feels like you're in qualifying trim; so much stick. The cars really drive good. They're fast. They really drive good. We'll learn more tomorrow but we're very pleased with our car in race trim today."
YOU'VE STRUGGLED RECENTLY AT PLACES LIKE RICHMOND AND DARLINGTON, WHICH ARE NORMALLY VERY GOOD FOR YOU. IS THERE SOMETHING DIFFERENT GOING ON WITH THE TEAM OR IS IT JUST A MATTER OF HAVING A BAD WEEK OR TWO?
"No, it's been more than just those two races. We've been a little off on speed in another couple of races as well, but we got really good finishes. And so it kind of covered that up. But we've been off a little bit. Things change in the garage. Little things change. The tires have changed. We've got a spoiler instead of a wing. There are a number of things that change and then the competition steps their game up. And we just don't feel like that if we put everything exactly like we had it last year, that we would be competitive right now. There's enough changes in the tire and the aero and in the competition. We're working to find some of our speed back that has gotten away from us. We started off the year pretty good, but it seems like some of it has slipped away. And to be real honest with you, we got some of it back last week at Darlington. We just didn't look like it. But we got a portion of it back last week and it looks to us like we may have another portion of it back this week and we will continue to work until we find the magic combination."
DO YOU FEEL THE CHANGE FROM THE WING TO THE SPOILER HAS HELPED YOUR PROGRAM OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE TO WORK ON TO GET IT WHERE YOU WANT IT?
"It just made the change. Some guys have benefitted and fell into the right combination and some haven't. It's a great rule. It looks like a traditional race car. For me, I'm glad to see it. And there are all kinds of things. Things change. They always change. Competition is always a moving target. It doesn't matter. The tires are different, the aero is different, and the competition is moving forward. You have to move forward."
-source: gm racing