Dover: Martin, Roush press conference

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus Well, I do love this race track, and Jack and I love this race track. We came here a lot of times and ran really fast a lot of times and seemed to blow a lot of tires out and test the walls out, tried to moved...

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus

Well, I do love this race track, and Jack and I love this race track. We came here a lot of times and ran really fast a lot of times and seemed to blow a lot of tires out and test the walls out, tried to moved them a few times. In the late '90s we really finally started to get the final results here that we felt that we deserved. We'd always had fast race cars here. There was a lot of pressure on me to win this race today, from a lot of different directions. First of all, my son, Matt, won his race last night in his Ford F-150 truck down in Florida. So, he likes to have a friendly competition with me. He figures if he could do it, I should be able to do it. That's a pretty good weekend for the Martin family. It's a pretty big deal for him and certainly this is an incredible team effort by everybody on the Viagra team and everybody at Roush Racing. Man, it's an honor to drive for people who love you. I love working with Pat Tryson and my whole team, Wally Brown and Todd Ziegler and all these guys that work on that 6 car. Our point standings don't reflect anything like what our team has performed like this year. This is good, this is good. We still can make the top 10 at the cut if we can keep the bad luck behind us now. We have had the worst luck of any racer that I know of this year. So, today, it was our day for it all to go our way, instead of it going against us."

YOU SEEMED TO WORK YOUR AWAY AROUND ALL THE TROUBLE.

"There was a lot of strategy played here and it all worked, which it doesn't seem to usually do that. My deal started yesterday, the final lap of practice yesterday, Morgan blew up going into one and I was right behind him in the oil and slid right to the wall, with my favorite race car, and almost hit the wall, and then almost hit Morgan. And so just avoiding that was a huge thing, because then we still had our favorite car in one piece for today. And then the race started and the car was okay. We didn't make hardly any adjustments to the car all day, and as the race track took rubber and started biting, our car just got better and better. And that's partly the experience I have here and partly Pat Tryson and the team putting the right stuff in there. Our communication was good, and we strategized throughout the race and one of them was right before the big wreck, we had to start at the tail end of the longest line and the other three guys on the lead lap were up front, so I said we'll never get to 'em. Here's no use in getting in a hurry here, let's just miss the wreck, because if there's a caution we can get up there and race them for it. And if there's not, we'll probably never reach 'em because we got all these lapped cars in between us, so it's important to miss the wreck, and sure enough, there it was. We almost got in it anyway, and we were watching for it. And then as far as the oil, whatever happened to Kasey, I never saw anything on the race track. I was running about two feet lower on the race track than he was. My left-side tires were touching the apron when I went in the corner, and I never saw anything or felt anything. That's just a stroke of luck. I bet you if Pat had've pitted me and put new tires on me right there, I'd have hit the oil and crashed. Everything worked out in our favor, and believe me, we were due, because things have worked against us so much for so long."

YOU WON THE FASTEST RACE AT DOVER AND NOW THE SLOWEST (BECAUSE OF ALL THE CAUTIONS).

"I don't remember 1999 (laughs). But I do have the trophy and that's really a good thing, and to have another one means so much to me. Arlene, my wife, and Matt weren't able to be here, but they did go racing last night and they had their family there. This is a real team effort and a real team win. Everybody at Roush Racing has put an awful lot into all these race teams and it feels good to see the 6 car get back to where we can run up front. It's the team. It's these guys. They're doing the work."

HOW GOOD DOES THIS FEEL?

"I can't describe it. That feeling has already kind of started to wore off. I couldn't believe it. I had so many things go wrong with opportunities go by that I couldn't believe that it was going to work out for us. I couldn't believe I was going to beat Tony. Listen: Tony outran me the first half the race, then at the end he had new tires and I didn't. I knew I had my work cut out for me and I knew that I was probably going to get my heart broke. We got our heart broke last week at Charlotte, running this well. All I could do was stand up in the seat, and I guess turned the fastest lap of the race for me right there at the end. I said yeah. It was either lose or get it done, and I didn't want to lose. It means an enormous amount. I dedicated my whole life to racing and winning is why I race. So, when you don't win, it's pretty difficult. I want to tell you guys one thing, though. You know, I was really, really excited, but I don't know how to do a burnout, and I ain't gonna do one. So, I just hurried up and got to victory lane so I could see my guys who made it all happen. I'm going to leave that for the young ones. I was excited enough to do one, but I would either hit the wall, or wreck my car, or do something, or kill it, kill the engine and not even get the tires spinning. You know, something stupid like that would happen or I'd do something stupid like that, so I had to forego the burnout thing. I was really excited to get in there and see their face. That's what it's all about. They make so many sacrifices for this, and it really means a lot to me to see that energy and excitement in their face, reward."

ON THE WRECK.

"I got stopped. I did have time. There was nowhere to go. I mean the track was totally blocked, and I stopped completely, dead still, and waited until some of the track cleared. And that was the only way I would've been ablt to get through it. Obviously, because Newman, we had already pitted when Newman did his deal, that caught us a lap down, but we were running the first car a lap down, so we got the Lucky Dog, and then had to start at the tail end of the longest line. To me, it just didn't make any sense to go for it because there was something like 60 laps to go and I felt like with all those lapped cars in between us and those good cars going to be up front, I'd probably never have a chance to gain a a spot here, I just need to hope I miss the wreck, but I expect it's gonna happen, and then go racing, when I can get up there with them. That's what we did. It was a lucky break. You know, I'm not smart. You could say that I was smart, but that wasn't rains, that was luck, you know, to make that call."

ON WORKING WITH PAT TRYSON.

"I just like working with him. What I like about Pat is I have not had to tell him twice. When I drive that car and I tell him to fix something on it, it gets done. When I do that, it's the last time we discuss it until we go to the track again and it does it again. And then we have to have another discussion. When that car does whatever it is and I say, 'You got to fix that,' next time we go to the race track it's something else we need to work on, it's not that. I really like that. He's very aggressive, and he is a gutsy-call guy. If you'll look at his history of the races he's won, they've all been through gutsy calls. It's good. And my whole team has turned the corner. There are some guys there who were there last year and suffered through a lot of things, and we have some new people, but the chemistry was just awesome from January testing on, and I knew that we had a shot to get things back going. The chemistry is really good within the team. Each and every one of them will do whatever it takes to get it done, and they're getting it done."

THE WRECK REPORT SAID YOU WERE INVOLVED IN THE WRECK. BUT, OTHER THAN STOPPING, NOTHING ELSE?

"That was it. I just was parked behind it all."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., SAID YOU WERE A PURE RACER, OUT THERE TO WIN, AND NOT IN IT FOR THE MONEY.

"I appreciate Junior saying that. He knew me when I was young and he was knee high. I went to Dale, Sr.'s house in January of 1982, and you can do the math, he was little. I've known him, not closely, but I've known him since. I saw him there, so I think Junior knows, he's kind of watched me, watched me race against his dad, and then got a chance to race against me, and I think he knows me and kind of knows who I am what I'm made of and he probably knows that as far as that goes, his dad and I shared something in common, and it's all about the racing, for me."

ON A "BIG WRECK" AT DOVER.

"That's the first time I've seen one here. That was a big one. I don't know what happened. I was so far behind it, I couldn't tell you. But I know they were sure wadded up down there when I got there. It seemed like the race track, it's not even black now. It never really seemed to take rubber today. I don't know if it was because it was overcast or what, but the race track was more difficult to get, it was really fast, but when the grip would break loose it would break away really like ice. And the high groove never really came in. I don't think that people got to running up at the top part of the race track like they have the last few times. When you had a re-start with all those cars a lap down, some of which were in front of the leader, anybody who's been in racing very long knows that they're probably gonna wreck."

YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT THE SEASON BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED. IS THIS HOW YOU FIGURED THE TEAM WOULD COME TOGETHER?

"I realy had hoped so. And this could still have a Cinderella story to it because of the point system being changed. Otherwise, it would already be a bust because of bad luck. No poor performances. I was so excited about the Daytona 500, one of the most excited I've ever been. We had a great car at Martinsville, we had an incredible car last week at Charlotte. We've had some good cars this year that we didn't get to finish the job off with because of malfunctions. And so maybe there's a silver lining to this points thing. If we can continue to run like we're running now and we can have good fortune from now until Richmond, we might be able to make that top-10 cut. And if we do that then we'll be tied for first."

DO YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH THE WAY NASCAR DELAYED THE RE-STARTS, THUS SLOWING DOWN THE RACE?

"I think they did the best they could under the circumstances. They were really caught in a bad situation there, with Ryan being the last of the top leaders to pit and doing what he did. It was a very confusing thing and I think that they did the best that they could. Every once in a while you get caught in a circumstance that is real awkward and real hard to sort out and I think that they were trying to make sure that they did the right thing there."

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO KASEY KAHNE OR ANOTHER YOUNG DRIVER WHO IS COMING INTO THE SERIES?

"Kasey's going to win tons of races. I'm sure he's incredibly disappointed. He sure had a car today to get it done, but his time will come, and many times. He's got to do what we did last week. He's got to say we'll go win at Pocono. That's what we did at Charlotte. My guys just said, hey, we'll just go win Dover, and they did."

IT SEEMS LIKE IT TAKES NASCAR A LONG TIME TO RESOLVES SCORING ISSUES AFTER CAUTIONS. IS IT WORTH REMEMBERING THAT THIS ALL GOES BACK TO NOT RACING BACK TO THE YELLOW? IS THE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS WORTH THE SCORING HASSLES?

"The safety is worth the scoring hassles. And the scoring hassles are not regular. They happen from time to time. They were caught in a really tough situation with Ryan spinning into the pit wall there today. Being one of the last leaders to pit was just a whole can of worms. They did the best they could today, and it's all in the name of safety, and it could make a huge difference in someone's well-being at some point in time. I support it."

ON HIS SON, MARK'S, VICTORY.

"It was Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, Florida. The fast truck series. And he races in the fast kids division, which is 12- to 16-year-old kids in that division. That was his third win, but that was a big one because his uncle and family and grandparents and everybody were there to see him do it, and he did it in fine fashion, too. He had to work for it, had to race real hard for it. They had a lot of fun. It was an exciting phone call to get last night."

JACK ROUSH, owner

"It was classic Mark Martin at Dover. He loves this place. He can't wait to get to Dover from one time we're here to the next. In the early years, he had such great passion and such great enthusiasm for it, he probably didn't have the experience to know how to keep the tire on it and keep the car underneath him, so he self-destructed a few times. I think those would be his words. But today he obviously used his years and used his experience and all of his skill when it came time for him to stand on the gas with tires that were older and for that reason should not have been as good as the tires behind, he reached down and got some speed out of the car that I don't think anybody could've gotten but Mark. At the same time, he was wary. He had a feeling of foreboding whenever he was caught in the back there and he held back. When he was Kasey's age or Kurt Busch's age he wouldn't have done that, I'm sure he would've been right up in the middle of it. I can remember some times when we were in the middle of some of the things that happened before. This was the best of the best with Mark at Dover. I look forward to coming back here with him several more times, or many more times. As many times as he'll come, as he'll stay with me, and I'm sure that he can do this some more, but Dover's one of his favorite places.

"This is the first victory that Mark's had since I hurt myself in 2002. I was absent without leave at Charlotte when he won and I don't know if he ever totally forgave me for that, but I gave them all a big scare and I'm glad to be back."

ON HIS OTHER TEAMS.

"As always, when I go to bed tonight I'll have a corner of my mouth smiling about the win, but I'll have a huge frown on my face and I'll have trouble getting to sleep because of the missed opportunities we had. Matt Kenseth was caught up in the same problem, apparently, that Kasey had where there was oil on the track and the area of the track where was running, and he was racing the 23 at the time and the spotter didn't tell him that there was a reason to believe there was oil. For that matter, I don't think, the crises' were not simultaneous and I think that the spotter probably didn't tell him that Kasey had wrecked in front of him. So, Matt was caught with his guard down and just raced right into the crash, and that was unfortunate. Kurt Busch was caught up in it with a pretty good car, although not as good of a car that Mark or Matt had. And what about Jeff Burton? Man, he had a great day. Jeff just raised up to it. He's under a lot of pressure, too. We're looking for a sponsor, and there's been some questions about what we're doing together and what his team's doing. I'm glad for Bob Osborne and for all the guys on that team that have stayed with Jeff and stayed with me, and look forward to going to some of the places that Jeff likes. I can't wait to get to Loudon with him. Greg Biffle had a frustrating day. The car was not perfect for him. Of course, he crashed in qualifying and didn't get much practice time, and he struggled all day. And the cautions when they came were just at the wrong time for him. So, he'll have to wait and race another day. There's not much I can do to fix that. The best thing about my race here today with Mark is, of course, we won. But the next best thing is we didn't break a darn part. Breaking parts are the things I take responsibility for, and I won't have to worry about broken parts tonight, just missed opportunities on the race track."

ARE YOUR WINS WITH MARK MORE SPECIAL NOW?

"Every day with Mark Martin is special for me. We've been through so much together. I started racing with Mark when I was 44 and he was 28, and I didn't know near enough about what I was trying to do, and he knew more than I did to start with, but he had some things to learn, too. But we've grown up together and I learned a lot from Mark, and every day I get a chance to go to the race track with Mark, that's a special day. I will not look forward to his retirement day."

BETWEEN THE CARL EDWARDS SITUATION LAST WEEK AND MATT KENSETH GETTING CAUGHT UP IN OIL THAT NASCAR DIDN'T APPARENTLY SEE IN TIME, ARE OFFICIALS FACING CREDIBILITY ISSUES RIGHT NOW?

"When they said there was no yellow light and there was, that certainly got my attention. I didn't know for a fact that there had been a yellow light, but Carl told me that there had, and then later I heard from several other drivers who didn't say there might've been, they said that there was, and I knew it was just a matter of none of the film picked it up or somebody hadn't looked hard enough to find it. It turned out that Carl was the guy that unearthed it. He went back into all the film at the studio and found it, and, of course, told me about it, and I told Mike Helton about it, and, of course, they went back and agreed that it was there, too. It's just a bad time. I don't know if there's anybody but me that's had a traffic ticket. I haven't had one in about three years, but when I get one I generally get three pretty quick. And, NASCAR's had a set of circumstances here that they couldn't have planned for that had just not worked out the best.

"It's unfortunate for Kasey and unfortunate for Dodge and for Evernham that they missed the chance to get that yellow out sooner, and of course for Matt, but Matt wasn't going to be able to do what Kasey was doing. That was unfortunate and I'm sure they'll try to learn from that and do better next time."

CAN YOU GIVE AN UPDATE ON WHAT THE SPONSOR UPDATE IS WITH THE 99 CAR?

"The fact is that we have a sponsor that's ready to sign today, and as soon as NASCAR decides that they've got room for the category, in the sponsor arena, for NEXTEL Cup, then we'll be good, and I'm waiting for that ruling, and I expect to hear in the next week or two."

WHAT KIND OF PROGRESS, BASED ON WHAT YOU SAW TODAY, DO YOU SEE FOR JEFF BURTON AND NEW CREW CHIEF BOB OSBORNE?

"They're doing great. Every race, they take apart and analyze the things gone right and gone wrong, and of course commit themselves not to let the things go wrong happen again. Either they had something wrong with the car that broke right when they changed tires last time or they didn't get enough air in the tires. I can't wait to get back and take that apart and see what really happened. But, they've been making reasonable calls together, they've had better cars than what we've had before in recent history for Jeff, and the sky's the limit. Bob Osborne is bright. He's got an engineering background. He's very much the same kind of background as Matt Borland, and over time I expect the same kind of success for them."

-ford-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Mike Helton , Mark Martin