Fontana II: Mark Martin preview

CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-595 for Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. This chassis never has been raced or tested. MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON RETURNING...

CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-595 for Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. This chassis never has been raced or tested.

MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON RETURNING TO AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY.): "When we raced in Fontana in February, our car was really, really good. We led some laps and had a strong weekend out there and finished fourth. Since then, we've gone from the wing back to the spoiler, and that, obviously, threw a wrench in our performance this year. But I really see improvement in this team. We got some things figured out at Dover (Del.) a few weeks ago. And then, after starting from the rear in Kansas, we had a very strong race car and drove up to another top 15 finish. We're still not where we want to be, but we're getting closer. Hopefully that will continue to improve this weekend, and we can get another showing like we did earlier this year."

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON RETURNING TO AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY.): "I go into every weekend thinking of how we need to improve. Really with California, the way the two races are spread out, you think more about what you did at Michigan because they're very similar tracks. You rate what you had at Michigan and try to improve on that going back to California. A lot has changed since our last race there. California was so long ago, it's almost like two different seasons. We do feel like what we ran there in February was solid, and we'll play off of that. But, like I said, we'll correlate more to Michigan than California. We weren't real strong in either race at Michigan this year, so we'll use what we learned from that and try to apply that to California's setup from February."

GUSTAFSON (ON HOW THE SWITCH FROM THE WING TO THE SPOILER HAS CHANGED THINGS.): "No one really knows how much the spoiler versus the wing affects anything. It's tough to quantify even if you went back with everything the same except the spoiler. The track has aged. Teams have improved. You can't get a good evaluation on it that way. We've run it enough now; we're just past all of the figuring out stages. This is about the last situation left where we can say we ran the wing there in the spring. So it really doesn't factor into anything anymore. We have enough info on the spoiler now that we need to take that info and go forward."

GUSTAFSON (ON THE TEAM'S RECENT IMPROVEMENTS.): "I think we're making gains. We're going in the right direction, and we need to just steadily chip away at it. You'd like to make a huge jump, but it's unrealistic to think that way. That's tough to do. We've improved the last two weeks. Our pit crew has improved greatly over the last seven or eight weeks. The difficulty on Fridays the last two weeks has hindered us, but we've still been able to overcome that and get good finishes. It's nice to be able to overcome that. We just need to take that next step. We've been in the top 15 and now we need to move that into the top 10 over the next few weeks and try to upgrade from there."

-source: hendrick motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports