MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd) "We did have a great car and it's such a privilege to drive for this race team and these race cars. I just can't tell you how lucky I am to be able to work with this Viagra team. It was a great...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"We did have a great car and it's such a privilege to drive for this race team and these race cars. I just can't tell you how lucky I am to be able to work with this Viagra team. It was a great race car tonight. It was really incredible on the long runs - a little bit short on the short runs - all the cautions at the end left us holding the short end of the stick, but we sure had the hammer on the long runs. I was hoping it would run all the way down, but the last two cautions really put the hurtin' on us and I'm thrilled to run third - thrilled to death. At the end of the race those guys - the 9 and the 38 - could run a little bit faster for a few laps on their tires than we could and I actually really thought Kasey Kahne was gonna get his first win, but Elliott Sadler just sat right up in the seat and got it done. He didn't have much time left and he drove that thing. He got the deal done. It was awesome."
YOUR TEAM IS GAINING MOMENTUM. WHAT DOES IT MEAN GOING TO RICHMOND?
"I don't know."
YOUR PHILOSOPHY FOR RICHMOND?
"It's been a big focus to make the top 10 since Daytona. Unfortunately, we only made eight laps and left there 43rd in the points, so it's really been an incredible uphill battle. We have had such a great race team and run so good so much this year, but, unfortunately, we've had a lot of things that happened to us that really set us back a long way. We've just had to battle our way back and I really don't have any comments beyond that. Check with me on Saturday night about midnight and I'll give you a statement about the points."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE FORMAT FOR THIS RACE, GOING FROM DAY TO NIGHT?
"It was incredibly hot out there, obviously. Everybody knows that. It was the slickest I had ever seen a race track this size and shape, and we, along with most others, were incredibly loose. No one knew how much the track was gonna tighten up and it really didn't tighten up that much, but it did tighten up enough so that once we got my car driveable in the heat we had to take some of that back out of the car at the end. But it didn't have the kind of personality swing that Charlotte does."
WHAT ABOUT THE SUN?
"It was pretty tough to see going down the backstretch. But, all in all, I think it was a good race. It certainly was from my standpoint."
ANY CHANGES ON THE LAST STOP AND WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY ON THE RESTART?
"We loosened the car up just barely with air pressure and hoped for a miracle. All throughout the race the 9 car would outrun me for 10 to 20 laps on new tires and then the 38 had a little bit, but, like I told you, he sat up in the seat and got it done at the end - Elliott Sadler did. We just didn't have time. My car just didn't shine on a 10-lap run."
DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE NEW LIFE NOW?
"The whole focus is on making the top 10 in points. The cars 15th through 10th are championship contending teams right now and if any of them make it, they will contend for that championship. I mean that. They all are capable of winning this championship. It's a dogfight to get in. If we don't get in, we'll just go win us some races. That's pretty good, too."