MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed the Daytona 500 winner, upcoming changes to the Cup car and other topics. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS COMING OUT OF DAYTONA AND RACING AT AUTO ...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed the Daytona 500 winner, upcoming changes to the Cup car and other topics.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS COMING OUT OF DAYTONA AND RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND?: "We had a great race out here the last time out here. It was a really fun race for us, we had a really strong car and a great run. I'm excited about getting back out and racing again out here. The race track was just fantastic. Last time we were out here we were able to run all over the race track, all kinds of different grooves and it was just great for racing. I'm ready to go and can't wait to get started here today."
IS JAMIE MCMURRAY'S WIN IN THE DAYTONA 500 A POPULAR WIN AND HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO HIM?: "It is. I think it's a very popular win in our sport for everyone. I'm really happy for Jamie (McMurray) and he should bask in it and all those guys, it was cool for (Chip) Ganassi (team owner) and Felix (Sabates, team owner), Teresa (Earnhardt, team owner) and everyone. It was a very popular win and well deserved for a guy who has endured his share of disappointment and kept working."
HOW DOES GETTING A SLOW START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON IMPACT A RACE TEAM?: "It's an additional challenge. You have all your challenges that are more than enough as is just from the competition side of things. But it is a challenge. It's a challenge that can be met and dealt with and overcome, but it requires a little bit different approach maybe than some of the other challenges you face. One of those aspects to that is the mental challenge of how you let that affect or how you react to everything. Driver, crew member, crew chief -- every individual. How you deal with that challenge can affect your performance because of how you react to every situation. If you race long enough, you're met with every kind of challenge. I prefer doing it the other way. We tried to keep the rudder steady and Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and I tried to keep our chin up and keep our leadership in place for everyone to see. We did have fast race cars and that gave us optimism in itself."
DO YOU FEEL YOU INSPIRE DRIVERS TO CONTINUE TO COMPETE AS THEY GET OLDER AS LONG AS THEY ARE PHYSICALLY FIT?: "I think that Ron Hornaday and myself and John Force definitely have given hope to a lot of race car drivers that aren't ready to give it up yet for sure. It presents it's own set of challenges physically fit side of it certainly is one of the challenges that can be met with, but there are other challenges that are much tougher. Having sponsors behind you who want to make longer term deals with younger, up-and-coming guys. There's a lot of other challenges other than just wheeling the car. Sometimes that pressure is what gets you. Also, if you've been very successful, sometimes it's a challenge for people to have the fire that is required to be willing to do whatever it takes to be competitive. There's a lot more to it than just meeting the numbers."
DO YOU FIND THAT SPONSORS ARE TOUGHER TO GET FOR OLDER DRIVERS?: "Oh yeah. Absolutely."
HOW IS THE PRESSURE OF A SLOW START TO THE SEASON DIFFERENT WHEN NOTHING IS WORKING?: "When I've been in a hole before and been searching, I didn't win out as well over things. That was also when I was younger and maybe not as mentally tough or mentally fit as today. When you're not running good, that's the worst for a race car driver or a crew chief. That's a lot worse than having bad luck. Because you don't know how to fix it so that one is the toughest one of all is when you're not able to perform at the level that you should be able to and you can't get it and you don't know why. It will come if you keep digging, but sometimes it's pretty brutal."
HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE DO YOU FEEL ADAPTING TO THE SPOILER WILL BE THIS SEASON?: "I don't know how much it will change things and how much of a complexion change. It is a change, whether it will change the complexion of racing and competition, we will have to see yet, I'm not sure."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE TESTING ADDED WITH THE CHANGES COMING TO THE RACE CARS AND WHAT ARE YOU NOT ALLOWED TO DO IN YOUR FIRST GODADDY.COM COMMERCIAL?: "Honestly, no I don't want to see more testing and I'm not sure that you have a completely clear vision of putting on a good show. Sometimes when you mix things up you put on a better show. You see different people excel. You're looking at the glass half full, that's what I used to do. I say it's an opportunity for excitement and no we don't need more testing. We don't need comfort level, we're big boys, we go to the race track, we work on these things, we figure them out, we race the hell out of them on Sunday and I think the show stands to benefit from a change and a lack of testing. That's my opinion. She (Arlene Martin) didn't tell me that I couldn't take my shirt off."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW THINGS WILL CHANGE FOR SOME DRIVERS WHO ARE EXPECTING THEIR FIRST CHILDREN?: "For everyone who has experienced it, it is the ultimate experience in life. I was a little concerned for a long time because we had so many young drivers coming into the sport and so few little ones coming in. For me, at this stage in my life, I realize how important it is and what a thrill and excitement or how exciting it is. It's exciting for me to see for so many to be starting or adding to their families."
-source: gm racing