All eight Ford NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers participated in media day at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus DO YOU THINK THE FINAL 10 RACES SHOULD HAVE ALL KINDS OF RACING REPRESENTED? "I don't...
All eight Ford NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers participated in media day at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus
DO YOU THINK THE FINAL 10 RACES SHOULD HAVE ALL KINDS OF RACING REPRESENTED? "I don't think that's important really. I really don't. I think it's more important to create a stir and an atmosphere. I think it's more about entertainment than it is whether or not you need to have a road race or a restrictor plate race. To me, that's not at the top of the list. NASCAR is trying to make it more exciting and dramatic for the fans and I don't think it matters what size or shape the race tracks are nearly as much as if they can create that excitement."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE POINTS CHANGE? "I haven't changed the way I feel about it, I just realize that it doesn't matter how I feel. What's important is to go and race the system and try to take advantage of it. It's a waste of time for us to concern ourselves about what we do or don't like about it. What we need to do is figure out how we can win."
DO YOU HAVE OPTIMISM FOR THIS SEASON? "We have a lot to look forward to with the Viagra team. We have better cars, a new Taurus and the Ford power is gonna be awesome. Everything seems really good right now with Pat Tryson and my crew. They're fresh and excited and we have a lot to look forward to. There are no guarantees on these results, so we'll have to see how that all plays out."
MATT WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP. DOES THAT GIVE YOU GUYS A LIFT THAT IT CAN HAPPEN? "I don't think so. I'm happy for Robbie Reiser and Matt Kenseth and especially happy for Jack Roush, but that doesn't score points for us. We have to go and get the job done and it comes down to how potent our race team can be, how good the stuff that I drive is and how much luck we have on the race track."
THIS IS ONE RACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET ISN'T IT? "Obviously, yeah but all races are that way. I have never really put this race above any other race. You try to win them all and if you don't, you're a fool. We put every effort into this one and as soon as this one is over, we'll put every effort we have into the next one. That's how we do it week in and week out. I'd love to win this thing. It's a big trophy and a big check. It's something you could remember forever, but if you don't, you did your best and there's no use in crying about it."
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET READY FOR THE SEASON? "I don't know what the other guys do. I do the same thing I do every year all through the season. I train physically the same as I do when I'm racing and we work all the time. Getting ready to take care of our sponsors and take care of our team and getting all the pieces of the puzzle in order. That's what we do every year."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET TIME IN THE CAR DURING THE OFF SEASON? "That's not important at all. What's important is when you climb in that car how good is it? So therefore, it is sometimes important to get some track time to find out how things are working that you've been working on for the last eight weeks. Sometimes you work on stuff that really produces great results and sometimes you work on things that don't produce such great results and you need to find that out in January. But practice, I need no practice. I need a fast race car. Give me a fast race car and no practice and we'll have no problem. Give me all the practice in the world and a slow car and we've got problems."
HOW LITTLE CAN THE CHANGE BE TO TURN THINGS AROUND? "Very small. We've only had some real small changes within our team other than Pat Tryson. I love working with him. I'm excited about it. The other small changes we've had in our team really have made big differences. I see great pit stop practice, a great feeling of how everybody is excited and charged up for the season. We have better race cars than we had last year, better engines and right now our pit stops are better. That may not be enough because everybody else may have better stuff, too. We've made gains, but we have to put it out on the race track to find out how it really stacks up."
THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF CHANGES THIS YEAR. "It is a bigger change year than most and anytime there's change that means there is opportunity. There is opportunity to either do better or do worse, so I like it when there's opportunity - when there are new race tracks or changes within the rules because it's your opportunity to excel beyond the competition, but it's also an opportunity for you to fall behind, too."