MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed progress at the race team, racing at Indianapolis, media reports on his future plans and other topics. WAS LAST YEAR THE CLOSEST...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed progress at the race team, racing at Indianapolis, media reports on his future plans and other topics.
WAS LAST YEAR THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE BEEN TO A WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS?: "It was close. We were close here also one other year. We pitted for fuel when we might could have made it. That was really close. We were in pretty good shape for that one, but were marginal on gas. It was a great run for us last year, really awesome."
IS THIS RACE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?: "You know what, I don't have a bucket list. I've already done everything that anybody could ever ask to do."
WHAT DO YOU THINK WE MAY SEE FROM YOU THIS WEEKEND?: "We've been off lately. We hope that we'll be stronger than we have been. I felt like we made progress in Chicago although the results maybe didn't quite show it. I think we're really heading in the right direction and certainly would like to use this one this weekend to be a spring board for getting where we were last year as far as where we stack on the heap. We're working really hard to get there."
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO RACE MORE AGGRESSIVE NOW THAN 10 YEARS AGO?: "There is more cars, more equal cars. There was just a handful 10 years ago and now there's 35."
DO YOU HAVE TO PUSH IT HARDER TO GET THE WINS?: "I won five races last year and didn't push harder than I ever had in the past. I don't find to get the wins you have to push harder. It's just the racing itself. When you're racing all the time. For me, getting the wins, I had the car to do it and when I had the car to do it that was it. When you're in the middle of the pack is when it really shows, that's when you have to fight like a dog."
HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT SOMETHING IN THE LAST WEEKS TO GET BACK ON TOP?: "There's no doubt in my mind that we started turning a corner at Loudon (N.H.), but the results still aren't or haven't quite shown it. We definitely made gains in Chicago and hope that we will continue those here. It looks like we have. I can't tell you how hard this race team is working and how hard we're going to be working as a team over the next six weeks to try to get back on top."
DID OTHERS CATAPULT AHEAD?: "No, thing have changes. It is that other teams have started getting it together. Last year with Childress and some of the guys. It's also that things have changed and we haven't found the magic. It's just like you kind of scrambled everything up with the changes to the tires and the changes to the bodies and aero stuff. We haven't found the magic combination yet."
ON STRUGGLING COMING TO INDIANAPOLIS: "I don't know how it's different. The approach doesn't change, it's the same. You go out and make your best effort just like we did last year. That's what we'll do this year as well. No difference in the approach."
WHY IS BRISTOL SUCH A SPECIAL TRACK FOR YOU?: "Bristol is the most exciting race track I think that we race on. It's action-packed, it always has been and I think certainly since I've been driving NASCAR been one of the most exciting races to watch. Sparks fly there."
HAVE YOU FIGURED THINGS OUT WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA?: "I don't disagree with him, I need to drive smart. Anybody that knows me that well knows I'm not that bright."
HAVE YOU TALKED WITH MONTOYA?: "By text. We're good. Two hot heads that came off the handle. People just didn't know I was a hot head."
DID THE SITUATION AT CHICAGO COME ABOUT BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT RUNNING AS WELL?: "No, that's completely wrong. It had 100 percent to do with the circumstances that happened there after the race. Actually I was pleased with my finish at Chicago. Certainly wasn't frustrated. I was pleased with our finish and our effort. I lost my temper."
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO BRAD KESELOWSKI AND CARL EDWARDS?: "I'm not going to get involved in that one."
DOES IT CONCERN YOU WHEN THEIR DISPUTE WRECKS OTHER CARS AS IT DID IN ST. LOUIS?: "Only if it's my car that gets wrecked. We wreck these race cars, always have, but we wreck them more than we used to and we need to not do that. I'm not a fan of tearing race cars up for nothing or for no reason."
ARE DRIVERS MORE AGGRESSIVE BECAUSE DRIVERS HAVEN'T GOTTEN HURT IN SOME TIME?: "No, that wasn't it. It wasn't that."
ON THE FORMULA 1 POSSIBILITY: "Jeff Burton has been working on me for quite some time. He came to me back in March and seriously approached me about being my agent on the F1 thing. So he is my agent on that so you'll have to talk to him about what my plans are."
ON FUTURE PLANS: "I made myself perfectly clear last weekend or over the last several weeks. There is no inclination of any change, but I will tell you this -- there is no road map for me and my future. So don't even start to think about criticizing what I do in 2012 or beyond because I don't know so don't even ask what I want to do because I don't know. I'm going to do what I want to do, but for now I'm going to drive the 5 car. That's what I'm going to do in 2011. That's what I've said all along and I felt very disrespected when the media doesn't accept that. What that means is that you made me look like I am about to get fired. That's very disrespectful, guys. That's what you all are doing. It's very disrespectful and I deserve better than that from you guys. I've always been as straight as I can be and any little bit of waffling that I have done in my whole career was based on being asked questions before I was ready to answer them. I should be able to do the things that I want to do. I went to a limited schedule because I wanted to. I came back full time because I wanted to drive the 5 car. I never said I was going to retire. I said I wasn't going to run full schedule anymore and I changed my mind. I'm going to have a hard time telling you guys what I'm going to do in 2012 and beyond because you pick at that like I'm indecisive. I'm at the point in my career where I get to do whatever in the heck I want to do. Rick Hendrick and Alan Gustafson (crew chief) indicated to me that they wanted me to drive their car as long as I would drive it. After thinking about it, I told them I would drive it through 2011 and that would be long enough commitment for me and then I would do something else. They wanted me to go further than that and I wouldn't do it because it's too far out. I don't have a road map and I don't want to change my mind. I just want to do what I said I was going to do. That's what we're going to do, that's what they want, that's what I want and I don't know why everybody makes such a big deal out of all this. Understand that it will all be put to rest whenever they announce what Kasey (Kahne) is going to do and I understand that, but you should be focusing on that. What is Kasey going to do? Because I have told you what I'm going to do."
ARE YOU STILL HAVING AS MUCH FUN IN THE RACE CAR?: "Last year was the time of my life, but I just had a week and a half off and I'm damn glad to be back at the race track. Just like I told you last year, racing is my life and I don't know what I'll do if I was to ever lose that. I'm not going to lose that anytime soon, it is my life. It is what I want to do and I'm happy to be here at the Brickyard and be surrounded with my team and my guys and fixing to strap in a race car. You can speculate all you want, but when you ask me a question and I give you my best, honest answer and you second guess me and you second guess me and you second guess me, I start to get tired of it. That's where we're at. It's very disrespectful. It really made me feel like it's very disrespectful."
-source: gm racing