MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd) HOW DID YOUR RACE GO? "I wasn't that upbeat about how we were running yesterday morning in the first session and I wasn't doing cartwheels after the second session, but I looked at the lap times...
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)
HOW DID YOUR RACE GO? "I wasn't that upbeat about how we were running yesterday morning in the first session and I wasn't doing cartwheels after the second session, but I looked at the lap times and the lap times looked pretty darn good. It's been so long since I've been competitive and I could see the front of the pack that I was cautious about being optimistic. But, sure enough, when the race got going I looked in the mirror and guys weren't coming. I was actually tracking some folks down from the front and our race team got the car better. We were the best we were all day (at the end) and that reminds me of the old days. They had some good pit stops and ran a good, hard fought race. I think we squeezed every ounce out of that piece that you could possibly squeeze out of it and I'm very proud of that. We've done that a few times in the last year, but sometimes that gave us a 19th-place finish, even though we rung everything out of it that was there."
IS THIS A TURNAROUND FOR YOUR TEAM? "I don't know. This is a good race today. Check with me after about 10 of these in a row and I'll tell you if it's a turnaround."
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ROUSH RACING HERE AT THIS TRACK? "We run good at other places too. It's a flat race track where handling is a premium and Roush Racing is full of drivers and crew chiefs who are at the top of their game when it comes to making cars handle and this is a handling race track. When we go to race tracks where handling doesn't matter, it's much more difficult for us."
DID TODAY'S RUN EASE THE PRESSURE FOR BEN LESLIE AND INCREASE THE CONFIDENCE BETWEEN YOU TWO? "Running sixth at Daytona was nice, but you and I both know that's not real racing. I mean, not the same kind of racing. That's four times a year racing, where this is 35 times a year racing here, so I should say that rather than real racing. It didn't really count in the book of recovery for us. I was happy to get it and we took whatever good PR we could from it, but then we went to Rockingham and raced all day as hard as we could go for 21st, so we weren't out of the woods yet. That's all I'm saying. This shows that we can go through the corners as good as other folks and, I'll be honest with you, that used to be my strong suit and I haven't seen that in a year. I haven't been able to run through the corners with these guys in a year, so I thought I forgot how but I'm gonna tell you something, that today was easy compared to what I had been doing. I'm telling you, that was easy compared to what I'd been doing. It's really hard back there in the pack."