Las Vegas: Martin - Friday media visit

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, strategy for qualifying based on weather forecast and other topics. TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD YOUR CAR...

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, strategy for qualifying based on weather forecast and other topics.

TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD YOUR CAR WAS AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY LAST YEAR: "We did, we didn't get to finish the race off, but we had a really strong run and it was our third race together last year here. We were pretty proud of the performance and feel like we learned a lot about things since then. About how I like the cars to drive and the team and I sort of know each other a lot better than we did a year ago. I'm looking forward to this. It's a great place to race and we're excited about it. It should be a great race here."

HOW WILL YOUR EFFORTS TOWARD QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE CHANGE WITH THE THREAT OF RAIN TOMORROW?: "It will have minor implications on the line-up of qualifying, how people qualify, but not major. Just minor. We did the same thing last week because the forecast was for rain Saturday. It throws us a little off of our regular routine, the way we do it at the five car. Everyone will be in race trim today in practice and then switch over. When you switch to qualifying trim you don't have much time and if you don't hit it right real quick then you'll be off a little in qualifying. It's the nature of the business."

DO YOU GIVE THE NEW FATHERS IN THE GARAGE ADVICE OR HOPE THEY FOCUS ON BEING FATHERS TO GIVE YOU MORE ADVANTAGE ON THE RACE TRACK?: "I don't think it gives me an advantage at all. It makes me kind of proud. We went a long time with very little little ones coming into the sport. That kind of felt strange to us that had been around and been a part of it for so long and had seen a steady growth of the families. It's good to see, it's good times. It's the best experience of anyone's life, bar none. I don't think they need any of my advice. They're really not that young, these guys that are having the kids. They're probably having them at a great time, when they've had a chance to mature a good bit themselves."

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM WINNING THE FIRST SPRINT CUP RACE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?: "I remember what springs were in the car, if you can believe that. I remember the springs and the sway bar that was in the car. We don't run springs like that anymore in these cars. I remember Jeff Burton making me earn it at the end. I remember after we won the race and did everything it was late when I finished up with all the media and all the stuff and it had gotten dark, not pitch dark, but had gotten a little darker. I took off in the helicopter to go to the airport and as it raised up to where I could see down and get a perspective from overhead, it hit me as to what we had accomplished. Before then, it could have been the quarter-mile dirt track back home because you were just doing one thing after another. I didn't really realize the magnitude of what it was that we had accomplished until I saw it from up in the air and looking down on it. I remember that moment and thinking, 'Wow, we just won this race in Las Vegas.'"

ARE THERE ANY YOUNG DRIVERS IN NATIONWIDE RIGHT NOW THAT YOU ARE WATCHING OR ARE IMPRESSED WITH?: "I think its obvious, very obvious -- the kid in the 99 (Trevor Bayne), he's awesome. I have an old age syndrome right now and forgot his name, but he's a part of the DEI (Dale Earnhardt Incorporated) development plan and I had a chance to get to know him when he was 16. He's a fine young man and an incredibly great driver. I don't really see, with the exception of him, I really don't see anything that's knocking me off my feet. Of course I saw Joey (Logano) at 10 so I knew it a long time, I saw it coming for a long, long time. I'm not out and about, I'm not seeing the 10-year olds race like I was at the time because I was racing with Matt (Martin, son) so I probably don't have my finger on the pulse quite as good as I did when I spotted Joey. I should reword that -- I didn't spot Joey when I saw Joey, I did not spot."

HOW HAVE THE TRACK WINNER'S CIRCLE APPEARANCES CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?: "It's changed a lot over the years. When we first started doing Winner's Circle you did it on Thursday before the race and you did some press stuff. You did whatever you did. You might do something fun with the media or something that would get the press together or something like that. Then over the years they changed that to if you agreed to doing it sometime before the track opened then you could do that. Today, you don't even have that choice and it's a whole different thing. It's a whole different set of things that you do. I wasn't on the Winner's Circle last year and I haven't done my first Winner's Circle appearance this year, but we're working on scheduling now. It's actually changed a good bit since I was on the Winner's Circle last and I don't remember when that might have been -- 2006 I guess. It's changed a lot since 2006 to be honest with you. If you want the correct information, Kendra (Jacobs, public relations) would give it to you much better than I would."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TRACK SURFACE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?: "This is a great place to race and the most age the asphalt gets on it, the better it is for the racing. Not particularly smooth, but doesn't need to be. Just needs to have some age on it so that you can race on the bottom or in the middle. Eventually, you'll be able to race up top, up by the wall as well as it continues to age. It's a real racy race track. It's fast, it's competitive, it's fun, you can pass here and it's a great venue for us. Fans like coming out here and so do the competitors. It's better than going to a race track that's out in the sticks, it's the opposite of that. This place is very, very strong on service. They're here to serve you and that is a pleasure. When you come to Las Vegas, it is a whole different feeling than when you go a lot of other places where you feel like you're a burden on folks. When we come here, the people are here and they want to know what they can do. That's what it's all about. That's what it does -- that's what Vegas does. I enjoy it here."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Trevor Bayne
Teams Dale Earnhardt Incorporated