Martinsville: Martin post-race interview

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd) WHAT WAS THAT RACE LIKE? "We had such a great race car. I know we've won here twice, but that is the best race car I've ever had here. Unfortunately, Jeff Gordon and those guys were a little...

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 3rd)

WHAT WAS THAT RACE LIKE?

"We had such a great race car. I know we've won here twice, but that is the best race car I've ever had here. Unfortunately, Jeff Gordon and those guys were a little bit better there at the end and I used my car up trying to stay ahead of him. By the time he got by me I was about out of brakes and I didn't have anything left to race Kasey with. But with 50 to go I think it was a legitimate shot to win the race and I'm honored to be driving for such a great race team in my salute tour year. It's really special."

DID THE SECOND GROOVE EVER COME IN?

"The second groove today, probably because I had the best race car I've ever had here, it wasn't bad. It wasn't great. I would give it an average grade. I'd say it was about average for all race tracks, so that's not bad. I know my car was really good. On the restarts I could pass the lapped cars on the outside. You couldn't really do a competitive pass for the lead or something, I don't think, around the outside. But, all in all, I thought the track was pretty good today. It balled up some rubber on the race track and got a little bit tough to negotiate, but that was the same for everybody. I feel like the track did pretty good today."

WHEN YOU PASSED THE 40 AND THE 40 AND 9 GOT IN THE BACK OF YOU, DID THAT COST YOU SECOND PLACE AND MIGHT IT HAVE COST YOU ONE LAST SHOT AT JEFF?

"I think Jeff was a little too strong for us. What we had done there trying to hold Jeff back, I knew that was the race - between Jeff and I at the time. Before the caution came out I actually pulled away from Jeff a little bit, so I thought I might be able to beat him. At that point, I really thought I had a good shot to win the race and I just hammered the heck out of the brakes and really about used them up. It was pretty tight quarters when the three of us got into turn one down there. That was racin'. I'm glad I straightened it out. I feel honored and blessed to have a sponsor for the last six years that has been so fantastic and to drive for Pat Tryson and these guys in my last year. That means more to me than I can ever tell you. To go out with 20-25 laps to go and have a legitimate shot to win the race at Martinsville, which is not my strong suit, bodes well for what's coming up this year for us."

DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN BUSCH AND GORDON?

"I didn't see that."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon