Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and has one Cup victory at Richmond International Raceway. He spoke about a number of issues prior to Friday's practice session. MARK ...
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and has one Cup victory at Richmond International Raceway. He spoke about a number of issues prior to Friday's practice session.
MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE YOU'RE AT RIGHT NOW? "I feel real good. These guys have done a great job on our AAA Fusion and I've been able to drive really fast cars and things have gone well."
RUMORS ARE ALREADY STARTING ABOUT NEXT YEAR AND WHICH DRIVERS WILL BE WHERE. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE NOT BEEN IN THAT SITUATION? "I've never have had to deal with it, so I couldn't tell you. I know in 1982 I didn't have a sponsor and that was bad. In 1983 I didn't have a good car to drive and that was bad. Then I got fired, so compared to that it's been real good."
CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT YEAR TO YEAR? "It's something I can't relate to. I've been with Jack Roush for 19 years and we've had our difficulties and our challenges and our problems, but they haven't been known as those other things."
WHAT ABOUT CHARLOTTE TEST AND THE REPAVING JOB? "I think the surface is gonna be OK. It should be a lot better in five years, but I think it'll be OK the first time out."
WHAT ABOUT MAYBE AS MANY AS 11 PIT STOPS DURING THAT RACE? "I kind of think that's ridiculous, but it is what it is."
WILL DRIVERS HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR DRIVING STYLE FROM BEFORE AT CHARLOTTE? "That's not hard. You do whatever you need to do to make your car work as good as you can. That won't be any problem. It's a nice paving job and the track is gonna be OK the first time out of the gate I think."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TIRE FOR CHARLOTTE? "As far as I know it's not something we've used before, but I couldn't tell you. It's not really a major deal. The tire is a little bit too conservative -- just a little -- but things have a tendency to change sometimes. If it changed towards being more aggressive, then it would be just right. Whereas if it was just right and it changed towards being more aggressive, then we would have a disaster on our hands. I think Goodyear has done a great job and the pavers did a great job. The race track will be the greatest track in the world in five years and it's a good one now. That's about the best compliment you can give a brand new paving job is that it's a good one now. It's not bad. It's one of the better for new pavement that I think we've experienced so far."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON REPAVING TALLADEGA? "I'm sure sorry that they're doing that, but it'll be alright. That's what they want to do. I'm not sure why. If it's my track, I wouldn't pave it. Nobody was complaining about it being a problem. It'll be alright. It's not a major deal. It won't change things as much as it will on most tracks, but that will just make it easier to run five cars wide. We need to discourage instead of encourage."