Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, went to the NASCAR hauler after the race. He spoke about the final restart. MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus "When you double-file restart these things and you put the lap-down cars on the ...
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, went to the NASCAR hauler after the race. He spoke about the final restart.
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus
"When you double-file restart these things and you put the lap-down cars on the inside for the sake of a show, things like that happen. I was on the lead lap all day and I restarted 15th but 30th on the race track. I wrestled the last-lap cars all day. The 24, the 19 and the 6 were all racing. If the caution would have come out, one of those three would have gotten a lap back and would have been back in the race."
ARE YOU FRUSTRATED? "I'm just disappointed because I think that the people in this sport know that I have a lot of integrity. I watched it on the tape and I didn't see anything. I'm a big fan of these guys. I'm a big fan of Jamie McMurray. I don't care who wins that race. I wanted to win the race. I was racing and I wasn't in anybody's way. I never got in anybody's way."
MORE ON THE RESTART. "I couldn't help it that the 9 and the 42 got side by side. That wasn't of my doing. I never held the 9 up. I left him the outside when he was there and when he wasn't there I used the race track."
THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU OFTEN - BEING CALLED TO THE TRAILER. "This is rare. I couldn't believe it when they said that, but they're taking that real serious. I hate it, but, like I said before, I didn't cause those guys to get side by side. Once they got side by side I was gonna be in somebody's way, but I never held the outside lane up - ever, ever, ever. I wouldn't do that."
JACK ROUSH , Car Owner - No. 17 DEWALT Taurus
WERE YOU SURPRISED TO GET CALLED TO THE TRAILER? "There was a lot going on in that trailer, let me tell you (laughing). I felt like more of an observer than a participant. I've got great respect for everybody that was on the race track - all the competitors. Chip Ganassi, Felix Sabates - they're two of my good friends and I respect them. They were at serious odds with NASCAR over the rule that exists about freezing the field. It wasn't a surprise to me that what happened to Matt's car - to the 17 car - that's the way the rule was. If they want a different rule, if the rule isn't what we think ought to be done, well then change the rule. Anyway, there are hard feelings over that and that probably overshadowed anything else. We went up and met John Darby and Mike Helton and the guys wanted Mark and I to look at the video and see how it developed. It was real clear from what Mark said he was doing and from what he did on the race track that he got out of the way as soon as the 9 got to him. It was unfortunate that the 9 and the 42 were racing side by side, but Mark pulled down - not off the race track - but pulled down out of the way of the 9 which was the first car that caught him. He was in line with the 9 and pulled down in such a way not to slow him down at all, but the 42 was impacted by the fact that there was a lead-lap down - who was Mark - that was down there. At the same time, you've got to realize that the 19 and the 24 were right behind the 42 and Mark was racing for position there. I feel bad for everybody that got their feelings hurt and this is one race in a 36-race schedule - and some of us want to think of it now as a 26-race schedule - it's one race in a big, long year. I don't want to make this sound wrong, but whether Matt won today or whether Jamie McMurray won or whether Kasey had his first win, I would have celebrated any of them. Any of it was fine. Whatever the rules are. Whatever the interpretation is, it's just fine. But for there to be a question whether Mark tried to benefit Matt, that is out of order. This is my 17th year with Mark and he doesn't block anybody or get anybody's way and never has for all those years. For a question to be raised about whether he was intentionally in the way of somebody, Mark Martin is a guy that's never in anybody's way."
THE OBJECTION SEEMS TO BE THAT MATT WAS BEYOND THE SCORING LINE. "We never had a discussion. There was a big brouhaha going on in there before we went up to look at the tape and I wasn't part of that discussion. I can only tell you that it was apparent that people were not in agreement on what they all thought they saw. I wasn't asked anything and I didn't offer an opinion as to what the issues were. I can only surmise based on the comments when they came out about what the argument had been. The reason I was up in there was just simply to look at the tape and say, 'Guys, look at this. Is this what we're all supposed to be doing?' Nobody said that Mark didn't do the right thing and, for that matter, was there any accusation that there were team orders or anything like that - which there absolutely are not."
FINAL COMMENTS? "I want to say how much I enjoy coming to Rockingham - how much we're gonna miss the race going forward. The Rockingham race track, its staff, the conditions - the fact we get to race on a track where the driver's judgement and the crew chief's anticipation of what's gonna happen have such a great affect on the result. This is racing the way I really enjoy and it'll be a great sadness to come here only once."