Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, was inducted into Infineon Raceway's Wall of Fame earlier today, along with Rusty Wallace. Martin spoke about racing at one of NASCAR's two road courses and how his season has gone to ...
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, was inducted into Infineon Raceway's Wall of Fame earlier today, along with Rusty Wallace. Martin spoke about racing at one of NASCAR's two road courses and how his season has gone to date.
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus
ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS SEASON LIKE YOU THOUGHT? "More than I thought. This is a great year. Our performance on the race track has been good and that's made it a little bit easier to handle all that's going on, but this is definitely the biggest load on me that I've ever had. Everything that it takes to be competitive today, along with all the sponsor commitments, and then the commitment to the salute tour - and all the things we're doing with the fans - it's a pretty tough schedule that we're keeping but it's going well. I'm smiling more than I ever have and I'm enjoying it."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THE WEEKEND? "I'm thinking about trying to win the race and what we can do to give us our best shot at it, and all of the things that we always think about - how can we get the best result for our effort."
CAN YOU EVALUATE HOW THINGS HAVE GONE HALFWAY THROUGH THIS SALUTE YEAR? "It's going really great. The fan response has been overwhelming and I'm really happy with it. I think the fans are, too. We've given them some stuff to really cheer about, like the all-star win and some of those things. We're right on schedule. We really have a lot to go yet. I mean, the good stuff is really yet to come this year, so I'm excited about it."
HAS IT HIT HOME THAT THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU MIGHT RACE AT THIS TRACK? "It doesn't bother me right now. It may some day, but at this time it's not what I'm focused on. The thing you have to remember is that I'm doing this by choice. I'm not being forced out and I'm not fading away. We're making plenty of noise here and that's how I wanted to do it. If I was very sad about it, I shouldn't be doing it."
IS THERE A TRACK THAT HAS GONE THROUGH A GREATER TRANSFORMATION THAN THIS ONE SINCE YOU'VE BEEN RACING? "The course has changed a lot and everything around it. It's cool. I like road racing, obviously, and this race track is a real challenge. For some reason I have more memories, and not near all of them have to do with the race track itself, but it seems like I have more memories from making this trip than about anywhere we go."
NEXT WEEK IS DAYTONA. HOW SPECIAL WOULD IT BE TO WIN DOWN THERE? "It's another race on the schedule to me and it always has been. The thing about this deal is that you don't get to choose which races you win. If you're lucky, you get to win some. They choose you, you don't choose them. I take what I can get and I'm very grateful for the ones that I get. For the ones that I don't get, we make our best effort and that's all we can do."
DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR CHANCES OF MAKING THE CHASE? "I don't know. One wreck and one broken part and we don't make it, so I can't control either one of those. We don't have any cushion where we are right now, so we'll have to see. I don't want to count on making it, but if we miss the wrecks and don't break any parts, I'm sure we'll make it."
PEOPLE SAY AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE BY THERE ARE FEWER PLACES TO PASS ON THIS TRACK. DO YOU BUY THAT? "Oh, yeah. I buy that. It's a difficult course, especially with the passing zones the way they are today and everybody's car is the same speed nowadays, much more than it was 10 years ago because of the competitiveness of the teams and the rules that we have to race within now. That's what you have to deal with when you come out here."