NOTE: Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, qualified 17th for tomorrow's EA Sports 500. Martin, who enters the weekend 57 points behind points leader Jeff Gordon, spoke about his expectations for Sunday. MARK MARTIN - No. 6...
NOTE: Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, qualified 17th for tomorrow's EA Sports 500. Martin, who enters the weekend 57 points behind points leader Jeff Gordon, spoke about his expectations for Sunday.
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus
HAVE YOU WORKED ON THIS RACE MORE THAN ANY OF THE OTHERS? "We haven't put a whole lot into this one. We have really focused on the intermediate race tracks and the results really show. I think of the eight races left, six are intermediate so we're alright."
WHAT ABOUT FOR YOU PERSONALLY THIS WEEKEND? "It's nothing different than usual. I've just try to make sure I say my prayers tonight. That's about it."
WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD WEEKEND FOR YOU THEN? "I'd really hate to finish outside of the top 15 really bad, but anybody can do that here - even the fastest car here can do that. I finished sixth with this car here last time, but in order to do that again it would take a miracle like I did last time (laughing). Two miracles twice, I don't know. We got one and I don't know if I can do it again, but maybe. We will definitely give it everything we've got. This car does race better than it qualifies. I've been doing this stuff a long time. Sometimes I make a pretty good result out of a not-so-good-looking situation and sometimes I make a not-so-good-looking situation look real bad, so we'll see how it turns out."
NOTE: Hermie Sadler, driver of the No. 02 East Tennessee Trailers Taurus, qualified 11th for Sunday's race and hopes to make a positive impression after leasing the Ford Taurus he's racing from Robert Yates Racing. Sadler spoke about the opportunity he has this weekend and what he hopes to do with it tomorrow afternoon.
HERMIE SADLER - No. 02 East Tennessee Trailers Taurus
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY? "It's big and it goes back a lot to my brother, Elliott, and the folks at Robert Yates for still having the belief in me. We came and tested this car and learned some things that hopefully helped the other two cars at the same time. Everything I told them, we went back and they worked on it and they had faith in what I was telling them, so it feels good to run good and also it feels good to be a part of a team effort just trying to pull together and get people headed in the right direction. We're looking forward to this weekend."
HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER WITH RYR? "I went and begged because we're trying to run all the rest of the races and get our car up in the points as much as we can, and we didn't have a speedway car. So I went and begged to be able to lease one and it all worked out. We've learned a lot and my guys have learned a lot. Apparently, my guys have gotten a lot smarter because these are the same guys that last week we missed the show at Dover and we're gonna end up in the top 12 or 15 here, so it helps to have some equipment to work with."
WILL YOU DO ANYTHING WITH RYR THE REST OF THE YEAR? "I don't know. This is a one-off deal right now. I just want to do what I can to contribute, not only to my success this weekend, but also to the success of Robert Yates Racing. Whatever I can do to help them, I'll do that."
WILL YOU LOOK FOR THE 38 TO PUSH TO THE FRONT SUNDAY? "Whatever I've got to do. He's in a great position right now and he's got a fast car - so does the 88. If I have a chance to win - anything can happen at these race tracks - I'll certainly try to take advantage of that. But my goal is to get some experience, run a lot, and help my other two teammates."
NOTE: Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus, qualified eighth for tomorrow's EA Sports 500. Busch goes into the race in second place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, one point behind leader Jeff Gordon.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus
HAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE NEW RULES HERE AT TALLADEGA? "There are so many different topics on restrictor plate racing that NASCAR has to control the sport the best way that they can, whether it's with the rules around the race cars with the aerodynamic side of it or on the driving side of it with not going below the yellow line. We've got to put on a good show for the fans, but the drivers have to be safe at the same time. It's always a mix and match at the plate races."
ARE YOU A DRIVER THAT LOOKS FORWARD TO THIS TYPE OF RACE? "You have to get geared up for it. There are four points paying races at these type of tracks. It's something that you have to learn to do. You can't just jump into it and go and it takes time to develop the rapport with the other drivers and to be able to understand the moves on when your lane is gonna go and when you can make a pass or when you have to just stand on the brakes with that run that you have on another guy. There are so many different things that go on you have to get involved in it."
CAN YOU HAVE AN ADVANCE GAME PLAN FOR THIS RACE OR IS IT JUST TAKE IT AS IT COMES? "It's business as usual, but we need to lead a lap. That would be a nice five points to get. If we could lead the most, that would be an even better bonus, but there are so many tough competitors that when you try to lead the most, you lose focus of the bigger picture. We've got to make sure our pit stops are consistent and pit with other people. You can't just pit on your own, you have to make deals. That's how we finished top five at Daytona in July, so that's a strategy to work out as the race progresses because we don't know who is gonna be running with us early on and who is gonna be running with us late. We like to keep all the bridges built. We don't like to burn them when we work with people at the plate tracks."