Talladega II: Frye, Smith - Friday media visit



ON MARK MARTIN JOINING MB2 MOTORSPORTS TO PARTNER WITH REGAN SMITH IN NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS IN 2007: "Basically we have been talking to Mark (Martin) for a couple of weeks and were given the opportunity to build a program around him and around Regan (Smith). Mark is a hall-of-fame guy, it is a great opportunity for our company; it is a great opportunity for the No. 01 team and the U.S, Army. We are really excited to have this program put in place. Mark will drive 22 races and Regan will drive 16 then in 2008 Regan will be the full-time guy in the U.S. Army car. It is a little different the way the program has played out, but again, we had the opportunity to get a hall-of-fame guy. We took it. We are thrilled to have him; it is going to change the whole complexion of our entire organization.

"He is going to help mentor our young guys, in addition to Regan, Kraig Kinser and Jesus Hernandez. It is different and we are really, really excited to have him."

ON FLEXIBILITY OF PROGRAM WITH MARK MARTIN: "It is very flexible, the program is basically built for 2007 and beyond that the make up of the entire program could change in 2008."

ON EXCITEMENT AT MB2 ABOUT IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND MARK MARTIN "It has obviously been a very exciting three months. We have a lot of things going on. The last year has been very tough, the last three months has been very good. A couple if months ago we announced we were going to do some different things, that we were going to expand. The is part of the expansion plan, this plan with Regan was in place; t we were going to do a third team with Joe Nemechek, that we were going to put a veteran guy in our third car to get started. Part of our getting better we feel is we have to expand. The program was in place.

"Then all of a sudden, a couple of weeks ago, we have the opportunity to get this hall-of-fame guy to help us take this whole thing to the next level; to help Regan, tutor Regan to make sure that in 2008 he is ready to go full-time. It is the best of both worlds, it worked out perfectly. I think that it was something that Mark was looking to do. Timing was perfect. Obviously he has been a friend for a long time. When you have the opportunity to get a hall-of-fame guy, you go get him."

ON MARK AND REGAN GOING IN TO THE 01 CAR: "Going back to a couple of months ago, when we started to look at the make up of the teams going in to next year, we wanted to have a veteran guy start the third team. Joe (Nemechek) is a good qualifier, the first five races of next year, that team won't have any points so we already had put that plan in motion, that Joe would be in our third car and Regan in the No. 01. Then we are able to bring Mark in to the fold, it was a no-brainer and we just went about figuring out how to do it. To have him mentor Regan, to have him mentor other guys and it will help our entire company to go to the next level so we made it happen."

ON OPTION OF MARK RUNNING FULL TIME IN '07: "We were willing to do different things with him. We wanted him to come here to MB2 so we created a program based on what he wanted to do. We think he has earned the right to do what he wants to do. Again, it is a different program, but maybe it will change the industry on how guys like him, how they end their careers. We have plans to do many different things with our company for a very long time, but, it is very flexible and a lot of it is up to him. We respect him greatly, we respect what he does and we respect who he is and it is, as the press release said, a red-letter day for us."

ON TRUCK RELATIONSHIP WITH MORGAN-DOLLAR MOTORSPORTS AND POSSIBILITY OF MARK BEING IN THAT TRUCK IN '07: "That is done the road and we aren't sure at this point. We, MB2, have a great relationship with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. Part of our program next year, we will have our own in house Busch team, we will fill-in and use our partnership with Morgan-Dollar to do numerous truck races next year. We are still working on filling out the schedule with Regan, Kraig and Jesus. Hopefully we are going to have another person in that mix development wise so we have a lot working. Morgan-Dollar is a great partner of ours, a great friend to our company and we will continue to use our relationship. Does Mark fall in to that? Yes, possibly."

ON MB2 COMMITMENT TO STAY WITH HENDRICK ALLIANCE AND GENERAL MOTORS: "Yes, that is our intention and continues to be."

ON U.S. ARMY IMPRESSION OF REGAN: The Army had been very supportive. We went to them a couple of months ago and told them that we need expand to get better, that we are a two-car team and everybody knows what is going on with three and four car teams so we needed to expand. We didn't want to put a rookie in a brand new car so, we told them that we were thinking of putting Joe in this new car starting next year and asked if they would support it if we found a young guy for the Army car and told them we had a young guy were are very interested in, that is Regan.

"They were very supportive. We went back to them a week or so ago and told them we had another idea about how to for certain make this successful with Mark and again, they were very supportive. The Army is a great part of our company, next year will be our fifth year with them and we have a great relationship with the institution. It is but it isn't a brand, but it is all over the country and we are very proud to represent them."

ON MARK JOINING MB2 BEING A GAIN FOR CHEVROLET: "All I know is that it's a real gain for our company. We couldn't be more thrilled to have him, it is what he is going to mean to the entire organization. There is great history with him obviously; he is one of the most intense competitors that has ever been out here. Losing isn't an option. Just attitude changing for us and different things, again, we have a lot of exciting things happen the last three months, we said we were going to expand. This just kind of came up and we molded this program after him and we are thrilled to do it, it is a home run."

ON HAVING A SPONSOR FOR THE THIRD TEAM: "We are close. We have a couple of different options. Basically the third team is going to be a partnership team of a lot of Ginn properties and vendor partners and things like that so we should have an announcement on that soon."

"It will be the No. 13. Remember, we let Bill Davis Racing take the No. 36 for the announcement with Jeremy Mayfield. Several people have said to us why No. 13 and I know there is a lot of superstition about the No. 13, but you guys have seen the kind of luck we have (chuckles), so the No. 13 is perfect. We are shooting for that whole thing of two negatives make a positive."

ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT REGAN: "We have actually been watching him for a couple of years. Every week he is very fast. We think with Mark's mentoring, the racing part is something that will be there. There is that old thing about it is easier to whoa back than it is to speed them up. He is very fast. Mark will really help him with mentoring him with the racing aspect over 500 miles. To me, it just a neat program the way it works. We have this hall-of-fame guy helping this young kid next year. Then in '08. then the young guy takes the reins in that car full time and it is possible Mark could do the same thing over again next year with another young guy. The '08 program is still being molded."

ON ASSURANCES OFFERED TO MARK ON ABILITY TO BE COMPETITIVE: "We think we have a good team. Last year the No. 01 was eligible for the Chase up to the last race and the year before that the No. 01 won a race. We have good motors, we have great people, and we think we have a good team. This year we have struggled; there is no question. Part of learning through struggling is we know we have to expand and that we have to do some things differently going forward. Well, this is what we are doing. Three months ago, we said we are going to start doing some things. Bobby Ginn came on as a partner, we have new equipment coming. The building blocks for the future of our company are falling in to place. We just ordered a seven-post machine, we are revamping our building, and we have a lot of other equipment coming in. Engineering wise, we think we have some of the best engineers in the garage. I think he could be the final piece to help us speed up the curve to get where we are going. Even with our 10-year anniversary, we are really starting over. We had a really good foundation and this is just one of the parts that is going to take us to the next level in the next 10 years."

ON ADDING MARK MARTIN AND A THIRD CAR GIVING ORGANIZATION WITH CHEVROLET TO GET MORE SUPPORT: "We hope so, yes. Chevrolet has been great; they have been very supportive of us. We have been with them for 10 years. A lot of things with our company have been happening very fast and we are going to have to go back and back-fill some of the details. We are going to have a couple more announcements coming soon, a couple more development projects. Chevy has been great, they are obviously thrilled about the way things are going."

ON THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS WHEN ALL OF THIS WENT DOWN WITH MARK MARTIN: "People talk about the Chase and if you aren't a team that is in the Chase, how do you get exposure during the Chase. Hopefully we did something today that got us some exposure (chuckles). What he brings to our company is phenomenal. What he would bring to any team in this garage is phenomenal. Being able to partner up with him is just a great day for our company and our teams. We are really excited about of future. We are at our 10-year anniversary and this is going to make us a team to contend with over the next 10 years.

"He told us he would come over about a week ago and I have had a pretty large smile on my face ever since. We really just started talking the last 10 days to two weeks. Again, here is what he wanted to do. It fit perfectly with what we wanted to do and where we are going. Hall-of-fame guy, we got to have him, we have to go get him. I am sure there were other teams offering all kinds of other things that we didn't, but we offered him what he wanted to do. We are honored to have him. He will just make our program better. I have been smiling big for a few days now.

"We talked about the what about this, what about that, but I knew it wasn't what he wanted to do. We didn't really offer him anything but more asked him what he wanted to do. And then he said, all right, this is what I would like to do. We said, yes we could do that and here is how it would work and we put it together pretty quick. It fits perfectly with that we are trying to do going forward.

"Regan is 23 years old, and he is going to have a great coach next year. In '08 he will be ready to run for a championship in the No. 01 with the Army. It is the best of all worlds."

"It is a multiyear deal with Mark but beyond '07 the program can be molded to be different things, most of it based on his intentions and what he would like to do. But in the mean time, as we move toward 2007, we have the program in place. In 2008 two of our three cars will be set.

"He is a friend of ours and has been for a long time, and out of concern for our friendship, I would periodically ask him how he was and what was he doing. Well, one day, when I asked him what he was doing, it turned out to be a good day for us and our company."

ON FLEXIBILITY FOR MARK TO RUN DIFFERENT MAKES IN DIFFERENT SERIES: "When you do something of this magnitude, there is some unwinding of contracts and things, I am sure and some things that we might have to do. Yes, there is flexibility to do that.

"We would certainly prefer that he would do a Chevrolet but there might be some situations coming up that are already set on what he needs to do and we support that and it is OK. Chevrolet supports that and they understand as well. Again, with something this big, you have to unwind and it might take a year down the line to get it all done."

ON JOE NEMECHEK'S POSITION ON MOVING FROM ARMY CAR: "When we went to Joe two months ago with everything we were thinking before Mark became part of the equation, he was excited. We need his help to do this. It is going to be a challenge for him. We didn't want to put a rookie in a car going in to Daytona with no points. Joe understands that and also knows he has a very big roll going forward with our company."

ON INTENTIONS OF CREW CHIEF FOR NO. 13 TEAM: "The No. 01 and No. 14 teams will remain the same and we are going to have to hire another crew chief and assemble a crew for the No. 13 team. We have a couple people in mind. But the people need to be put together very quickly. One of the greatest assets for us going forward is going to be human capital. The more people, the more ideas, the more forward movement. We have struggled this year. When I am asked why, I always say if I knew why, we wouldn't be struggling.

"We have gotten behind on some things that we were actually ahead on such as the coil binding, we have gotten a little behind on.

"Part of Mark coming to the program, because he is one of the smartest drivers and knows these cars, can help figure is right or what is wrong. Maybe what we are doing is right, we are just doing it wrong."

ON SPLIT OF RACES: "We haven't gotten all of that quite worked out yet. Regan will probably run pretty close to a full season because if he isn't in a Cup car we will run him in a Busch car. Mark will for sure be the Bud Shootout and the Daytona 500 and then we have to get his 22 races. We are doing the schedule together, it doesn't matter to us after the first few races of getting us up and running in points."



THOUGHTS ON WORKING WITH MARK MARTIN: "Mark is a guy I have always looked up to and the opportunity to work with him is pretty special for me as it would be for any young driver. Then to get to represent the U.S. Army and all of our soldiers is an honor. This whole year when I have been getting ready for a Busch race, I made a point of punching in Mark's frequency to listen to him and see what he is saying about the race track. I feel whatever he says is the gospel; I have a lot of respect for him. It is pretty awesome for me and pretty exciting. I have looked up to him and watched him since I was a little kid. You couldn't ask for a better scenario to get your foot in the door of this series.

"It is an opportunity I can guarantee you a million other kids would love to have to learn from him on and off the race track. It is a privilege and an honor to have that. On top of that, I have Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin to learn from so I can't ask for anything better.

"Then to represent the Army is just a tremendous privilege as well."

ON CONVERSATIONS SO FAR WITH MARK "We haven't had a chance to talk yet, this just all came together so fast, I am sure it will happen this weekend. We are just thankful for the opportunity."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Jesus Hernandez
Teams Bill Davis Racing