MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS, 15TH IN POINTS, MET WITH MEDIA TO DISCUSS HIS RETURN TO THE TRACK AFTER THREE WEEKS OFF ON THE HANDLING OF THE MONTE CARLO SS VS. THE IMPALA SS: "Well we've been doing a lot this year even a little...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS, 15TH IN POINTS, MET WITH MEDIA TO DISCUSS HIS RETURN TO THE TRACK AFTER THREE WEEKS OFF
ON THE HANDLING OF THE MONTE CARLO SS VS. THE IMPALA SS: "Well we've been doing a lot this year even a little bit of truck racing too so variety is the spice of life they say."
ON HIS THREE WEEKS OF AND IF HE FEELS REJUVINATED: "Well I'm excited about being here, real excited. I've really enjoyed being around my friends and being back in this environment. I had some of the weekends off but not a lot. I've still been doing an awful lot but it's a nice break to be at home on Friday or doing some different things the last three weekends than spending them at a NASCAR track.
"I love it. I'm back with my friends and the people I love actually. To be honest with you I was surprised how good it was. I knew it's going to be great because it's what I do but these people in this garage have been my family for 20 years and I enjoy coming to the race track and being a part of that."
ON BEING BACK AT TEXAS: "We're glad to be here working together. There's a lot of competition. It's quite a challenge. We enjoy working together. We really have a good time and we're looking forward to this weekend."
WHAT WILL BE THE KEY FOR BEING SUCCESSFUL HERE? "(The key is) if we make our car faster than everyone else's."
ON GOING TO OHIO SPEEDWAY ON JULY 13th: "That's where we'll be Friday night. I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet but we'll see it soon. We're excited about it. (I'm) looking forward to it."
ON GOING TO PHOENIX: "It will be my first race in the Car of Tomorrow but I've done three or four tests with the U.S. Army team. I don't know exactly what to expect. Our testing has been a little bit disappointing to me. Really to be honest with you we haven't tested as well as we did with the regular car and we've raced much better than we tested with the regular car so if we race better with the Car of Tomorrow than we tested then we'll do well."
IS PHOENIX A PLACE YOU LIKE GOING TO? "Yeah, that's why it's on my schedule. I had the option of going or not going to Phoenix. Sure I want to go. I love going out there. I like the race track. I love the fans there and their support and I look forward to working with this whole team on sort of a new challenge, especially for me, with the COT."
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE NASCAR GO NEXT TO BUILD A NEW TRACK? "I don't know. I'm more interested in making my car go fast. Let them figure out where they're going to take the tracks."
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRACK? "I don't know. Charlotte I guess."
ON DRIVING TWO DIFFERENT CHEVROLET RACE CARS THIS SEASON: "Yeah, you have to take into consideration what car you've just strapped into. You can't just get out it, strap into something and go out on the race track. The difference between the trucks and the Busch cars and the Cup cars is significant on one hand. On the other hand, a car is a car is a car."
ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE BACK RACING OR DID YOU ENJOY BEING AWAY? "Both. I'm definitely liking this being away for a couple of weekends and doing our fan appreciations deal. Easter weekend in Arkansas was really fun. We had great support from our fans and getting to race with Ricky Carmichael was really special for me. I'm just really excited to be back at the race track with my friends as well so now I've got a set of friends away from the track and a set of friends at the track."
WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A SET OF FRIENDS AWAY FROM THE TRACK? "When I was 14. It started diminishing when I started racing and the last 20 years or 25 years, nearly 30 (years), outside of my wife my crew chief and my team have been by best friends."
IS THE PARTIAL SCHEDULE WHAT YOU EXPECTED? "It is, everything that I had hoped for and I'm loving it."
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR LAST THREE WEEKS? "When I woke up Friday morning at home instead of a race track with no anxiety, no pressure, being able to take my son to lunch Friday. So Friday, that was the best."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TAKING YOUR SON OUT TO LUNCH? "Oh, we do it regularly. We don't do it on Friday. It's just quality time. It's hard to have quality time with a 15-year old. They're got their own lives and I have mine. I've enjoyed the Fridays the most of all of it. I have worked harder this year than I ever have in my career so I haven't been on vacation the last three weeks. I've been digging as hard as I can go but it's been different and it's been wonderful - racing with Ricky Carmichael, having a weekend off, fan appreciation - all real special weekends, all three different weekends."
DID YOU WATCH ANY OF THE RACES ON TV? "I watched them all."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WATCHING IT ON TV? "It was fun because I did it with friends."
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANTED TO BE THERE? "No."
DO YOU EVER HAVE ANY MOMENTS ON THOSE FRIDAYS OF NOT WANTING TO GO OUT THERE AND PRACTICE? "No, I want to race. It's the greatest day of my life. Bristol Friday morning when I woke up, I had worked really hard all week. I had everything organized and I didn't have anything to do except whatever it was I wanted to do. It was wonderful. I took Matt to lunch and then we went off short track racing. I had a blast. All three weekends have been completely different and they've all been wonderful. They've been something that mean so much to me that I don't think I'd give that up."
ON IT BEING A TEST OF BREAKING THE ADDICTION TO RACE EVERY WEEKEND: "It was going to be a true test. After Bristol was over with I knew I was fine and that I had made the right decision."
ON IF HE HAS ANY SUPERSTITIONS: "No, just please no four-leaf clovers. I've got one of those, taped it in my race car once at North Wilkesboro and I got crashed before the green flag came out so I don't believe in good luck charms and I also don't believe in anything that's supposed to be back luck."
ON IT BEING FRIDAY THE 13TH: "I don't think Jason is out there anywhere. Or is Jason Freddy Krueger (laughs)?"
WAS THERE EVER A TIME YOU WISHED YOU WENT TO BRISTOL OR MARTINSVILLE? "Never, no I'm very, very happy. I made the right decision."
ON REGAN SMITH'S PERFORMANCE: "Regan did a fabulous job. We're so proud of him. I look forward to continuing to work with him. He's really coming along."
ON HOW STRONG THEIR TEAM'S HAVE BEEN: "I'm really proud of what we've been able to accomplish here at Ginn Racing but I honestly know we have a lot of work in front of us. Even though we've got great results we all want more."
ON WHAT THE TEAM HAS DONE DIFFERENTLY: "I don't think they've done anything differently. I think this was a great team before I came here and they're excitement and enthusiasm of my coming really sparked some good karma. We had some good luck. We could have had accidents in all four races and everybody would be saying boy that was mistake. We had fast cars, did a great job, incredible on pit road and Ryan (Pemberton) has proven to me that he's one of the smartest crew chiefs in the garage and I feel like I'm one of the luckiest guys in the business."
ON HIS BET WITH JEFF BURTON: "I don't think we bet. I think he bet with somebody else. I haven't collected anything."
ON IF HIS PARTIAL SCHEDULE WILL HAVE ANY AFFECT ON HIS PERFORMANCE THE REST OF THE SEASON: "It won't have any affect on my performance. It won't. It could possibly have an effect on the team's performance but I don't think so."
-credit: gm racing