QUALIFYING: Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Ford F-150, returned to the Craftsman Truck Series after a six-race hiatus and grabbed his second pole of the season in qualifying for this evening's O'Reilly 200. Martin, who last competed in the ...
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Ford F-150, returned to the Craftsman Truck Series after a six-race hiatus and grabbed his second pole of the season in qualifying for this evening's O'Reilly 200. Martin, who last competed in the series at Michigan in June, has seven starts this season with three victories. Martin, who now has two career truck series poles and four victories, captured the pole in his 11th career truck series start with a time of 15.320 seconds and an average speed of 125.248 mph
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
TODAY'S QUALIFYING RUN MARKED AN IMPRESSIVE RETURN TO THE SERIES. "Wow, just an incredible truck that these guys have given me with this Scotts F-150. I just love coming to Bristol with these guys. They're just so much fun to work with. They enjoy it when we run good and they really take it hard when we don't, so they're willing to work really hard. This pole is a product of their hard work and it sets us up for what we hope will be a good run tonight."
YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCCESS HERE AT BRISTOL IN BOTH THE CUP AND BUSCH SERIES. SHOULD WE EXPECT NO LESS TONIGHT? "It's going to be a real competitive race. You know how they go here, track position is about everything and you've got a lot of good drivers and a lot of good trucks. It will be a wild night and maybe the best race of the weekend. Winning the pole was a good start and it gives the guys a little something extra heading into the race tonight."
WITH THE TRUCKS SERIES ONLY STARTING 36 TRUCKS, WILL THAT MAKE IT A LITTLE EASIER TO PASS ON THE TRACK DURING THE RACE? "I think so. Even though the trucks are a little bit larger, I think it will help having a few less, for sure. But, this is Bristol and anything can happen, and when it does, it usually happens pretty fast. This Scotts Ford F-150 is fast and that makes it fun to drive, and I'm looking forward to tonight."
MARTIN WINS FOR THE FOURTH TIME IN 2006
* Mark Martin took the checkered flag for the fifth time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career with tonight's victory. Martin won the pole and went to victory lane in his first truck series start at Bristol Motor Speedway, and now has wins at the half-mile track in all three of NASCAR's major touring series.
* In eight races this season, Martin has driven to victory lane a series-high four times, and extended Roush Racing's all-time series win mark to 41.
* Ford has now won 76 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races all time, and six in 2006.
* Ford's win tonight is its third truck series victory at BMS (Ruttman, Edwards).
* The last Ford truck series triumph at BMS occurred when Carl Edwards won this event in 2004.
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
"It's all these guys right here. This Scotts F-150 was just spectacular. I'm just really lucky to be able to drive this thing. I really want to thank Jack Roush and this whole team. It's fun to drive this truck. This place has not been kind to me lately and Mike Beam (crew chief) just had a good strategy and the best truck here. I knew it was awesome in practice, and I've been looking forward to it all day."
DID YOU EVER THINK THAT LAP 30 WAS TOO EARLY TO MAKE YOUR ONLY PIT STOP? "I did, but at lap 100 I knew it wasn't because the tires were, I swear, we never raced anyway, it seemed like we were under caution ever other lap. There at the end, I don't know how much faster new tires would have been. I guess it would have been faster, but that thing would have rolled. It was just so tough."
MORE MARTIN. "Mike Beam and all of these guys just gave me such a great truck today. I really want to thank them and Jack Roush and Scotts and Ford. This place hasn't always been real kind to me and today it was spectacular. Mike Beam had very good strategy and we had an incredible truck to drive and this was fun."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS YOUR SPOTTER TONIGHT? "Well, I have a great spotter with Bobby Hudson, but when you have Todd Bodine behind you, you're never safe. He's an incredible driver and he can pull a rabbit out of the hat in a heartbeat."
JACK ROUSH, Owner-6-Scotts Ford F-150
"Well, Mark is the man. Any talk about Mark and retiring anytime soon is premature. He's healthy, and he's fast, and he's having a good time right now."
MARCOS AMBROSE-20-Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 (Finished 26th)
"That's a pretty wild race. It's just a real shame. We had a good qualifying position and we thought we had a good race truck, but it came and got us there. We got out of sequence and we were just a crash waiting to happen."
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO KEEP YOUR BEARING ON THE RACE TRACK WITH THE FAST-PACED ACTION? "We knew we were at. We lost a couple of laps there and I don't know where we lost them, but we lost them, and that put us right back there and had to ride around and stay out of trouble."
TERRY COOK-10-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Finished 21st)
TALK ABOUT HAVING TO GO TO A BACKUP TRUCK AFTER WRECKING IN QUALIFYING. "It all started with us having to go to the backup truck, which put us behind. There was such little time between qualifying and the race, especially when you go out last to make a qualifying run. The backup truck had zero laps on the track so it was an outstanding job by the Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International race team for getting it ready for the race with the little time we had. In the race, the truck was just too tight. We tried to stay out and gain track position, but on worn tires we were sliding around and going backwards. All in all, it's a small victory to come home to the checkers with all four wheels. We were hoping to contend for the win here and do well in the points, but we'll move on and concentrate on the next races at New Hampshire, Las Vegas and all the way to Homestead."
ERIK DARNELL-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 18th)
"We finished on the lead lap and that was about it. It was kind of disappointing. I was hoping we would run a little bit better than that. John Quinn (crew chief) and of these guys worked on the truck and had to get it as comfortable they could for me, and I don't think I adapted to it really fast."
DAVID RAGAN-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 15th)
"When Reutimann turned me there early, I knew it was going to be a heck of a night. It ended up, we just stayed out until we got back on the lead lap and then we made our pit stop and got four fresh tires, so we had about 25-lap fresher tires than everybody and things just worked out. I drove a smart race and tried to keep all of the fenders on it and brought it home in the top 15. It was a good run."
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO KEEP YOUR BEARING ON THE RACE TRACK WITH THE FAST-PACED ACTION? "I'm fortunate to have the experience that I've got at the age of 20. I got to run here a couple of years ago and I still wasn't prepared for what I fell into tonight. This is a definitely a wild race. You have to give it to every single one of those Cup guys that can run 500 laps here. It's an amazing place and it's one of my favorite race tracks, but it sure does help to be up in the front."
-credit: ford racing