9-Pennzoil Platinum Ford Taurus (Finished 1st) JACK ROUSH -- Team Owner "I've got something in my throat that gives me trouble now. I've got a granuloma on one of my vocal chords and whenever I get excited I lose my voice; it's happened to...
9-Pennzoil Platinum Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
JACK ROUSH -- Team Owner
"I've got something in my throat that gives me trouble now. I've got a granuloma on one of my vocal chords and whenever I get excited I lose my voice; it's happened to me three times already since he won. I'll see if I can get through this. This is going to be a year of extraordinarily proud moments with Mark; I can just feel it. Every time one of them happens I'm going to be happy and I'm going to be extraordinarily sad. What we saw tonight from Mark in that race car was what I saw, and a few of us saw in 1990. It was mark at his best and doing his thing with confidence in his team and confidence in his car and in control of his fate. It was incredible to watch him trip the light fantastic and do his stuff the way that he has done for all of these years. It was great to be here again. I was here twice last year with Greg Biffle, and certainly that was exciting, but this time with Mark is one of my proudest moments in a Busch program.'
MARK MARTIN -- Driver
YOU ALWAYS SEEMED TO BE IN CONTROL TODAY, AND IT APPEARED YOU WERE RELAXED DURING THE RED FLAG AS YOU ATE A SANDWICH ON PIT LANE.
"First of all, I eat on a schedule. I'm an eating machine. Tony said that I had my lunch packed and was carrying it with me in the car. That sounded so good that I'm just going to go with that. I do have to have something to eat about every three hours, so it was about time for me to eat again, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Now I feel great and I'm not hungry right now. I'm glad I did that because otherwise I would be starving to death right now. Jack really deserves the credit for this. He's made my career and this is a throwback to the good old times. He put the tools in my hands tonight along with, of course, Pat Tryson and the folks from the Viagra team. Thanks to Pennzoil for sponsoring the car and the guys that work at the shop and build those giant engines under the hood. It was an honor for me to drive that car tonight. It did feel like the old days, and I know I can only do that when these people that are behind me give me the stuff to do it with. That doesn't come easy. It looked easy through the years many times, but we've gone through spells when we didn't have the tools to do it with, but believe me, I appreciate it when it comes like it does today."
DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A GOOD CAR FROM THE START OF THE RACE?
"I knew I did. I knew I had a great car yesterday. We didn't get that much practice and didn't need that much. I told them that this car is going to be awesome. I didn't expect to win going into this race, but I knew I had a great car. Tony (Stewart) was really strong and Kevin was real strong on real short bursts. I felt like I was in the worst set of circumstances I could be in right at the end of the race. We did have the lead and that was in our favor, but as the race kept shortening up and as the sun kept going down more and more and it cooling off, I was getting more and more concerned because our strong suit was the longer runs. We weren't going to get that at the end, so we had to make our strong suit a short burst and it was fine."
TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE FORD D3 CYLINDER HEAD THIS WEEKEND.
"It was the first race with the new engine. Last year we had a huge deficit on the race track, and it erased that deficit. I still feel that there is a little bit of room to improve still, but it was awesome. We had everything that we needed for the restarts, which is where we got really killed last year. We could hold our own and we didn't get passed on any restarts, so that was very imports. It was a fantastic powerplant."
"We really owe a great vote of confidence and credit to Ford Motor Co. for getting us a new cylinder head. The engine that we had hadn't been revised in the face of several new engines that have come into the sport. We hadn't had a revision to our engine since 1992, and of course last year in 2004, we got a revision in the cylinder head and intake manifold. The cylinder head only for the Cup Series, but we got nothing for the Busch Series. Ford negotiated with NASCAR, as did I, and we got a new cylinder head and new intake manifold, both, for the Busch Series and it was exactly what we needed. We were outrun and outgun with what we had based on what everybody else had. The other thing that happened is that my Busch and my truck program were secondary to my Cup program in the years previous. What has happened this year, the other thing that has happened is Robert Yates and Doug Yates and I put together a new program for building our truck engines and our Cup engines based on the challenge that's coming now from Dodge and Toyota and from Chevrolet. Particularly, Toyota has raised the mark for the truck series and that has also had a bearing on the Busch Series. The Busch and the truck series have both taken a step and this was our first opportunity to get some engine pieces in there that reflect Ford stepping up to help us meet the challenge. It was great to be there. George Gable in the engine shop and Doug Yates and Robert and David George and everybody else, their fingerprints are all over this thing. They worked real hard and we're going to be much more competitive and hopefully be able to run for a championship. Not with Mark, but with Carl Edwards in the Busch Series and Ricky Craven in the truck series based on the strength of our engine and the work Ford has done."
HOW MANY OF YOUR CUP CREW MEMBERS ARE ON YOUR BUSCH TEAM?
"Quite a number. Pat (Tryson) wouldn't rather be anywhere else. Bless his heart, I love Pat to death and he is really fantastic to work with, and has really turned my Cup deal around and that was really neat to have him there, and a number of the 6 car guys were within the deal. My spotter Eddie (Pardue) and some of the guys in the shop got moved off the 6 car on to that car sort of as a promotion. It's a pretty neat setup and it wasn't the easiest thing to get structured this way. That's why I credit Jack for the success that we had because it's really what I wanted. It's really what I wanted to see happen and it's neat to see it shine so bright the first time out. It'll make it a little bit easier going forward for us. We have seven more races scheduled and I'm going to start campaigning tomorrow for even more yet. We need to pick up some more sponsorship to do even more races."
"More races in 2005 certainly is a possibility, but I made sure that Mark hadn't indicated that he wouldn't continue to be an entrant in the Busch Series in 2006 and beyond. He said he's still open to that even though that this will be his last year in Cup."
"I told him that before the race, so now I'm really easy."