*** Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pennzoil Fusion, won the pole for Saturday's Carfax 200 at Michigan International Speedway. This is Martin's 29th Busch Series pole, a new record in the NASCAR Busch Series. MARK MARTIN--6--Pennzoil Fusion...
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pennzoil Fusion, won the pole for Saturday's Carfax 200 at Michigan International Speedway. This is Martin's 29th Busch Series pole, a new record in the NASCAR Busch Series.
MARK MARTIN--6--Pennzoil Fusion (finished 5th)
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY YOU SAID YOU JUST WANTED TO GO OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN. HOW WAS IT OUT THERE TODAY? "Well we did have a lot of fun. Our Pennzoil Fusion was really good. It was really good on the long runs. You know, we got too many cautions at the end. I want to thank all of these guys that put this car together. It was a fast car and we were running second before the last couple of cautions and really wanted to get up there and race for the win with [Dale Earnhardt] Junior. It just didn't really like the restarts that much and it would take it a while to come in."
YOU WERE RUNNING BEHIND JUNIOR AND ROBBY GORDON TOWARDS THE END. COULD YOU SEE UP FRONT OR WHAT HAPPENED WITH CARL? "I couldn't really see it."
EVEN BEFORE THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE RACE, GUYS STARTING GOING THREE-WIDE AND YOU KIND OF HELD OFF ON THAT. ON A BIG TRACK LIKE MICHIGAN, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU DON'T WANT TO DO TOO EARLY IN THE RACE? "Well you know you've just got to race smart and it's a big and long race. We were working on the car, we were a contender to win there and the cautions really kind of hurt us there. We were gaining on Junior there, I wanted to get up there and make a race out of it and then the restarts kind of jumbled us up. We didn't take off that good on restarts, and then it would come in [once the run got going]."
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Ameriquest Fusion, finished the day in fourth at Michigan International Speedway in the CarFax 250. He led three laps on the day and held on to another top five finish.
MATT KENSETH--17--Ameriquest Fusion -- (finished 4th)
YOU HAD A STRONG DAY TODAY FINISHING IN FOURTH, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY? "It was a good run for our Ameriquest Ford Fusion. We were real fast at first and then after that, we were kind of too loose through the whole race. But we kind of got it pretty good at the end and just needed a few more laps of green."
HOW MUCH ADJUSTING DID YOU HAVE TO DO TO YOUR CAR TODAY? "We made a lot, we just never could hit it. The first run was the best we were. We ran up there in first and second with Kurt [Busch] and we were loose and then we tried to tighten the car up and it actually got looser. We had a hard time. It took a lot of work to get it back to decent."
WAS IT TOUGH DURING THE RACE TO GET THE CAR TO WHERE YOU WANTED WITH SO MANY CAUTIONS? "Yeah. Because we had so many of those short runs and then that real long one, it's hard to figure out what exactly the track was going to do."
John Andretti, driver of the No. 10 Fusion, finished in 30th after starting at the back of the field due to an engine change before the race. He comes out of the race 12th in the points.
JOHN ANDRETTI--10--RVs.com/Camping World Fusion (finished 30th)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY? "I kind of knew were kind of in a bit; we took some stabs at it. We got the car a whole lot better. The team did a great job. It's just a new car and we struggled with it."
WITH HAVING TO GO TO THE BACK BECAUSE OF AN ENGINE CHANGE, WHEN THE GUYS WERE GOING THREE-WIDE, DID YOU NOT WANT TO RUN LIKE THAT SO EARLY IN THE RACE? "Well we had rain coming and guys were racing against the rain and trying to get position early. There were several guys that had to start in the back, including me. Because of that, you try to get digging really hard because obviously you don't want to get lapped. We had a lot of cautions, and then we didn't have a caution when we needed one. It's the story of the year."
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Ameriquest Fusion, ended his day after 10 laps. His team tried to get the car back together, but had to cut the day short.
GREG BIFFLE--16--Ameriquest Fusion -- (finished 43rd)
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "There's definitely not any give and take in the Busch race. We're out there not racing for points. I'm not really sure what happened, I still have to see the replay of it."
Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. 22 AutoZone Fusion, finished the day in 18th after a day full of cautions. He was the second top finishing non-Cup driver. He hangs on to his spot at 10th in the points.
KENNY WALLACE--22--AutoZone Fusion (finished 18th)
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY. "It is not where we wanted to end up, but it was a competitive day for us. The second finishing top Busch driver, we just kept digging in all day long, but we're still not where we want to be. I thought we ran pretty competitive. We ran with Bobby Labonte and Scott Riggs and it just shows how just how tough the Busch Series is now. When you're racing for 18th and you're racing guys like Labonte and Riggs and Cup teams. This is the new era, this is how it is."
WAS IT TOUGH TO GET THE CAR RIGHT WHERE YOU WANTED IT WITH ALL OF THE RESTARTS? "It was hard on restarts at the end because some guys would come in and put on cold tires that only had a couple laps on them. You didn't know who you were racing with at the end as far as tires and who had what. It didn't matter, at that point you just drove the car as hard as you could and hope there were no more wrecks."
Stacy Compton, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Fusion, finished the day in 41st after cutting a tire. He was able to get back out on the track to avoid a DNF, but ended up losing two spots in the points. He now sits in 20th.
STACY COMPTON--59--Kingsford/Busch's Baked Beans Fusion (finished 41st)
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "We were trying to get on pit road and didn't make it. I hate for the guys on this team. We were too free early on and we made some adjustments to make the car better. It's just not been our day."
TALK ABOUT GETTING BACK OUT ON THE TRACK AFTER HAVING TO COME TO THE GARAGE EARLIER IN THE RACE. "It's just disappointing. We had such a good run of races going the last eight or 10 weeks. We just cut a left rear tire and got into the wall. The guys did a great job getting the car back together. We gained some spots; we gained all we could. The guys did such a great job getting us back out. That car was tore up so bad we probably shouldn't have gone back out. But we got out to where we were able to run minimum speed and not get a DNF. These guys never give up and they should that today."
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Henkel Fusion, finished in 23rd after leading 31 laps of the race. A late race bump sent Edwards spinning on the backstretch leading to a green-white-checkered finish. Edwards drops one spot in the points to third.
CARL EDWARDS--60--Henkel Fusion (finished 23rd)
ON GETTING HIT BY DALE EARNHARDT JR. WHILE IN THE LEAD. "Um. I don't think. I don't feel like he's; I'll just have to see the tape. You'll have to see what he has to say [about the wreck]."
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD TO MAKE A STATEMENT AFTERWARDS WHEN YOU WENT BACK OUT (ON THE TRACK)? "Yeah I just wanted to see what he had to say. He knew I was upset. It's just about sickening to have someone wreck you and then [he] gets to win the race. I probably shouldn't have done that, and I'm sure I'll be penalized."