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NASCAR Busch Series: Ford 300

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Ford 300

NASCAR Busch Series: Ford 300

Matt Kenseth
Mark Martin
David Ragan
November 17, 2007


HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA

MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take some questions. I'll start with you David, your thoughts about being named the Rookie of the Year?
DAVID RAGAN: Wish we could have had a little better night tonight. I would have been a lot better to end the night with a good top 5, possible a win. But certainly this is what we set out to do in the spring time. This is one of our goals we had this year to finish in the top 10 in points and win Rookie of the Year. And we finished fifth in points and I'm the Rookie of the Year. So two of the three we got to cross off. A little disappointed we didn't win a race this year, we were pretty close a few times, but it gives us something to look forward to next year. But very cool to be the Rookie of the Year. Jack Roush has got a niche for finding younger guys and that are able to come into this sport and do this. Carl Edwards, Greg, my teammate last year. We were all able to do that and so it's pretty cool to follow those guys. And hopefully we'll continue on and win some races and win some championships of other forms.
MODERATOR: Mark, you're the all-time wins leader in this series, obviously we have got a new sponsor coming in next year, but your thoughts on running in the final what would be known as the NASCAR Busch Series Rees race here tonight.
MARK MARTIN: Well it was cool. It meant a lot to me. I've been around the whole time that the Busch Series has been around. I didn't race the first five years, that Busch was involved, but I was a spectator. So I saw it from a distance. And it means a lot to me. But what really means so much to me is that Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motor Sports put me in a race car like they did tonight. And like they did the or two times this year.
I can't tell you what it means to have that opportunity and Rick and I really wanted to get a win and get that trophy. And I really appreciate having the opportunity. And we were pretty close tonight but we just pull it off with Jeff running the way he was. But we gave it, man, we gave it everything we had.
So he was proud to be racing with Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth there at the end for it. And with Carl. It was a great race. Had a couple of runs on Jeff, but I just didn't get him clear. Then Carl got up on us and kind of mixed it all up.
So for me, it's an honor and a privilege to be at this point in my career and have people give me the kind of stuff that I get to drive with that 5 car.
MODERATOR: Matt you battled back, had some tough luck early in the race, battled back very strong there towards the stretch run. Your thoughts about tonight's race.
MATT KENSETH: It was -- we had a great finish. We didn't run very good. I was really confident, probably overly confident after Friday's practice, I thought our car was going to be really good. And we didn't qualify overly great and really didn't run that great. So we blew that tire and we were able to get our lap back and then because of that, we were in the back and we pitted the race a little different and a lot of guys had to pit under green and we didn't. We stayed out and that's what got us the traction and really got us the finish.
So my guys did a great job. I had a lot of fun. Wish I would have got a few more wins. But I had a few good runs and looking forward to next year.
MODERATOR: Take questions now.

Q. Mark and Matt, Jeff talks about how he always just wanted to be a Busch Series driver because he grew up watching the Busch Series as a local guy. Can you guys talk about what the Busch Series meant to you. I know mark you were racing when it first got started.
MARK MARTIN: Well, you know, first of all, Jeff Burton is a major class act. And he, when he was little he looked at the Busch Series as something that might be obtainable in his life time and spent time watching that racing. And he's a real class act.
It's been a pleasure to have the opportunity to race with him and to have it look like with 10 to go that it might be decided between he and I was pretty cool.
The Busch Series is something that it evolved over time. It wouldn't, when I first got involved with it it was quite different than it is now. But it's still it still holds a dear place in my heart.

Q. There are a lot of cautions tonight. Was there anything out there that was causing all that and what was the like to have to drive through all that stuff?
MATT KENSETH: Most likely it was things probably the drivers running into each other. Usually that's what causes wrecks and cautions. I know I had a flat tire, David did. There was a couple of cautions and the rest of them I wasn't really around except for one more when I saw somebody spin out. So I don't really know but that's usually more of the cause of them than not.
MARK MARTIN: Too many accidents.
(Laughter.)

Q. Mark, we did a little research the first race the Budweiser Sportsman Series in 1982, you finished 26 and you won $650. Do you remember that and what you might have done with the money?
MARK MARTIN: Was that IRP? Yeah, I remember running that race. The reason I ran IRP is because I was from ASA Racing, up that way. And so I got a ride to run that track because I was familiar with it. And I was just getting started in NASCAR at the time and, yeah, I remember if you want to know the truth, I remember what compound tires we ran, we ran the hard tires, the S 16 Goodyears on the left side and everybody else ran the 11s. And it was a softer compound. And we would have run better if we would have run the soft ones. I think it was a poor choice. But we still -- that was our first race.
So believe it or not, I remember more than most of you might think. And we were like 2139s was the part number. The last two numbers were 39s on the Goodyear tire. And that was 1982. So I don't remember my name half the time, but I can remember stuff like springs or shocks or gearhead stuff.

Q. Mark, when you're battling Burton and Kenseth, and Harvick there, who was up there for awhile too, do you, are you cognizant at all about the history of that and the sense I think that all the four of you are in the top 6 of wins in this series.
MARK MARTIN: Well, I knew it was Jeff Burton. And that made me comfortable that we could race major hard, really hard. But, no, to be honest with you, you know, the historical impact and the depth of all of that is not at the front part of your mind. It's buried kind of down in there and it's the fire, the competitive desire and you're just trying to -- I was trying to figure out a way that I could get in front of him. I got beside him I think twice. But it was going to take more than that to win the race. I was going to have to get clear of him. Being on the inside kind of makes you loose and it pulls the back end around. And getting on the inside of him was one step, but I was trying to figure out how I was going to get on the rest of the way out in front.

Q. Matt, do you have any comments about that?
MATT KENSETH: Mark's always been my mentor and really got me into Roush Racing and I met him when I first started the Busch Series and shortly thereafter I met Jeff and really them are the two guys besides Jack that are probably as responsible or the most responsible for Roush Racing and what it is today and for the opportunities that gave me and David and Greg and everybody. So I always think about that. I always think about when they were teammates and still great friend and I really enjoy racing with them. I don't really think about win number totals. But I know they're the best in the business. So when you're out there racing with them it's definitely fun. So it's cool to see them up there.



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