NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Topics: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
July 26, 2009
KERRY THARP: We're pleased to be joined now in the media center by our race runner-up of today's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, that's Mark Martin. His runner-up finish today moves him up to ninth in the points standings.
Mark, just a good afternoon of racing for you. Your thoughts about how things unfolded.
MARK MARTIN: Well, you know, I'm grateful to my race team, Alan, all the guys on the 5 car, Rick Hendrick. You know, I was hoping to be in the fray, and we were definitely in that. Drove my heart out. Gave it everything I had.
I'm actually just grateful that I had a chance to race for the win. Would have liked to have won it, but got beat by Superman.
KERRY THARP: Questions for Mark Martin.
Q. We had a discussion yesterday about the fact that in your position in the points, worrying about getting into the Chase, had you to kind of temper things when you were going for a win. When Jimmie was on your outside, did you worry about that, or was it all out going for what you could?
MARK MARTIN: You can't win if you wreck. I was driving as fast as I could without wrecking, man.
Q. You got to think someday it's going to be your day in one of the these events.
MARK MARTIN: You can say what you want, but I've had some days this year. That's not the way to approach me. It's been my day this year, all year. I'd love to have won the race. But I'm very grateful to have had a chance at it. I got beat. I didn't get her done. But I gave it my heart. So did my race team. I'm grateful for it.
Q. Does it ever wear on you thinking of all these second-place finishes in big events?
MARK MARTIN: It's better than 42nd, man.
Q. Could you compare Jimmie today to your first impression of him as a rookie driver on this series.
MARK MARTIN: Well, a rookie driver in the Nationwide Series or rookie season in the 48?
MARK MARTIN: He's just got more experience. He was a fierce competitor the day he strapped in that 48 car. Didn't seem like a lot of learning curve for him.
But, you know, they have gotten stronger and better. Their communication's really good, between him and Chad. His cape don't get tangled around his neck much. He gets her done.
Q. During your pole conference you mentioned the fact that you were happy to be just in the fray, you were expecting a dogfight today. Did you end up in the dogfight with the drivers you expected to be in with?
MARK MARTIN: Yeah. I expected it to be Montoya and Jimmie, yeah. And I also expected the 9. When I look up there, I didn't miss that by much. The 14, I knew he'd be strong, Tony. The guys that I expected to run good ran good today.
Those race teams, they're getting it done right now. Kasey Kahne, Montoya, all those guys. They're getting her done. It's pretty much what I expected. It was an awesome team effort by everybody at the 5 car. I'm just a lucky guy to get to drive it.
KERRY THARP: This is Mark's 10th top 10 this year, 2009. It's your 10th top 10 here at Indianapolis, too. Congratulations.
Q. It seemed like the cars that were fast at the beginning of the race were the same cars that were fast at the end. Would you say that had to do with the race starting early in the day? Why is that?
MARK MARTIN: That's a good point. I guess it's just circumstances. This tire, the way it reacted, was very consistent through the run. The track was very consistent today. The balance didn't change on the cars very much. So pretty much what you had when you started, if you were good, you were gonna be good. And if you were not good, it was probably going to be a challenge to get real good on the pit stop.
Q. Last couple laps you had some runs on Jimmie. Was there anywhere on the track you thought you could get around him the last two laps?
MARK MARTIN: Yes, absolutely. I was beating Jimmie pretty bad off of turn two. I knew that for the last 15 laps for sure. But he was beating me pretty bad off of four. I was gonna have to make it happen off of two. I made some great runs. But I really thought several of the times I was gonna hit the wall over there. I absolutely could not go any faster. In fact, I can't believe I didn't. The third to the last lap, the last lap both, I went through there beyond my good judgment to get those runs. It just wasn't enough.
Q. Your view of the side-by-side start and how you made your choice which side to be on.
MARK MARTIN: You know, I think the restarts did their job again today. They changed the outcome. I think the only way you're gonna make it exciting at the end of the day is change the outcome, that way you have to watch. You don't know what's gonna happen. You never know when there's gonna be a caution or a 'green-white-checkered'. When you have that, it doesn't matter which lane you choose, when you stack the other driver next to you, anything can happen anywhere back in there, as you saw at Chicago.
That rule is for the fans. You're gonna win some and lose some on it.
Q. You mentioned you were so much better off of two and Jimmie was good off of four. It would seem to be similar corners. Why would it be different on each end?
MARK MARTIN: You know, you can ask any driver, Tony will tell you, they are the same, but they are not anywhere like the same. They're four completely different corners. I don't know how that can be when they visually appear to be the same.
TONY STEWART: I know, but I'm not telling you (laughter).
MARK MARTIN: He knows, but he's not telling me. I'm pretty dumb. All I can tell you, when I drive it, I know they look alike, but they're not alike.
Q. Can you talk about Montoya. Talk about his race, what happened to him.
MARK MARTIN: I feel really bad. If I or my teammates couldn't have won this race, I was absolutely pulling for Juan. They sure had the car today.
But, you know, they'll keep doing that. Their day will come. But it's tough. It's happened to every one of us, those days you'll have. The great days are still coming for them.
Q. Can you go through the last restart for us, what happened there.
MARK MARTIN: Well, I got a reasonable start there. Was really looking optimistic. But I never got quite clear him on the straightaway, then he got the side draft, just pulled him completely up beside me. I just didn't manage to get a good enough jump. I tried to get a good one, and it was good, but I needed another three feet to clear him. If I'd have done that, you know, then the race would have been on. I still might not have been able to stay in front of him for a few laps. His car was better early, and mine was better later in runs.
Anyway, side draft pulled him back up there beside me. Going into that corner side-by-side, I went as fast as I could go without wrecking. Wasn't sure. I wasn't sure I wasn't gonna wreck anyway. I knew it was for the win. I did everything I could.
KERRY THARP: Mark, thank you very much. Great job out there today. Good luck at Pocono.
MARK MARTIN: Thank you, guys.
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