NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
COKE ZERO 400
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JULY 1, 2011
Mark Martin Wins the Pole at Daytona; Team Chevy Drivers Capture Six of Top-10 Starting Positions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (July 1, 2010) – Mark Martin powered his No. 5 CARQUEST/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet to the pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
It is the 50th time the veteran driver has won the pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and puts him eighth on the all-time list.
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Wheaties FUEL Chevrolet, will start third in the 43-car field with Jeff Gordon, No. 24 PepsiMAX Chevrolet, in the fourth starting position to give Team Chevy three of the top-five starters in the 160-lap/400-mile race.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Heritage/AMP Energy Chevrolet, will roll off in the sixth starting spot with Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Summer Salute Chevrolet in eighth place at the drop of the green flag.
Paul Menard, No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet, was 10th fastest to give Team Chevy six of the top-10 starters.
Trevor Bayne (Ford) and David Ragan (Ford) complete the top-five qualifiers.
The 17th of the season is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night with live broadcast coverage on TNT TV, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
TALK ABOUT 50 POLES OVER YOUR CAREER: “I’ve had the pleasure of driving a lot of fast race cars and working with a lot of great teams through the years and I’m really grateful for that. This is really special because I know how much work goes into the four restrictor plate races each year by Hendrick Motorsports and with the competition the way it is today, it’s kind of amazing that they manage to sweep the restrictor plate poles. It is just an engineering feat by all. The engine department, chassis department, aero and by the No. 5 guys themselves to squeeze a little bit more out of that one particular than our teammates. It’s really pretty cool to be a part of that team. I was the lucky guy that really had nothing to do with it other than to be the lucky guy that got to strap in it today.”
YOU ARE CLOSE TO JEFF (GORDON) CAN YOU GUYS RUN TOGETHER FOR THREE-QUARTERS OF THE RACE AND SETUP FOR THE END?
It is possible. We could have mechanical problems or accidents that would prevent that. You have to watch the race to find out what is going to happen. At Talladega it worked for 100% of the race but, there’s no guarantees in these things. There is no way to know. Certainly expect the unexpected come tomorrow night. We will just have to watch and see. We’ll see.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP HERE: “I really didn’t expect to get the pole. When I ran it could have been first or 21st. I had no idea. They didn’t tell me what my first lap way, that it was actually the quickest of the first laps so I had no idea. You just go out and do your thing. At Talladega we went out and we thought we had a shot at the pole and we didn’t. So, I assumed this being the same car, we wouldn’t necessarily have a shot at the pole here. But these things are really finicky and they should have, and expected, a shot at the pole in Talladega and didn’t. Evidently they tweaked things just right this time just to get that last little bit of speed out of it, more than anyone else.”
DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A COMING INTO THE POINTS FROM UNDER THE RADAR GIVEN YOUR POSITION RIGHT NOW? “I’m racing because I love racing. I’m competitive and tried to best every single day that we roll out on the race track. It would be really really nice to make the Chase, but I’m not counting the points. I’m not counting the points that closely. Right now, I am focused on trying to elevate the performance of our team. It is not as much about scoring points. We need to turn up the wick some. So that is where I have been focusing and if we could get on a roll, we could work our way into the Chase, but we can’t do that without stepping up the performance so that is where the focus really is. I honestly love racing and I think the race is very important. Sometimes, that in the race gets lost in points tallies. We’re truly…I love racing. That is really what is really truly important to me. That is where my focus is.
“My focus is the performance. Trying to get more out of our efforts because we are all working really hard. We need to step it up some to have better performance. If we do that, we will score enough points to get in. If we don’t, what’s the point of counting the points.”
JEFF (GORDON) SAID YESTERDAY HE DIDN’T KNOW IF THE TRACK WOULD BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY IN THE SUMMER THAN IN FEBRUARY? “It seemed the same as February what little time we ran, eight laps or something. Maybe ten. It seemed the same.”
YOU HAVE SAID YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WAY MORE THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT AND YOU WOULD HAVE NO REGRETS. YOU’VE BEEN HERE NOW 53 TIMES AND YOU DON’T HAVE ONE (WIN) HERE YET. WOULD THAT BE A REGRET TO HAVE NEVER WON AT DAYTONA?
“No. (laughter). You know what? I’m pretty darn lucky to have gotten to race at Daytona, period; much less 53 times. That’s the way I look at it. I’m pretty darn lucky.”
YOUR FIRST REAL ACHIEVEMENT HERE WAS IN 1989 WHEN YOU WON THE POLE FOR DAYTONA. YOU TOOK A LOT OF TIME TALKING WITH THE MEDIA. YOU WERE HAPPY. CAN YOU RELATE THAT DAY TO THIS MOMENT?
“Well, unfortunately I don’t recall doing that. But I certainly recall a couple of the July races here that we should have won and didn’t. So, I do remember that; running out of gas with 12 laps to go. We didn’t quite even get close. And some things like that. But hey, I’ve been really fortunate. I’ve had a chance to race 53 times here. I’ve survived some really hard crashes here and I’ve had some good times here. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. The place doesn’t owe me a thing. Matter of fact, I owe the place and the sport a great deal for just letting me be a part of it.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 WHEATIES FUEL CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
YOU’VE RUN VERY WELL AT DAYTONA AND AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS LATELY, SO YOU’VE GOT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT TOMORROW NIGHT’S RACE
“Yeah, I do. Our package is really good. ECR Engines are a big part of that. The Wheaties Fuel Chevrolet was good in practice and in doing the things we needed to do and I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be a good race and a wild finish as always. Hopefully we’ll have that Wheaties Fuel Chevrolet up front and in position when the time is right.”
WITH THE QUALIFYING DRAW SET BY PRACTICE SPEEDS THAT WERE OBTAINED DURING TANDEM DRAFTING, WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT WHAT WE’LL SEE IN TOMORROW’S RACE?
“Well, it’s because the two-car breakaway packs, some are faster than others, but more importantly as their sucking up on another group of two cars, they’re going to go a lot faster. So for instance, the Petty cars. They were the fastest cars but I think their best car was 15th. They were the last two cars to go. So they were obviously coming up on a car and getting the draft off of them so that’s the discrepancy n the speed in practice. But I’m telling you, everybody’s got a dancing partner for this race. Everybody is going to find that partner as soon as possible and go on down the road. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting.”
SOME OF THE DRIVERS ACTED LIKE THEY HAD THEIR DANCING PARTNER BEFORE THEY EVEN GOT TO DAYTONA. HOW CAN YOU FIGURE OUT WHO YOU WANT TO DANCE WITH UNTIL YOU SEE HOW WELL THEY DANCE?
“You’ve got a four-car team at RCR and I’m pretty sure the boss is going to want us to work together. He pays a lot of money to make sure that happens (laughs). But, let me tell you what happens. It’s just like at Talladega. Actually it was at the 500. Jeff (Burton) blew up and that forces you to find another teammate. And then that’s when (pole winner) Trevor (Bayne) can find somebody that’s out there needing a teammate and has a good car and then capitalize on it.”
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