April 8, 2006
You've got to love Mark Martin. He's sitting in second place in points and he's got 12 years on the next oldest driver in the top 10. NASCAR.com has a fun interview with Martin where he talks about having the time of his life in his final season.
November 24, 2005
Veteran driver Ricky Rudd retired on Sunday, but he didn't go out with the same fanfare as fellow veteran Rusty Wallace. He made his announcement late in the year and didn't plan any festivities. In an interview with Marty Smith on NASCAR.com, Rudd talks about duct taping his eyes open in order to compete in a race and his thoughts on the changes in the sport, including TV coverage and the Chase:
The races are boring. It's not because the drivers don't have ability, either. It's the current rules structure, where the cars depend so much on aero downforce. It's not good for exciting races. And it won't be until it gets fixed. ...
[The Chase is] not bad. It's different. All attention and media is put toward that effort after the first 26 races, where the rest of the guys don't exist. If I'm a sponsor spending money for 36 races, I'd feel cheated. ...
The bottom line on the points deal is there's way too much emphasis on watching points accumulate, whereas in the old days TV covered the racing on the racetrack. Fans want to see racing. They don't want to count points.
October 28, 2005
Mark Martin explains why he doesn't do burnouts from a recent NASCAR press conference:
Q. Mark, after you won your last race, I must have had 100 phone calls from people wanting to know why you didn't do the burnout. I know you've talked about this before. I promised them the next time I talked to you I would ask you about that. Can you redefine that so we're correct in that with your fans.
Martin: Sure. Burnouts are for juveniles and for the kids. You didn't ever see, you know, Dale Earnhardt doing burnouts. There were a few spins through the grass, and that's about it. Bobby Allison, Daryl Waltrip, Richard Petty. I'm old school, and Rusty (Wallace) is, too. Last time I saw Terry Labonte win, he just rode it right over to Victory Lane after he won as well. So that's just not our style. My luck, I'd wind up with the same engine parts in my car in the next race and they'd break. So it's just not what I do. I'm old school. It's pretty entertaining to watch these young kids do them, though. They put on a heck of a show.
Q. It's kind of like spiking the ball in the end zone and dancing. You don't think they should be doing it that way?
Martin: Oh, I didn't say that at all. I don't think an old man should do it, you know? That's all. I'd say if, you know ... I don't know. I just don't think that the old guys should because they never did before. All I'd be doing is copying the kids.
September 25, 2005
First and foremost, we need as a group to stop wrecking all the time. There's no point in that and, hopefully, maybe we'll make some headway with that. ... The amount of cautions that we have to start with is ridiculous. Some are for drink bottles and rollbar padding, which we shouldn't be having, but the others are because parts are falling off these race cars because they're wrecked. ...
Most of the wrecks are not with veteran drivers. At the same time, believe me, there's a lot of pressure in this business and I think people are feeling the pressure and think that taking the risk on wrecking is worth the reward.
Martin is currently seventh in points, 54 behind points leader Tony Stewart. Martin last won at Dover in June 2004 and has the potential to become the only active driver with five career wins at Dover.
August 22, 2005
"My whole deal is I'm not a movie star, don't claim to be and don't want to be—and I'm not a TV star, don't claim to be and don't want to be. I'm a guy that enjoys racing because of the fun of driving a good-driving racecar [and] the more weekends we have where the cars really perform good and run good, the more fun I have in this sport.
"A lot of the other things I don't enjoy about this sport, but I do enjoy race day and having good racecars under me—and to me I have to have good racecars under me to get through all the other crap there is to this sport."
Rudd will most likely stick with the Wood Brothers next year, though the Wood Brothers are considering a partnership to become a multi-car team.