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Mark my words: 'New' Martin is a happy racer
By Lee Spencer
November 21, 2005
If watching the battle between Greg Biffle and Mark Martin in the closing laps of the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway didn't have your heart racing, then you must have ice water in your veins. The Roush racers ran each other cleanly over the closing laps with Biffle holding the point by just 0.017 seconds over Martin at the finish.
Martin had nothing left to give -- which doesn't really differ than any other race -- but the satisfaction he felt at the end of what should have been his final day in a Cup car is the very reason I could not stand to watch him go.
When Martin arrived in the media center, he was as hyped up as I've seen him in a long time. He was comfortable in his surroundings sharing the stage with teammate Matt Kenseth, who finished third and Jeff Gordon, who clinched 11th in the standings.
Hearing Martin recant the finish tells you everything you need to know: "Man, it was close. I thought we were gonna be able to pull it off but we were just inches short. I guess maybe we needed another lap, or maybe I would have crashed trying."
That's a racer, folks. But here's the bonus round. Most race fans know that this was supposed to be Martin's final year. But Kurt Busch elected to leave Roush a year early and left a gaping hole in the Roush roster. Being the team player that he is Martin agreed to stay one more season, but he wasn't happy about it. That changed after Sunday night.
"I turned over a new leaf," Martin says. "Kenny Wallace said I was a pessimist after Charlotte, so I got mad and I'm so excited about coming back that I just can't stand it. I wish we were starting tomorrow and I'm gonna win. That's the new me."
That is a new Mark. And Jack, since Mark is sacrificing his family time to race, here is your opportunity to give him one last shot at the title. Get out the checkbook and secure his current crew for 2006. The No. 6 team led by Pat Tryson is one of the most dedicated staffs in NASCAR. This crew deserves to be compensated accordingly. Stop the bleeding before it begins.
Martin, Biffle Go Down to the Wire at Homestead Season Finale
Mark Martin and the #6 Viagra® Racing Team
Homestead-Miami Speedway/November 20, 2005
HOMESTEAD, FLA. – Mark Martin said all along that he and his Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) Racing Team would fight until the last checkered flag fell at Homestead and they did just that. Martin and the No. 6 Team went down swinging in Sunday night’s Nextel Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Martin and the No. 6 team fighting to the very end, coming up just short of victory as Roush teammate Greg Biffle edged Martin out at the line finish line by inches for the victory in one of the most exciting races of the season. Martin and Biffle led a 1-2-3-4 Roush finish at Homestead, with Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards close behind.
"That was a great race,” said Martin moments after climbing out of the Viagra® car. “The race track was just in perfect condition. I really wanted to get a win for Viagra® in their last race, and I was so close. Congratulations to Greg Biffle on the win and congratulations to Tony Stewart on the championship. We had a great night - man, it was close. I thought we were going to be able to pull it off but we were just inches short.
“I guess maybe we needed another lap, or maybe I would have crashed trying,” added Martin. “I raced Greg hard and I raced him clean and vice versa and he was in front when it was over. I would have loved to have one, but I guess only one guy can win. We had a great run, a great finish and a great year, and we were able to move up to fourth in the points in the last race.”
Martin was running in second place and had caught leader Casey Mears when the night’s eighth and final caution waved on lap 251 with only 16 laps remaining in the race. Martin and crew chief Pat Tryson decided to take two tires under caution and excellent work by the Viagra® Racing team’s over-the-wall crew put Martin back out in second place, and first of the cars who pitted.
Dave Blaney opted to stay out and restarted ahead of Martin in the lead when the field went green with only 11 laps remaining. Martin, who’s car was stronger on long runs than on restarts, would have to contend with Blaney and the lapped No. 01 car, allowing Biffle to close the gap and take the race lead with only eight to go. Martin refused to go down without a fight, mounting a late charge, catching Biffle and making the move to the inside coming off of turn four. The veteran was able to pull along side the No. 16 car, but came up just inches short of making the pass at the finish line.
“I did everything I could,” added Martin. “And I thought I had him, - but we just came up inches short. Still, it was a lot of fun and it’s really exciting to end the season this way. This is a great race team. These guys are killer. I've had the time of my life in 2005. I want to thank the fans. I want to thank Viagra® and Ford, Pennzoil, Gatorade, Goodyear, Maxwell House and all the people that support us. Like I say, I hope we can keep these guys (on the No. 6 team) together for another year and we’ll come back and make one more run at this thing.”
The race was a tale of two stories for Martin, who struggled in the early going with his No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus, radioing to Tryson early on that he did not feel the car was competitive. He started fifth, but fell all the way back to 12 th by the ninth lap of the race. However the car began to steadily improve, breaking back inside the top 10 for good on lap 34. The Viagra® Race Team was stealer all day, gaining Martin several positions on pit road, including three on its fourth stop of the day on lap 127, a 13.09-second stop that put Martin inside the top five for the first time of the race when green-flag racing resumed on lap 130.
By the lap 200 mark, Martin’s No. 6 Ford had become a rocket, passing teammate Carl Edwards for second place on lap 209. Martin took over the lead just after leader Casey Mears pitted on lap 227. He brought his No. 6 Ford down pit road a lap later for a green-flag stop to take on four tires and fuel and Martin was back in second once the field had cycled through on lap 238.
Strong on the long run, Martin spent the next several laps moving in on Mears and appeared poised to take the lead just moments before the caution fell on lap 251, setting up the 11 lap shootout for the win.
Martin finished the chase with six top-five finishes in the 10 races, including a win at Kansas and second-place runs at Texas and Homestead. Overall he had seven top fives in 10 races.
“Oh man, I'm the luckiest man in the world to drive that No. 6 car,” said Martin. “I sure hope that we're able to keep all those guys together. They are true winners. We scored a lot of points in the chase. If you look at what we did, we were in the top five almost every race, except for two where one time we shot ourselves in the foot, and the other time was the wreck at Talladega. I'm just hoping that I can drive cars that good again next year. That was fun. The track was spectacular tonight and I’m looking forward to taking another shot at it next season.”
Martin Runs third in 2005 Busch Finale at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, FLA. – Mark Martin and the No. 9 Pennzoil Platinum race team notched their fifth top-five finish of the season with a third-place finish in the Ford 300 in the Busch Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Driving in his second NASCAR race of the day (Martin finished eighth in Craftsman Truck Series race earlier in the day) Martin started the race seventh and led 13 laps en route to the third place finish.
“We had a really good car with the No.9 Pennzoil Ford today,” said Martin. “We just weren’t quite as good as those two guys in front of us. We were able to run with them for a while, but they just seemed to roll through the corner a little better than us. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was enough for them to get away from us a little bit.”
Martin started seventh and wasted little time mounting a march to the front. By lap 10 the veteran had cracked the top five. With the exception of a handful of laps Martin would run inside the field’s top five for the remainder of the race. The Busch Series’ all-time winning driver moved into second on lap 80, before taking the lead from Ryan Newman on lap 85 just before the day’s fifth caution.
Martin led the next 13 laps before giving the lead up to come down pit road under the day’s sixth caution on lap 99. With the car performing at its best level of the day, Martin took four fresh tires and fuel. A few cars opted to stay out and Martin returned in sixth position as the field returned to green on lap 106. Four laps later Martin moved back inside the top five.
Martin broke back into third on lap 146 where he was running when the day’s seventh caution was issued on lap 152. The team again came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and after a stop of 14.80-seconds returned to the field in second place when the field went green on lap 157. Martin was unable to hold off the No. 66 car of Greg Biffle and fell to third on lap 160. He lost third position to Kevin Harvick on lap 169, but passed Harvick’s No. 21 car back on the following lap. He was able to hold off Harvick’s charge for the remaining 30 laps and move on to the third-place finish.
The finish was Martin and the No. 9 team’s sixth top-10 finish in eight Busch starts in 2005. Martin finishes his 2005 Busch season with two wins and a pole.
Martin Runs Eighth in Rain-Delayed Return to Truck Series
HOMESTEAD, FLA. – Mark Martin made his return to the Craftsman Truck Series with an eighth-place finish in the Ford 200 on Saturday morning at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Martin’s return was delayed one day when persistent rains refused to let up on Friday night – forcing the race’s start to be delayed until Saturday morning.
“Man, that was a lot of fun,” said Martin. “We really leaned a lot today. I know that if we went back out and raced it again tomorrow we would be able to finish a lot better based on the things that we were able to pick up during that race.”
Martin broke inside the top five for the first time on lap 59. He moved into third on lap 83 and took the lead just before pitting on lap 95. He was running in fourth position when the day’s seventh and final caution was called on lap 127. Martin and crew chief Pat Tryson opted to stay out. The moved proved to backfire as Martin would be unable to hold off the trucks behind him on fresh tires; eventually settling for the eighth place finish.
“We were a little better than that all day – we just fell back to the new tires there at the end,” added Martin. “Still it was really fun to get behind the wheel of a truck again and I can’t wait to get more time in the seat there in the future. I think that we are going to have a great time with the truck series.”
Martin started in 14 th and had moved inside the top-10 by the time the day’s second caution was called on lap 31. Martin brought his No. 33 Stonebridge Life Insurance Ford F-150 down pit road for four tires and fuel and his No. 6 Nextel Cup crew sent him out in ninth when green flag racing resumed on lap 32.
The race was Martin’s third career start in the Craftsman Truck Series and his first since winning at North Wilkesboro in 1996. Martin plans to run a handful of races in the Truck Series in 2006, before running a full truck schedule in 2007.
FORD DRIVERS FINISH STRONG IN FORD 400
Ford Racing: News
November 20, 2005
Homestead, Fla. — Ford's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers gave one last hurrah to the NASCAR version of the Ford Taurus in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The finish marked the first time Roush Racing has finished 1-2-3-4, with Greg Biffle taking the victory followed by Mark Martin (2nd), Matt Kenseth (3rd) and Carl Edwards (4th).
In its eight-year history racing in NASCAR’s top division, Taurus ended up winning 100 points races and 108 overall when the Budweiser Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge are included. In addition, Taurus produced three driver’s championships (1999, 2003, and 2004) and three manufacturer’s championships (1999, 2000 and 2002).
Ford will be racing the all-new Ford Fusion in 2006.
MARK MARTIN – NO. 6 VIAGRA TAURUS (FINISHED 2ND)
“That was a great race. The race track was just in perfect condition. I wanted to get a win for Viagra in their last race. I was so close. Congratulations to Greg Biffle. Congratulations to Tony Stewart. We had a great night. Man, it was close. I thought we were gonna be able to pull it off but we were just inches short. I guess maybe we needed another lap, or maybe I would have crashed trying. I raced Greg hard and I raced him clean and vice versa and he was in front when it was over.”
YOU HAVE NEXT YEAR NOW.
“I hope these guys stay with me. I hope we don’t lose any of these guys. They’re killer. I’ve had the time of my life in 2005. I want to thank the fans. I want to thank Ford, Pennzoil, Gatorade, Goodyear, Maxwell House and all the people that support us. Like I say, I hope we can keep these guys together for another year.”
DID THE 01 HOLD YOU UP ON THE RESTART?
“We just did the best we could there. Greg got to the front first. That’s just how it works out. It’s just how it fell. That’s racin’.”
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU TRIED TO MOVE HIM UP TO GET A HIGHER LINE ON THE LAST CORNER.
“I did everything I could, man. I got beat. It was a great race. I’d love to win, but I reckon me and my teammate wouldn’t have been any good. We also moved up to fourth in the points. If I would have wiped out in the last turn, we wouldn’t have done that either. I tried to win. I thought we might. We had a great race. We came up short. That’s racin’. Only one guy gets to win.”
“I thought I had him. That’s the overview. Oh man, I’m the luckiest man in the world to drive that 6 car. I sure hope that we’re able to keep all those guys together. They are true winners. We scored a lot of points in the chase. If you look at what we did, we were in the top five almost every race, except for two where one time we shot ourselves in the foot, and the other time the wreck at Talladega. I’m just hoping that I can drive cars that good again next year. That was fun. The track was spectacular tonight.”
A GOOD FEELING OR DISAPPOINTMENT THAT YOU HAD FIVE GUYS IN IT AND DIDN’T WIN?
“I’m happy to be fourth considering I was fifth coming in. My team’s performance was spectacular in the chase, so I can’t ask for more than that.”
ON TONY STEWART WINNING
“I would like to say congratulations to those guys, and one other thing. Last year, surely the champion didn’t score as many points as Tony did this year. I don’t know, but I’d have to say that 19 out of 21 races being in the top 10, you’re not gonna beat that. Those guys were unbelievable. Old or new point system, that’s just incredible.”
ARE YOU ENCOURAGED ABOUT NEXT YEAR NOW?
“I turned over a new leaf. Kenny Wallace said I was a pessimist after Charlotte, so I got mad and I’m so excited about coming back that I just can’t stand it. I wish we were starting tomorrow and I’m gonna win (laughter). That’s the new me.”
MARK SAYS, “Yep, it took Kenny Wallace.”
THOUGHTS ON THE LAST LAP
“I got a good run across the bottom of one and two and got off the corner beside him. The outside just has so much momentum here and it also pulls the inside car loose. For every single reason in the book I didn’t want to wipe us both out, but I sure did want to win. Being able to hold beside him down the backstretch made me feel pretty good. If I could get into three and get it stuck down on the bottom, I felt like I had a good chance if I didn’t get sideways. I had to let him roll in a little bit further into the corner and I got it pinned to the bottom and got back to the gas, and when I did that – without getting sideways – I thought, ‘This could be our race here.’ He just rolled the top just a little bit – he had that momentum coming off the corner – and, like I say, it was just so close. It was just inches, but I thought there when I got it pinned down on the white line and got back to the gas, if he hadn’t had just a really perfect corner around the top there, we would have had him by a few inches, but it was a great race. He’s a great competitor. As you guys saw, my car was faster on the long runs and that thing was just spectacular on the long runs. It’s strong suit was not restarts, and it just took me a few laps to get that thing rolling on the restart and he got to the front first. If I could have cleared those two guys and got out in clean air and got a couple of laps under my belt before Greg got to me, I think I might have been able to keep him back, but he got to me so quick that my car just wouldn’t roll yet. It took it a few laps to come around.”
HAVE YOU NOTICED A DIFFERENT TONY THIS YEAR?
“I think Tony drives a lot the same. He definitely has learned to handle situations better through experience and that’s a hard thing to do, but, like Jeff said, I don’t believe the trophy makes the man. Tony Stewart, in my eyes, is the greatest race car driver I’ve watched drive in this era. A.J. Foyt might have been that when I was a little boy, but Tony Stewart is my driving hero.”
“I would like to say one more thing. I want to salute Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd. This is big. I’m excited for Rusty and sad for Rusty at the same time. I’m so excited for him to start a new chapter in his life. I am incredibly sad to think that all those times that we had and all the things that we’ve done along the way are a thing of the past. I look forward to the next 30 years. If they can be anything like the past 30, we’re still in for a good time. He’s entertained me for almost 30 years.”
THOUGHTS ON CARL’S FUTURE
“They asked me after the race about him and I said, ‘He’s magic.’ And they said, ‘How do you mean?’ And I said, ‘Well, you see him. He’s magic.’ The guy is pretty incredible. That’s all I can say.”
DID IT OCCUR TO YOU BEFORE THE RACE THAT YOU COULD HAVE WON YOUR LAST RACE IN THE VIAGRA CAR?
“This particular one I was too busy, but you know what, now that you say that, I might have been willing to wreck for it if it would have been my last one. I don’t know. That wouldn’t have been my style, but I did everything I could to win it, but that’s pretty ironic. I would have been in a pickle, wouldn’t I. I would have been in a pickle right there. I hadn’t thought of that, but, anyway, it was a great race and it was a lot of fun, we just came up short today.”
Ford Racing: News
November 19, 2005
Mark Martin, pulling triple duty in Truck, Busch and Cup races, had another good run in the No. 9 Pennzoil Platinum Ford with a third place finish.
MARK MARTIN-9-PENNZOIL PLATINUM FORD TAURUS (FINISHED 3RD)
"I want to thank the Pennzoil team for such a great job. It was a fast car in qualifying, fast in practice, fast on pit road and fast on the race track. Those other two guys could just roll the corner just a little bit faster than I could, but it wasn't a balance issue, so it wasn't something we could adjust for."
HOW DID THE TRACK CONDITIONS CHANGE AS THE SUN SET?
"It didn't change."
MARK MARTIN PRESS CONFERENCE
"The Pennzoil team unloaded fast. We didn't practice very much, we qualified fast, we were fast on the race track and fast on pit road. We really didn't have a balance issue. The car really worked well, and the balance was nice. I was able to run low or high, those other two guys just managed to roll the corner just a little bit better. There were a couple of long runs where we caught them, where they got away and we caught back up. Our car was a little bit better on some of the long runs, but when it came down to it, we just couldn't roll the corner quite as good."
"Most of the time I'm more thinking about how I can get up there and run with these guys, or chasing those guys - Truex and Bowyer. Honestly, this sport is in great hands. Bowyer has been phenomenal, and I think everybody has known for a while that Truex is phenomenal. Martin really proved himself to me. I don't know how many people actually watch IROC, but to me Martin really proved himself this year. Not just at Atlanta, all the way. He went into Atlanta with a good solid points position, and that's one of the ways that I judge people - the guys that get into IROC and what they're able to do with it. He's a solid guy and Bowyer is too; the sport is in good hands."
"It can be body/aero. It can be shock. It can be spring or attitude. It could even be just as much as a little bit of camber. We were pretty conservative this weekend with all of our cars, and who knows? It's just a little bit, a little bit of grip, and it's something you can't adjust for."
ROOKIE KLUEVER, VETERAN MARTIN TOP FORD TRUCKS AT HOMESTEAD
Ford Racing: News
November 19, 2005
Mark Martin made his first Craftsman Truck Series start in nine years at Homestead. Martin will be pulling triple duty this weekend as he runs the Truck, Busch and Cup races. Martin ran in the top-10 the majority of the race but stuggled with passing trucks due to his lack of experience with the unique aerodynamic push the trucks experience in traffic. Martin finished behind teammate Kluever in eighth place.
MARK MARTIN-33-STONEBRIDGE LIFE INSURANCE FORD F-150 (FINISHED 8TH)
"I had a lot of fun running the truck series again. I learned a lot. I knew I had a lot to learn because it's been so long, but that sure did show up there today. We kinda know what we need to work on next year and the next race maybe we'll improve on it. I certainly see where we can improve."
WITH THE CHANGE IN THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEKEND DUE TO WEATHER, WILL FATIGUE BE AN ISSUE FOR YOU?
"I don't think so. We've got a bunch of iron men here, and I don't think it will be a problem. I'm used to running 500 miles on Sunday and the truck and Busch races are shorter than that, so I don't see it being an issue."
2005 Mark Martin Homestead Fast Facts - Sunday, November 20, 2005
Ford 400 / Homestead-Miami Speedway
#6 Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) Ford Taurus
November 15, 2005
DRIVER: Mark Martin
TEAM: No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
OWNER: Jack Roush
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
MARK MARTIN - 2004 EVENT
November 21, 2005
Started 11th, Finished 11th
Mark Martin and the Viagra Team concluded the 2004 season with a solid 11th place finish in the season’s final race at Homestead. The finish was good enough to move Martin past Dale Earnhardt Jr. for fourth place in the final Nextel Cup point standings. Martin had driven his No. 6 Ford into the top-five before taking the lead on lap 192, and looked poised for a top-five finish before a cut tire late in the race moved Martin to the back of the lead lap. The veteran was able to battle back through the field, coming up just short of a top-10 finish when the final checkered flag fell. The ‘battle to the end’ finish seemed fitting for a team that had fought back time and time again during the course of the season. After starting the season in last place after Daytona, Martin came back to claim his 11th career top-five points finish and his second top-four in the past three seasons.
MARTIN, NO. 6 VIAGRA TEAM LOOK FOR STRONG FINISH
Martin and the Viagra Racing Team travel south this weekend to Homestead, Fla. for the grand finale of the 2005 "Salute To You" season. Martin and the team will look to close out the season with a strong finish at Homestead, where Martin boasts three top-five finishes in six Cup starts.
Chassis Number: (No. 315) - The team will run RK-315 this weekend at Homestead. RK-315 is the car Martin used to dominate the field at Kansas. He also used the car to finish third three weeks ago in Atlanta.
MARTIN AT HOMESTEAD
Top 5's: 3
Top 10's: 3
Highest finish: 3rd (11/12/00)
First time: 11/14/99 (4)
Last time: 11/21/04 (11th)
All of Martin's three top-10 finishes at Homestead have been fourth-place or better.
IN THE POINTS
Martin remains fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings, 48 points ahead of sixth and 60 points behind fourth. Martin is 162 points outside of first and mathematically eliminated from championship contention, but he has a strong chance to post his 11th career top-five finish in the season standings. Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
MARK MARTIN AT HOMESTEAD
Martin has posted three top-five finishes in six runs at Homestead. He finished fourth there in the inaugural Cup race there in 1999, third in 2000 and fourth in 2002. Martin finished 11th there last season, locking up fourth place in the Nextel Cup point race.
MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS – HOMESTEAD
- Martin has three top-five finishes in six starts at Homestead.
- Martin's best finish at Homestead came in 2000 when he finished third.
- Martin has led a total of 28 laps in six races at Homestead, including eight last season.
- Martin has competed in six Busch races at Homestead, turning in five top fives in those starts.
- Martin has posted six top-10 finishes, five top-five finishes and one victory in nine 'Chase' races. In addition he has led 262 laps during the nine 'Chase' races.
MARTIN IN THE CHASE
In nine chase races, Martin has six finishes of seventh or better, including a win at Kansas, a second at Texas and a third at Atlanta. Martin has led a total of 262 laps during the "Chase." Martin trails the leader by 162 points. His Championship hopes were dealt a severe blow after getting caught up in someone else's early accident at Talladega where he lost 150 points to the leader.
MARTIN LOOKING FOR TRIPLE THREAT AT HOMESTEAD
Martin will race in all three of NASCAR's races this weekend at Homestead, running in the Craftsman Truck Series on Friday night, the Busch Series on Saturday night and the Nextel Cup race on Sunday afternoon. This will mark the first time since 1996 that Martin has taken part in three NASCAR races in one weekend and it is his first Truck start since '96.
QUOTING MARK MARTIN AND CREW CHIEF PAT TRYSON ON HOMESTEAD
"Homestead has been a pretty good track for us over the yeras. They have changed the track a lot in the last couple of years, but it's still a fun place to race. We will have a really busy weekend at Homestead, running in all three of the Truck, Busch and Cup races, so hopefully we'll have plenty of chances to pick up a couple of more trophies before the season ends this weekend. We have a good shot to finish inside the top five in points and we'll be going there this weekend with every intention of winning the race.
"This really has been one of the best seasons of my career. I just can't say enough about Pat Tryson and this whole Viagra Team. They stuck together and came back for me and while we may have come up short on a championship, their effort was 110 percent and that is something that I'll always remember. This is not only the best race team in the business, but these guys are my heros."
"We are going to go there looking for another win. We are going to get in a lot of laps this weekend, running in all three races and Mark really knows how to get around at Homestead, so it's our plan to go there and solidify ourselves in the top-five in points and pick up another win for the Viagra Team before the season comes to an end."
2005 Mark Martin Homestead Fast Facts - Saturday, November 19, 2005
Ford 300 / Homestead-Miami Speedway
#9 Pennzoil Platinum Ford Taurus
November 15, 2005
DRIVER: Mark Martin
TEAM: No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
OWNER: Jack Roush
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
MARTIN LOOKS FOR STRONG RUN IN BUSCH FINALE
Mark Martin and the Red Apple No. 9 Racing Team will be looking for their third Busch Series win in 2005 when they take the green flag this Friday night in the Richmond International Raceway, where Martin finished second in the Busch race in the spring.
The team will run RK-296 at Homestead this weekend. RK-296 made its only other run of the season at Kansas.
IN THE BUSCH SERIES
Martin made a name for himself in the Busch Series, taking a series record 45 checkered-flags from 1987 until he 'retired' from the series in 2000. Martin has posted an additional two wins this year, boosting his record total to 47. All in all Martin has run 212 Busch races, collecting 135 top 10's and 98 top fives. Martin has won 22 percent of all the Busch races he's entered and finished inside the top 10 sixty-four percent of the time. Martin has led 5,232 laps in the series.
ON THE POLE
Martin won his 28th career pole this September at Richmond. The pole tied for the most career poles ever in the Busch Series.
MARK MARTIN AT HOMESTEAD
This will be Martin's seventh run in the Busch Series at Homestead. He boasts five top-five finishes, including a second place run in his last Busch start there in 2000. He has led a total of 115 laps in those six starts and has an average finish of fiffth.
RECORD 47 CAREER VICTORIES
Martin will be going for his record-extending 48th win in the Busch Series. Martin's first win in the Busch Series came on May 30, 1987 at Dover. His last win in a Busch car came in March at Las Vegas. It was Martin's second Busch win of the season. Despite running a limited schedule of 15 races or less, Martin won at least two Busch races each year from 1993-2000, including six-win seasons in '92, '96, '97 and '99.
PENNZOIL AND ROUSH
Pennzoil first sponsored Jack Roush in the 1960’s, when the former Ford Motor Company engineer was a driver himself. This season Pennzoil is proud to once again team up with Jack Roush as sponsor of all five 2005 Roush Racing Nextel Cup teams as well as the NASCAR Busch Series Pennzoil No. 9 team. Martin will run seven races this season in the No. 9 Pennzoil Platinum Ultimate Protection Ford, with Matt Kenseth running two (Charlotte 2, Texas 2).
QUOTING MARK MARTIN ON THE BUSCH RACE AT HOMESTEAD
“We've run quite a few Busch races at Homestead and we've always been really good there in the Busch car. We had a good test there a couple of weeks ago with the Busch car and we'll go there looking to get us one more Busch win before the season ends.”
MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS - HOMESTEAD - BUSCH RACE
- This will be Martin's seventh Busch start at Homestead.
- Martin has finished inside the top five in five of six Busch starts at Homestead.
- Martin's 47 wins in the Busch Series are the series record. He has two wins in six starts this season.
- Martin's 28 career Busch poles tie for the most ever in the series. He has one this season.
2005 Mark Martin Homestead Fast Facts - Saturday, November 18, 2005
Ford 200 / Homestead-Miami Speedway
F150 #33-Stonebridge Life Insurance
November 15, 2005
DRIVER: Mark Martin
TEAM: No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
OWNER: Jack Roush
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
MARTIN MAKES RETURN TO TRUCK SERIES
Almost 10 years after winning the Craftsman Truck Series race at North Wilkesboro, Mark Martin makes his return to the series this Friday night in the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Martin will be going for the triple threat at Homestead this weekend, taking part in the Truck, Busch and Nextel Cup Series races. It marks the first time Martin has taken part in all three of NASCAR's premier series races in the same weekend since Sept of 1996 at Richmond. He will drive the No. 33 Stonebridge Life Ford F-150 in the race.
THE CAR (TRUCK)
The team will run No. 43 at Homestead this Friday night. This will be No. 43's first run. Martin and the team tested the truck at Homestead in October and were very pleased with the results.
MARTIN IN THE CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Martin has only two starts in the Truck series, with both coming in Sept. of 1996. Martin started his first race in the series on Sept. 5 1996, where he started fourth and finished third. Later that month on Sept. 28 he registered his first and only win in the series, starting second and taking the checkered flag in the Lowe's 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. That was Martin's last start in the series until this weekend.
MARK MARTIN AT HOMESTEAD
While this will be Martin's first start in the Truck Series at Homestead, he is certainly no stranger to the 1.5-mile track. Martin has started a total of 12 combined races at Homestead in both the Cup and the Busch series, registering eight top-five finishes in those events. Ironically all of Martin's top 10 finishes at Homestead have been inside of the top five. However, Martin has never registered a victory at Homestead in any series.
While this will be Martin's first Truck Series start in nine years, Martin will see familiar faces when he hits pit road in his No. 33 truck on Friday night. The truck will be pitted by Martin's No. 6 Viagra Racing Nextel Cup team and will be crew chiefed by Pat Tryson and spotted by all-star spotter Eddie Pardue.
QUOTING MARK MARTIN ON THE TRUCK RACE AT HOMESTEAD
“We are really looking forward to the truck race this weekend at Homestead. It's been a long time since we ran a truck race and I've really been itching to get back in that series, as that is where our future lies. We are going to run a handful of truck races next season as well and then go full-time with it in '07, so this should be a good way to tell exactly where we are with the program. I'm just looking to go out and have a lot of fun with it this weekend.”
Martin Finishes 14th At Phoenix
Mark Martin and the #6 Viagra® Racing Team
Phoenix International Raceway/November 13, 2005
PHOENIX, ARIZ. – Mark Martin and the Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) Racing team ran to a 14 th-place finish in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. The finish kept Martin in fifth-place in the Nextel Cup point standings. Martin dropped to 162 points behind leader Tony Stewart with only one race remaining, thus mathematically eliminating the No. 6 team from championship contention, but Martin moved 45 points in front of sixth, thus solidifying his bid for a top-five finish on the season.
“The team really did a great job today,” said Martin after the race. “We really ran a lot better than that finish shows. We passed a whole lot of cars and we had a good car. It just got tight there on that last run and I guess that was the wrong run to get too tight to pass people. It was a good day for the Viagra® Team, I just wish we could have gotten a better finish that was a little more in line with the effort.”
The Viagra® Racing over-the-wall crew once again enjoyed one of its finest days in the pits, posting numerous stops in the 12-second range and gaining Martin valuable position in the pits on several occasions. Running a special Retro-‘81 paint scheme, Martin struggled on race’s first run dropping back to 31 st position, as he fought with a loose car that struggled to turn in the corners. He had moved back to 28 th position when the day’s first caution was issued on lap 26. Martin came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment and the crew did its job with a 12.37-second stop that moved Martin up to 26 th when green-flag racing resumed.
The car’s handling settled in and Martin began picking off cars one-by-one. By lap 72 he had moved inside the field’s top-20 and was turning the fastest times on the track. Martin was up to 19 th when caution number two was called on lap 82. Martin again came into the pits for four tires, fuel and an additional wedge adjustment and the team again responded, this time with a 12.66-second stop that put Martin out in 18 th when the field went green on lap 88.
Martin passed his way up the field, breaking into 14 th position just before the day’s third caution was issued on lap 114. This time the team had a problem with a lug nut on the stop and Martin lost valuable position, dropping back to 22 nd position when the green flag fell on lap 117. Again the veteran wasted little time moving through the field, moving back into 15 th position by lap 148.
Martin had advanced all the way to 13 th when caution number four was called on lap 166. That time the team fired off a 12.9- second stop that moved Martin inside the top 10 for the first time of the day on lap 168. Several cars took two-tires only under caution on 197, while the No. 6 car opted for four. Still the team was on the mark again with a 12.4-second stop that put Martin back out in fourth and drew praise from team owner Jack Roush.
Martin had moved all the way to eighth position when caution number seven was waved on lap 229. The team again came in for four tires, while several teams stayed out or took two only. Martin restarted in 19 th position and would have a difficult time regaining the positions. He had moved up to 15 th when caution number eight was called on lap 254. The team again took four tires, and after another fast stop they were able to maintain their position. However, for Martin the final run would prove not as strong as the previous runs. He was able to take over 14 th with only eight laps remaining and would hold on to the 14 th-place finish.
The team returns to action next week at Homestead for the final event of the 2005 “Salute To You” Season. Martin will run in the Craftsman Truck, Busch and Nextel Cup Series races at Homestead where he has three top-five finishes in six starts.
“We have one more and we are going to go there and try to get us one more trophy before this thing is over,” said Martin.
FORD SIGNS LARGEST-EVER RACING SPONSORSHIP
Ford Racing: News
November 4, 2005
FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI THROUGH 2014
Miami — The season finales of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and Nextel Cup series will remain Ford-titled races through 2014, under an agreement between Ford and Homestead-Miami Speedway announced today at the South Florida International Auto Show.
The 10-year extension of Ford Championship Weekend is the largest motorsports sponsorship in Ford history. The initial phase of the contract runs through 2009, with an automatic renewal that will extend that partnership to 2014.
The agreement continues Ford’s role as official car and official truck of the race weekend, and continues Ford entitlement rights to the Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series final event, the Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series final event, and the Ford 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series final event.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce this agreement,” said Burt Diamond, Ford Racing Technology Global Motorsport Marketing manager.
“It’s been exciting to see the Ford Championship Weekend grow into one of the premier NASCAR experiences over the past three years, and this new long-term agreement will allow us to make it even more of a national destination event.”
The importance of the Ford Championship Weekend has grown dramatically the past two years since it became the climactic event in NASCAR’s 10-race, 10-driver championship competition: The Chase for the Nextel Cup.
“With Ford Championship Weekend taking place each November in South Florida, it's the perfect setting for the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series championships each and every year," said Curtis Gray, president, Homestead-Miami Speedway. “This long-term commitment further solidifies our outstanding relationship with Ford as we continue to elevate the premier status of Ford Championship Weekend as one of the most anticipated championship events in the country.”
NASCAR LOOMS LARGE IN FORD FUSION LAUNCH
Ford has made NASCAR one of the pillars of the launch of the all-new 2006 Ford Fusion—the boldly-styled car that mark’s Ford return to the mid-size car market.
“This long-term extension is further proof of our commitment to NASCAR racing and to south Florida,” Diamond said. “This agreement has support at the highest levels of Ford because we have seen what racing can do as a marketing tool to help us sell more cars and trucks.”
The 2006 Fusion will serve as the official pace car for this year’s Ford 300 and Ford 400. And starting at Daytona Speedweeks 2006 in February, the Roush Racing, Robert Yates Racing and Wood Brothers race teams will field at least eight Fusions—Ford’s first all-new race car nameplate since the 1968 Ford Torino.
“The NASCAR audience is so enormous and the loyalty of NASCAR fans is so strong, we think Fusion will establish an emotional connection with fans even before we start winning races,” says Diamond.
Diamond noted that recent Ford research has shown that more than 54 percent of Ford owners consider themselves race fans.
“That’s already a huge number of people who have a strong, emotional connection to our racing activity,” said Diamond. “And, as NASCAR grows, we’re looking at the opportunity to convert casual race fans into Ford loyalists.”
Among market-active consumers, Ford’s market share among race fans is 46 percent higher than among non-race fans. And consideration for Ford products is 72 percent higher among race fans, than it is among non-race fans.
“Our research has shown that our primary brand attributes—things like holds up well, smart designs, practical innovations—all rate higher among race fans than non race fans,” said Diamond.
“Our NASCAR race fans have the strongest image of Ford on both primary and racing-related brand images than anywhere else we race.
THE 2005 FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND
This year’s Ford Championship Weekend is Nov. 18-20. Ford will kick off race week activities with the Ford Racing Innovation Drive for consumers on Nov. 16 from 8 a.m.—4 p.m. EST at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Consumers will have a chance to drive a host of new Ford products, including the 2006 Ford Fusion and 2006 Ford Explorer, and meet Ford drivers like 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch.
On Nov. 17, Ford and Homestead-Miami Speedway will co-sponsor a Ford Championship Weekend Race Fest at Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale from noon—11 p.m., featuring music, interactive games and appearances by six of Ford’s NASCAR stars.
FORD FANS BID FAREWELL TO NASCAR TAURUS
This year’s Ford Championship Weekend marks the swan song for the racing version of the Ford Taurus. Heading into the last three races of the season, the Taurus has four NASCAR championships (three Nextel Cup, one Busch), and 106 Nextel Cup victories since it made its competition debut in February 1998.
“We’d love to take Taurus out a winner in Homestead,” said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. “I can’t think of a better farewell scenario than to have Taurus win its final race, and a Taurus driver win the championship on the final day.
2005 Mark Martin Phoenix Fast Facts - Sunday, November 13, 2005
Checker Auto Parts 500
Phoenix International Raceway
#6 Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) Ford Taurus
November 10, 2005
DRIVER: Mark Martin
TEAM: No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
OWNER: Jack Roush
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
2004 EVENT WINNER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
MARK MARTIN - 2004 EVENT
Phoenix International Raceway/November 7, 2004
Checker Auto Parts 500
Started 22, Finished 15
PHOENIX, ARIZ. – “It was just one of those days where not a lot went right,” said Mark Martin moments after running to a 15th-place finish in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. The race marked the 600th Nextel Cup race of Martin’s storied career.
“It just seemed like we couldn’t get a break,” added Martin. “We had a lot better car than that (15th), but we just couldn’t get over the hump. It seems like that has happened a lot to us during these final 10 races. We are running pretty good, but we just don’t come away with the finish that we should.”
Martin started the race 22nd and wasted little time breaking into the field’s top 20 on the first lap. My lap 38 Martin had powered the Viagra? Ford inside the field’s top 15 and he had moved the car all the way to 11th position when the day’s first caution was issued on lap 75. The team came into the pits for four tires and fuel and returned in 12th place after a 15.45-second stop.
Martin was still running in 12th when light rain started to fall on lap 100. Four laps later caution was issued for the weather. The team pitted for four tires and fuel just moments before the field was red-flagged on lap 110 due to persistent rain. Green flag racing resumed 25 minutes later with the field going green on lap 114.
Martin was running in 13th position when the No. 6 Ford became caught up in a spin on lap 128. Martin’s car slid around a complete 360 degrees, but the veteran was able to avoid contact with several cars around him. Still Martin lost valuable track position. The team came into the pits for four fresh tires and restarted in 24th position when the field went green on lap 132.
Once again Martin began a steady march through the field, moving back inside the top 20 on lap 135. Martin had advanced to 17th position when the day’s fifth caution was issued on lap 142. This time the team opted for right-side tires only and Martin returned the field in 15th place when green-flag racing resumed. Caught up in lapped traffic, Martin fell back to 18th place by lap 151. The team stayed out under caution on lap 157 and Martin moved up to 15th place when the field went green.
Martin struggled with the car on the restart, dropping back to 17th by lap 162. The No. 6 Ford had dropped back to 21st place when the field began green-flag pitting on lap 189. Martin stayed on the track and steadily moved up as the leaders began to pit. Martin was running in 10th place and set to pit in two laps when the day’s seventh caution was called on lap 225. The team pitted and came out in 16th place, but quickly fell back to 19th on the new tires. Still running in 19th position, Martin opted for four fresh tires under caution on lap 239 and he returned to the field in 22nd place when the field went green on lap 243.
Again the No. 6 would struggle on the restart, falling back to 24th by lap 250, before Martin was able to regroup and once again mount a move up the field. By lap 254 he was back inside the top 20 in 19th place. Martin moved into 16th position 20 laps later lap 274. Martin was still in 16th place when the day’s ninth caution was issued on lap 282. Despite light rainfall and looming darkness the No. 6 team opted to come in for four fresh tires and fuel. The gamble paid off when the field resumed racing on lap 293 with Martin running in 18th place. Martin had moved to 17th when the day’s 10th caution was called on lap 298. The team opted to stay out and Martin remained in 17th when green-flag racing resumed with only 10 laps to go on lap 302.
The day’s 11th and final caution was issued on lap 306 forcing a green-white-checkered finish. Martin restarted the three-lap shootout in 15th place and was able to hold position and bring home the top-15 finish, his 24th top-15 finish in 33 races this season.
MARTIN LOOKS TO CARRY MOMENTUM INTO PHOENIX
Martin will look for his third top-five finish in a row and his fifth in the last seven races when the team heads out west to Phoenix this weekend for the ninth race in the 'Chase' for the Nextel Cup. Martin will look to continue his forward momentum as the season winds down with only two races remaining.
Chassis Number: (No. 48) - The team will run No. 48 this weekend at Phoenix. Martin used the car to finish seventh at Loudon in Sept. Kurt Busch used the car to finish sixth two weeks ago at Martinsville. Busch won the Sept. Richmond race with the car earlier this season as well.
Martin won at Phoenix on Halloween of 1993 and he has finished second or better in six of 18 starts.
BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE
Martin has started a total of 24 races at the remaining two tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted one win, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has an 11.15 average finish at those two Chase tracks and he has led a total of 499 laps, including 471 at Phoenix.
MARTIN AT PHOENIX
Martin has posted top-10 finishes in 13 of his 18 starts at Phoenix. He has eight top-five finishes and won the Cup event there in October of 1993. He has finished inside the top 10 in 11 of his last 14 there. In addition, Martin has run second at Phoenix on five occasions. He finished 22nd in the spring race and 15th there last fall.
Starts: 18 (17)
Wins: 1 (1)
Top 5's: 8 (8)
Top 10's: 13 (13)
Highest finish: 1st (10/31/05)
First time: 11/6/88 (36)
Last time: 11/7/04 (15) 4/23/05 (22)
MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS - PHOENIX
- Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 72 percent (13) of his Phoenix Cup races.
- Martin won at Phoenix on Oct. 31, 1993.
- Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 11 of the last 14 races at Phoenix.
- Martin has finished second or better in six of 17 races at Phoenix.
- Martin has posted six top-10 finishes, five top-five finishes and one victory in eight 'Chase' races. In addition he has led 262 laps during the eight 'Chase' races.
MARTIN IN THE CHASE
In eight chase races, Martin has six finishes of seventh or better, including a win at Kansas, a second at Texas and a third at Atlanta. Martin has led a total of 262 laps during the "Chase". Martin trails the leader by 123 points, and his Championship hopes were dealt a severe blow after getting caught up in someone else's early accident at Talladega where he lost 150 points to the leader.
QUOTING MARK MARTIN AND CREW CHIEF PAT TRYSON ON PHOENIX
Phoenix is a good track for racing. It's set up a little different on each end, but ultimately the key is getting through the corners faster than everyone else. We've had pretty good success there over the years, although we have been off a little the last couple of times. Hopefully we can get that figured out and go there and get another strong finish for this race team.
"We've had some really strong runs in the last couple of races and I can't tell you how proud I am of Pat Tryson and this Viagra Race team. These cars that they are giving me are awesome and it's a lot of fun to drive them. We had a really good car this past weekend at Texas and we almost pulled it off, but we just lost out to the best car. We've finished second and third in the last two so hopefully we can do just a little better this week and get us another win here before this thing is over."
"We've been pretty strong lately and we are looking forward to going back to Phoenix and hopefully getting another strong run. We were off there in the spring race, so we are hoping to go there and get that corrected and come out with another good finish. We've been really fast lately - we just have come up a little short on getting the win. Hopefully this week we can go there and come out on top."
Catching up with Mark Martin
The Miami Herald
November 11, 2005
Old look: Mark Martin will race a Retro '81 paint scheme on his No. 6 Ford for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. With only one race before the season-finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martin still has a chance. He's in fifth place, 123 points behind leader Tony Stewart. Each week we follow Martin's quest to win his first Nextel Cup championship.
In the rearview mirror: Martin had a solid second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. He was in the lead, having stayed on the track for position during the final caution. But his teammate Carl Edwards passed six cars with new right-side tires and finally caught Martin with one lap to go.
In the windshield: Martin has had good success at the 1-mile oval in Phoenix. In 18 starts, he has eight top five finishes and won on Halloween there in 1993.
Q: Did you regret the decision not to pit for fresh tires at Texas?
A: Possibly. Especially if more cars would've stayed out. We would've won the race if more cars would've stayed out, but (crew chief Pat Tryson) seemed to think that cars pitted on the second lap. He first told me 12 stayed out. Well, if 12 stayed out, we would've won the race, no doubt.
Q: You finished third at Atlanta and second at Texas, but have only made up 47 points on Stewart. Do you still have a shot?
A: I know there's only two races left. We're running good, and that's all I care about. And it would take a miracle for us to win the championship, but we're digging. We're going down with a fight. And we would be right there if we hadn't got so beat at Martinsville, and that was our fault.
I can get beat and take that. I just got robbed at Talladega, and that was a hard one to take (getting caught in someone else's wreck). . . . But miracles do happen, and I have had the best racing season of my life.
Q: Do you feel lucky with your Retro '81 car, one of the four you have run during your ''Salute to You'' tour?
A: We were able to get the win in the Retro '83 car in the all-star race at Charlotte, and we had a really good run in the Retro '90 car at Indy. So hopefully, we can keep it going and close it out strong with this car at Phoenix.
Q: The Retro '81 was the paint scheme you used during your first Winston Cup race at the North Wilkesboro Speedway on April 5, 1981. You started fifth and finished 27th. Does it bring back memories?
A: It's really been a long time since I've seen that car. I know just like the other cars it will bring back a lot of memories of those early days. It was a really cool-looking car back then, so I think everyone will enjoy seeing it again this weekend.''
-- CAMMY CLARK
Martin Is Relishing His Best Season Yet
By Mike Harris
AP Motorsports Writer
November 9 2005
Mark Martin, long known for his gloomy, pessimistic ways, now is predicting victories and talking about the possibility of miracles when it comes to having a legitimate shot at NASCAR's Nextel Cup championship.
Why the change?
"Well, I'll tell you, I've never had a better season than I have this year, and I just feel good about it," Martin said. "This was supposed to be the last, and I came into it feeling like I had to make the most out of it -- and I have."
The 46-year-old Martin, who first raced in NASCAR's top series in 1981, intended to retire from the Cup series at the end of the 2005 season. His plan was to spend the next few years racing toward a real retirement by competing in the less-intense -- and less busy and more fun -- worlds of NASCAR's Busch and Craftsman Truck series.
But the fates conspired against Martin, who now plans to spend one more season in Roush Racing's No. 6 Ford.
Earlier this year, Jack Roush signed Jamie McMurray as the intended replacement for Martin. But McMurray was unable, at the time, to get out of his contract with Chip Ganassi for 2006, so the move was set for 2007.
Martin has driven for Roush since 1988 and the two are friends as well as employer and employee. When Roush asked Martin to stay on in the interim, the driver reluctantly agreed, saying, "I owe Jack so much, there's no way I could say no."
Then Roush teammate Kurt Busch followed McMurray's lead and signed with Penske Racing South for the 2007 season, hoping to eventually get out of his 2006 obligation to Roush so he could replace retiring Rusty Wallace in Penske's No. 2 Dodge.
After considerable negotiation among the three teams, and some money changing hands, a deal was announced Monday for McMurray and Busch to move to their new teams after this season. But it came too late for Martin to change his plans, and McMurray will move instead to the No. 97 Ford that Busch is relinquishing. Todd Kluever, another Roush find currently in the truck series, will be groomed next year to take over the No. 6 in 2007.
Roush figures it all worked out for the best.
"I'm very happy to have Mark back, even if it did spoil his plans some," the owner said. "It gives us a chance to get Todd Kluever ready and it gives Mark another chance to win the championship that he deserves so much."
Martin, who acknowledged he didn't initially want to come back, now is resigned to driving another year.
"I'm going to drive this car in 2006 and I only hope I can get as much out of myself and my team next year as we did this year," Martin said. "It isn't going to be easy."
Meanwhile, though, he has some unfinished business to attend to this year.
Martin, who has 35 career victories, including one last month at Kansas Speedway, is a four-time runner-up in the Cup standings.
He made it into the inaugural 10-man Chase for the championship a year ago and Martin's initial goal in 2005 was to get back into the 10-race playoff again.
He did that with ease.
Now, with only races this Sunday at Phoenix and next week at Homestead remaining, Martin remains a contender for that coveted title. After a second-place finish to 26-year-old teammate Carl Edwards last Sunday at Texas, Martin is fifth, 123 points behind leader Tony Stewart.
That's a big gap with two races left.
Martin, ninth in the points after crashing at Talladega in the third race of the Chase, said at the time that it would be virtually impossible to come back from that mishap and take the title. Then he won the next week in Kansas and finished fifth at Charlotte, raising his hopes.
But a miserable day two weeks later at Martinsville, where he finished 34th after -- totally out of character -- forecasting a win, revived the pessimistic side of Martin.
In seventh place, 170 points behind, he said, "I think we're probably too far behind. We're done."
Then came a third-place finish in Atlanta and last week's runner-up performance.
"I'm going to say it: I told you all how tough this is to make up ground when you're so far behind," Martin said, sounding again like the old, pessimistic Martin.
But, the new, optimistic Martin immediately popped up again as he added, "But, you know what? It could change. It could change.
"I know there's only two races left. But we're running good and that's all I care about. It would take a miracle for us to win the championship, but we're digging. We're going down with a fight.
"Miracles do happen," he added. "And I've had the best season. I've had the best racing season of my life."
And it won't be his last.
Martin to Run Final Throw-Back Paint Scheme at Phoenix
Retro '81 car to run at Phoenix this weekend
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 8, 2005) - Mark Martin will run a Retro-81 paint scheme this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The Retro '81 scheme is the fourth and final retro-scheme that Martin will run during the 2005 "Salute To You" season.
The Retro '81 design is the scheme that Martin ran on his first Winston Cup race car in 1981.
"It's really been a long time since I've seen that car," said Martin. "I know just like the other cars it will bring back a lot of memories of those early days. It was a really cool looking car back then, so I think everyone will enjoy seeing it again this weekend.
"It's been really neat running all of the retro schemes this season. These cars really span the majority of my career and they bring back a whole lot of memories," added Martin. "We've had a lot of success and been through a lot of battles over the years and it has been a lot of fun to revisit that with these paint schemes this year.
"We were able to get the win in the Retro '93 car in the All-Star at Charlotte and we had a really good run in the Retro '90 car at Indy, so hopefully we can keep that going and close it out strong with this car at Phoenix."
Martin ran the Retro '81 scheme in his Winston Cup debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway on April 5, 1981 where he stared fifth and finished 27th. The car went on to win two poles and earn Martin's first career top 10 and top-five finishes in Cup racing.
The car will still be sponsored by Viagra®, but will feature the Retro '81 scheme.
RETRO '81 PAINT SCHEME FACTS
Races - 5
Highlights - Martin's first ever Winston Cup paint scheme…Won the poles (Martin's career first) at both Nashville (6/11/81) and Richmond (9/13/81)…Scored Martin's first career top-10 with a seventh-place finish at Richmond on Sept. 13, 1981 and his first top-five with a third-place run at Martinsville on Sept. 7, 1981.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates ten motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.
Martin brings home record fifth IROC Title; plans to bring home race car
November 8, 2005
CONCORD, N.C. -- Mark Martin brought home his record fifth International Race of Champions title two weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway and he plans on doing the same with the car he won it in. Martin, who also racked up record win numbers 12 and 13 in the series this season, will bring his championship IROC car back to Batesville, Ark., where it will be on display this Feb. when he opens his new museum. The museum will be housed at the new facilities at Mark Martin Ford Mercury in Martin's hometown of Batesville.
"I'm as proud of our record in IROC as I am anything in my career," said Martin. "We've been able to have a lot of success in that series and those wins and titles came racing against the best racers from all over the world and the best from a lot of different series.
"We are also proud that we are going to bring the car that we used to win the fifth championship to our new museum at the dealership in Batesville. It means a lot to me to share my success with the people that I grew up with and the people whom I still consider my friends and neighbors. We are going to have the 2005 IROC car on display along with a lot of my other cars, trophies and even firesuits. We are very excited about bringing it all back to Batesville, where it all began for me in my early teens."
In addition to the record setting No. 6 IROC car, Martin will have a variety of memorabilia on display at the new state of the art facility. Fans will be able to stroll down memory lane and through all of the twists and turns of Martin's career.
Fans will be able to enjoy the following cars that represent virtually every aspect of Martin's racing career that spans the last 30 years including:
The 55-Chevy he raced as a 15-year old in Batesville, The 1990 Folgers Ford Thunderbird that Martin ran in 1990 and 1991, The 1989 Stroh's Light car that Martin drove to his first Winston Cup victory at Rockingham in 1989, The 2002 Viagra® Ford "Million Dollar" car that won the 2002 Coca-Cola 600, The Winn Dixie Busch car that Martin ran to numerous victories in the Busch Series, The 2005 IROC Championshp car from Atlanta where Martin clinched his record fifth IROC title and The 1998 Chopper (motorcycle) that Martin won at the Michigan race.
Each car on display will have its own display system that fans can use to watch video relating to the car's various accomplishments.
In addition, all of Martin's uniforms from past to present will be on display, as well as the majority of his numerous racing trophies and other various assortments of NASCAR memorbillia.
The dealership will even feature a customized Gatorade Victory Lane where customers will be able to pick up their new purchases.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates nine motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.
By Jerry Bonkowski, Yahoo! Sports
November 7, 2005
FORT WORTH, Texas – With 27 laps remaining in Sunday's Dickies 500, Mark Martin inadvertently banged into Tony Stewart's car, potentially costing Stewart the win.
While there could have been more banging after the race, like Stewart returning the favor along pit road or maybe Tony introducing Mark to his right hook, what transpired was a love fest of mutual admiration and respect. Martin apologized, Stewart accepted.
"After [Stewart] got done blasting me, I said I messed up and that was it," Martin said. "Tony doesn't tolerate mistakes out of me."
No harm, no foul, Stewart said. The fact Martin climbed out of his car and made an immediate beeline to the No. 20 Chevy after the race to apologize not only caught Stewart by surprise, it also reaffirmed the esteem he holds for Martin.
"When he came over to me and talked to me about it right away, that's why I respect Mark Martin more than I do anybody else in this series, because whether you're mad at him or not, he's going to come over and tell you you did wrong or he did wrong and be done with it," Stewart said. "Most of the guys in this series don't have the guts to do that."
Stewart probably had a right to be angry. Just before the incident, Stewart's car was hooked up and potentially en route to the win that Carl Edwards eventually came away with. Stewart also was more than 80 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson in the in-race standings at that point.
But Martin and Stewart locked fenders, and Stewart's edge eventually slipped to only 38 points by the end of the race.
"It just made my car a lot tighter after that, so there's not much you can do," he said. "Either way, we ended up with a sixth-place finish, so we didn't hurt ourselves too much."
Even though he has just a slim points margin over Johnson, Stewart says he's not counting each and every point just yet.
"It's not even really worth worrying about the points; it's more about worrying to just try and kind of figure out what you've got to do to win the race next week," said Stewart, who historically has done well at Phoenix and Homestead, the two remaining tracks on the schedule.
Martin, on the other hand, was in position to win Sunday at Texas, only to watch Edwards blow by him with just over a lap left before the checkered flag.
"I really thought we were going to win," Martin said. "And then I saw [Edwards] come around Matt [Kenseth with two laps to go] and, usually it's running out of time, but this time it was too much time. I knew I had my hands full and drove my car all-out for the rest of the race. I drove as hard as I can.
"We tried to win and we nearly did. I'm not disappointed and I don't like being passed at the end, but I didn't get robbed, I got beat. I can't handle being robbed, but I can handle being beat."
Even though he's 123 points back, Martin feels he still has a chance at his first Cup title.
"I know there's only two races left, but we're running good, and that's all I care about," he said. "It would take a miracle for us to win the championship, but we're digging and we're not going out without a fight."
But Martin readily admits his chances would be better if Stewart wasn't still part of that fight.
"The guy I can't deal with right now is Tony Stewart. He runs in the top 10 in every single race," said Martin, pointing out that Stewart has finished outside the top 10 just twice in the last 20 races. "You can't beat that. You're not going to beat it unless something gives.
"So that's where we're at right now. Those are the guys [Stewart and Johnson] that are getting it done – the rest of us can only hope for luck. You're just not going to take that title away on the race track unless he spins his car and takes it to the garage.
Mark Martin - NASCAR-CUP > Texas II, 2005-11-06 (Texas Motor Speedway): Sunday race - Image by Autostock
Martin, No. 6 Team Posts Runner-Up Finish at Texas
Martin comes up just short of second “Chase” victory with strong Texas run
Mark Martin and the #6 Viagra® Racing Team
Texas Motor Speedway/November 6, 2005
FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Mark Martin and the Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) Racing team posted their fifth top-five finish of the “Chase” and their sixth top-five in the last seven races with a strong second-place run Sunday afternoon in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Running second to teammate Carl Edwards when the day’s sixth and final caution was issued on lap 319, Martin and crew chief Pat Tryson opted to stay out and Martin took over the lead when the race went green on lap 323 with 11 laps to go. Martin was able to hang onto the lead for the ten laps, but he would be unable to hold off Edwards coming to the white flag and would have to settle for the second-place finish.
“It was a great run,” said Martin after the race. “Pat Tryson made the right call and we just wound up second. Carl was spectacular today, and our car was too, especially on the re-starts. We made the right call and we almost pulled it off. There was just a little too much time left.”
“The best car won,” added Martin. “Carl was spectacular, but we just about did it. It was a great run by the whole Viagra® team - a great call. It was close. We were trying hard, though, our car was good on short runs, and it took off there on the re-start and we didn’t have anything we could do. We just came up a little short.”
Martin had been running second and was gaining ground quick on Edwards when the caution was called on lap 319 for debris, setting up the final run for the checkered. The veteran led on three separate occasions for 42 laps and ran inside the field’s top five for the majority of the race.
The Viagra® Racing Team’s over the wall crew enjoyed another stellar day in the pits, and they used the first of several key stops to move Martin inside the top-five for the first time on lap 30 when the team used a 13.3-second stop to move Martin up four spots to fifth when the field went green on lap 34. The team would turn in another stellar stop of 12.5-seconds to put Martin out in the lead for the first time on lap 187.
With the car’s handling beginning to loosen up Martin dropped back to second where he was running on lap 245 when the day’s fourth caution was issued. The team again rose to the occasion, turning in a lightning fast stop of 12.2-seconds to put Martin out in front again when green-flag racing resumed on lap 250.
Martin again dropped the lead to Edwards and fell back to third place by lap 263, before he regrouped and started his march back to the front. He moved back into second place on lap 276 and had caught Edwards when the day’s fifth caution was called on lap 289. More quick work in the pits allowed Martin to hold onto position and he restarted in third place as one car opted to stay out and lead. By lap 296 Martin was back in second place and moving in on race-leader Tony Stewart.
With 27 laps to go Martin and Stewart battled for the lead, with Martin briefly getting by Stewarts No. 20 car, before Stewart came right back to retake the lead. While the two battled, Edwards was able to close in, eventually passing Martin one lap later. Five laps later Martin was able to get by Stewart and he was moving in on Edwards when the sixth and final caution was issued seven laps later on lap 319. Martin stayed out and restarted first, while Edwards took fresh tires and restarted in sixth. It looked as if Martin’s gamble would pay off, but Edwards on fresh tires would prove too much, as Martin came up just one lap short of his 36 th career Nextel Cup victory.
It is fantastic to drive cars like this,” said Martin. “This is a great race team. We had another great run and I’m just really blessed to driving these cars.”
Roush teammate Matt Kenseth finish third behind Edwards and Martin and were joined in the top 10 by Kurt Busch, who finished 10 th. The run moved Martin up to fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings. He was able to cut 20 points off the leader and now trails first place by 123 points and fourth place by only a single point. Martin has been able to knock off 44 points off the lead in the past two races. The team returns to action next week at Phoenix, before concluding the season the following week at Homestead.
Carl Edwards (99) passes Mark Martin (6) on lap 333 to take the lead in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005. Edwards went on to win. - (AP Photo/LM Otero)
WILD WEST: MARTIN, EDWARDS HAVE TEXAS SHOOTOUT
Ford Racing: News
November 6, 2005
Fort Worth, Texas — Mark Martin came up two laps short of his second win of the season today at Texas Motor Speedway, instead the victory went to his Roush Racing teammate Carl Edwards for his fourth win of the year. Martin finished second, earning his 11th top-five finish of the season and gaining one position in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings to fifth.
Martin had a stellar performance. He consistently ran in the top five and challenged for the lead throughout the race. Martin took the lead following the final caution period of the event on lap 319 when other drivers, including Edwards, who had led prior to the caution, chose to pit.
Martin had a good re-start with 10 lap remaining and held off most challengers, including Roush Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. However, Edwards’ two fresh tires allowed him to catch and pass Martin for the victory.
MARK MARTIN – NO. 6 VIAGRA TAURUS (Finished 2nd)
“The best car won. Carl was spectacular, but we just about did it. It was a great run by the whole team, a great call. It was close. We were trying hard, though. It was a great run. Our car was good on short runs, and it took off there on the re-start and we didn’t have anything we could do. Just came up a little short.”
YOU WERE SMILING WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR.
“It was a great run. Pat Tryson made the right call. We just wound up second. Carl was spectacular today, and our car was too, especially on the re-starts. I think we made the right call. We just almost pulled it off. There was just a little too much time left.”
HOW DID THE CAR AND TEAM REACT AS THE CONDITIONS CHANGED FROM AFTERNOON TO EVENING?
“My guys did a great job making adjustments. Started off real good and then it got not-so-good, and then we got better at the end, and that’s when we needed to be good. It was spectacular there on those used tires, it’s just that Carl was even better. Congratulations to him.”
YOU SAID YESTERDAY THAT YOU WOULD DRIVE UNTIL YOUR 60S IF THE CARS WERE ALL AS GOOD AS THEY WERE LAST WEEK. YOU WERE VERY GOOD AGAIN THIS WEEK. IS THIS REJUVINATING TO YOU?
“I was full of myself when I said that, though. But, yeah, it is fantastic to drive cars like this. We had another great run and I’m just really blessed to driving these cars.”
DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR THE OTHER ROUSH CARS?
“No, not really. Sure didn’t. We were decent on the short runs and he went to pit – I’d have spun out if I’d have choked my car that fast when he went down pit road, and about that time I was glad Pat said stay out because I was staying out anyway. It was the right call, and also the right car won the race. It would’ve been fun to have spoiled it.”
THIS IS THE FIFTH DIFFERENT ROUSH DRIVER TO WIN AT TEXAS.
“It’s pretty phenomenal. The race track has changed a lot and the cars have changed a lot and it doesn’t even seem like the same race. When did we win here, ’98? It doesn’t even seem like the same race, it doesn’t seem like the same race track, we certainly don’t run the same setups by any means, but success is there. Carl was spectacular again this week. He just did a phenomenal job. Bob Osborne, as well. And I’m really happy for both of them. Bob was my engineer on the 6 car for a couple of years. It broke my heart when Bob moved on, but I’m really happy for him to be doing what he’s doing now and being so successful, and he sure got a wheel man in Carl Edwards.”
DURING THAT LAST CAUTION IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE GOING TO PIT, AND THEN DIDN’T. ANY REGRETS? DID YOU HAVE THE TIRES TO WIN?
“Possibly. Especially if more cars would’ve stayed out. We would’ve won the race if more cars would’ve stayed, but Pat seemed to think that cars pitted on the second lap. He first told me 12 stayed out. Well, if 12 would’ve stayed out, we would’ve won the race, without a doubt. The way it turned out, there was four, and we nearly did. I certainly don’t regret it. It was the perfect move. It was the best shot we had and all that craziness get back there on new tires, trying to pass cars with old tires and all that banging, wrecking and all that stuff that goes on. I was all for what we did there.”
YOU WERE VERY COMPETITIVE WHEN IT WAS DAYLIGHT AND EVENING.
“We made minor adjustments on the car. We made some major adjustments the first couple of times we stopped, and then after that they were very minor. We made very, very minor changes, little small quarter-turn of wedge. Stuff like that. Right as the sun was going down, I thought the car was terrible. We would go away from everybody but two cars, and I couldn’t even see anybody else. I thought we were going to have to go pit road and work on it for half a lap. I thought, ‘Man, we’re terrible.’ And then things seemed to get better. We made some slight adjustments and the car got better and the car actually just got faster than all the cars in the field, except for a couple – or really just one. To make a long story short, really, it was the 99 – and the 41, only if the 41 got a 50- or 60-lap run, then he was the car to beat, but short of that, he really wasn’t in the picture, and then the 99 had us.”
YOU’VE FINISHED THIRD AND SECOND IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT HAVEN’T MADE UP TOO MANY POINTS. IS THIS A CHANCE TO SAY, ‘I TOLD YOU SO’?
“I’m going to say it. I told you all. I’ve been doing this longer than you all. But, you know what? It could change. It could change. And I know there’s only two races left. We’re running good, and that’s all I care about. And it would take a miracle for us to win the championship, but we’re digging. We’re going down with a fight. And we would be right there if he hadn’t got so beat at Martinsville, and that was our fault. I already told you all – I can get beat and take that. I just got robbed at Talladega and that was a hard one to take. We just ran bad at Martinsville, and if it wasn’t for that we would’ve overcome the Talladega thing and been right up there close to second place right now if we could’ve finished where we might’ve. So, anyway, I’m thrilled. Miracles do happen, and I’ve had the best season. I’ve had the best racing season of my life.”
Ford Weekend back on track
By Cammy Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Miami Herald
November 2, 2005
Homestead-Miami Speedway was a busy place Tuesday, with several NASCAR drivers, including defending Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch and veteran Mark Martin, testing Cup and Busch cars while crews worked on repairing damage to the garage suites suffered during Hurricane Wilma.
The track surface sustained no damage during the storm. Busch said with a little more aging, it could become one of the best tracks on the circuit.
Crews also worked on replanting hundreds of uprooted trees along Speedway Boulevard, the main thoroughfare from the Florida Turnpike to the track.
Speedway spokesman Phil de Montmollin said all off-track events in conjunction with Ford Championship Weekend will be held, including the Ford Racefest at the Las Olas Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 17 and the Homestead Mainstreet SpeedFest in Homestead on Nov. 19.
2005 Mark Martin Texas Fast Facts - Sunday, November 6, 2005
Dickies 500 / Texas Motor Speedway
No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
November 1, 2005
DRIVER: Mark Martin
TEAM: No. (6) Viagra® Ford Taurus
OWNER: Jack Roush
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
MARTIN, NO. 6 READY TO ROLL INTO TEXAS
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Martin rebounded last weekend in Atlanta with his fourth top-five run of the "Chase." The team will attempt to tackle yet another 1.5-mile oval when they travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the track's first fall Cup event.
MARK MARTIN - LAST TIME AT TEXAS
April 17, 2005
Texas Motor Speedway
Samsung/Radio Shack 500
Started 16th , Finished 20th
Martin and the No. 6 Team waged an up and down battle for much of the race, but in the end they found themselves victims of an ill-handling car as Martin left Texas with a 20th-place finish. In yet another stellar performance the Viagra* team turned in the 13.40-second pit stop after a caution on lap 40, that put Martin back out in fourth place and looking like a race contender. However the excitement would be short lived as the handling problems soon kicked in. Martin and the team would battle for the remainder of the race, but after brushing the wall late in the race they would be forced to settle for the 20th-place finish.
Chassis Number: (RK-314) - The team will run RK-314 this weekend at Texas. RK-314 finished fifth in its last outing at Charlotte in October.
MARK MARTIN AT TEXAS
Top 5's: 3
Top 10's: 4
Highest finish: 1st (4-98)
First time: 4/6/97 (38)
Last time: 4/17/05 (20)
Martin at Texas in '98, in only the second Cup event there.
IN THE POINTS
Martin moved up to sixth in the point standings, trimming 27 points off point leader Tony Stewart's lead. Martin is currently 143 points outside of first place and only 36 points outside of fourth with only three races remaining in the season.
BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE
Martin has started a total of 33 races at the remaining three tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted two wins, 14 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has a 12.53 average finish at Chase tracks and he has led a total of 615 laps, including 116 at Texas.
MARTIN AT TEXAS
Martin has posted four top-10 finishes in nine starts at Texas. In addition he has one victory and three top fives. Martin finished 38th at the inaugural race at Texas in 1997 after mechanical issues, but returned the next year to post a victory there. He won the inaugural Busch race there in 1997. He finished 20th there in the spring after brushing against the wall late with a loose race car.
MARTIN RUNS TO RECORD FIFTH IROC CHAMPIONSHIP
Martin locked up his record fifth Internationa Race of Champions title last Saturday at Atlanta with a second-place finish. Martin now boasts IROC Championships in 1994, ’96, ’97, ’98 and 2005. In 11 seasons of IROC racing, Martin has five Championships and four runner-up finishes.
QUOTING MARK MARTIN AND CREW CHIEF PAT TRYSON ON TEXAS
"Texas is a great race track. It's the type of place that suits my driving style. I've always done pretty well on the 1.5-mile tracks and Texas has been pretty good for us in that mix. We won the second race there and we've been pretty good there ever since. Hopefully we can go back there and get us another win this weekend. We had a pretty good car there in the fall, but had some problems late. We had a good test there two weeks ago, so we'll be looking to get off to a fast start and hopefully pick us up another win.
"We had a great run in Atlanta last week and we are going to keep fighting. That's all we can really do is show up and try to win these races. Pat (Tryson) and the team continue to give me great race cars. If I could keep driving cars like we had last weekend in Atlanta, I'd drive until I was 60-years old. Hopefully we can be competitive and compete to win the next three races and see what happens from there. At any rate this is the best team I've worked with and I'm really proud of them."
"We really like these 1.5-mile tracks and we've had a lot of success with them in the Chase.Texas should be another good place for us and we are looking forward to going back out there. We had a really good test there two weeks ago and we think that we should have one of the cars to beat this weekend."
MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS – TEXAS
- Martin posted a Cup win at Texas in the second race there in 1998.
- Martin has four top fives and three top 10's in eight Cup starts at Texas.
- Martin has won three times in the Busch Series at Texas in only four races.
- Martin has posted five top-10 finishes, four top-five finishes and one victory in seven 'Chase' races. In addition he has led 220 laps during the seven 'Chase' races.
The Ford Five - Week 8 of the Chase - Pat Tryson
Ford Racing: News
November 1, 2005
Pat Tryson, crew chief of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus driven by Mark Martin, provided his FIVE keys to being successful at Texas Motor Speedway.
Be fast - "It sounds kind of silly, but there are 42 other cars out there and if you're gonna be any good at Texas, you've got to be fast."
Make adjustments - "Texas has always shown a tendency of being a tight track, so you have to keep your car free. Keeping up with the race track throughout the day is really important."
Tire management - "You've got to be real careful on the right-front tire. That place will blow a right-front tire because of the speeds we're running, so you've got to take care of your tires."
Track position - "Track position is critical, so pit stops will be crucial."
Pit strategy - "It seems that most of the races at Texas come down whether or not you take two or four tires towards the end, so whoever can figure out the right way to go will have a good chance of winning."