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Mark Martin on Sea Bass

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  • Mark Martin on Sea Bass

    Seems that IROC champ Mark Martin was very impressed with a certain CCWS driver.

    Here is the story:

    Truex Jr. wins IROC race; Mark Martin claims title

    October 29, 2005
    By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

    HAMPTON, Georgia (Ticker) - Mark Martin needed only to start Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway to clinch the International Race of Champions (IROC) series title, but he left no doubt he was the class of the circuit by running second to Martin Truex Jr.

    Martin, who virtually clinched the title with a win at Richmond in September, concluded the IROC season by crossing the start-finish line 0.818 seconds behind Truex to claim his first series title since 1998 and record fifth overall.

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    "This one was more spectacular than the other years," the NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran said. "My performance in IROC was magical. It is the greatest source of pride in my driving career. You don't get invited to race in IROC ever year. You have to earn your way in to get to compete."

    The first time Martin was invited to participate in the IROC series was in 1990 and he remembers being elated just to be involved. He won his first IROC title four years later and followed with titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998 entering this year.

    Martin, who holds the series record with 13 checkered flags, cherishes more than just his on-track accomplishments, however.

    "The numbers are incredible, but the thing I think is most important to me today is I've matured enough to know the coolest thing about IROC is the opportunity I've had to sit in the drivers meeting with great drivers from all over the world," Martin said. "Guys like Martin Brundle, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., Max Papis, Helio Castroneves, Sebastien Bourdais. All of these guys, I wouldn't have had a chance to even talk to unless I had a chance to compete in IROC.

    "When I see one of those guys on TV, I can say I know that guy and he's cool."

    Martin said that Truex, the defending NASCAR Busch Series champion, gave him a driving lesson on Saturday.

    "He put a spanking on us," Martin said of Truex, who led all but one of the final 43 laps.

    "Mark Martin is one of the guys I look up to," Truex said. "I'm secretly pulling for him to win the 'Chase.' It was a lot of fun out there. I started off in the back and ran into the wall and didn't think it would be a good day. But I was able to get some new tires after that one crash and they worked out pretty well for me."

    The series pits 12 drivers from different racing series in cars prepared identically by IROC.

    Nextel Cup driver Matt Kenseth was third followed by the IRL star Helio Castroneves. World of Outlaws driver Danny Lasoski rounded out the top five.

    "IROC is pretty cool, all of the best drivers are in it and I used to watch it on TV and it was something I always wanted to do," Truex said. "To run with guys who are the best at what they do in their own series, it's great to get to meet them, hang out with them and race against them."

    Martin said he is going to take the $1 million championship prize to put away towards his retirement fund. He also earned over $1 million for winning the Nextel All-Star Challenge in May.

    Defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Bobby Hamilton and Scott Pruett were involved in a final-lap crash, but the event had been decided by then.

    Both the Martin and Truex were impressed with two-time Champ Car series champion Sebastien Bourdais, who won the IROC race at Texas Motor Speedway in April in just his second start in this series.

    "If someone in NASCAR doesn't give Sebastien Bourdais a ride, they need their head examined," Martin said. "They are all the real deal, but Sebastien has really impressed me. Helio Castroneves is also a really cool guy and it's great to race against him. All the guys in IROC, Buddy Rice, Max Papis, they have all studied harder and worked better at IROC than any other class of the 11 times I've participated in IROC."

    Bourdais finished sixth ahead of 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice.

    "I think we put on a good show with our cars," Bourdais said. "There was a lot of three-wide and four-wide and a big battle out there. You just wish you had a little more power to get out of there."

    Bourdais comes from a series that includes single-file racing on road and street courses but quickly has adapted to the side-by-side nature of stock car racing in IROC.

    "He seems like one of those guys who could jump in and drive anything," Truex said of Bourdais. "I've seen him run on some of those street courses and he never seems to make a mistake. He does a really good job, he's comfortable and he's cool to watch. They are all really good guys, they love to race and love to have a good time, race with people they have never raced with and to hang out with them."

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    Lots of praise for the CCWS Champ.
    After years of fighting and a split, guess what, we are all IndyCar

    October will always be a sad racing month for me. RIP Greg and Dan. You both were great and we miss you.

  • #2
    I like to see that, and Seabass has been equally impressed with the cup boys. There is no need for the OW vs NASCAR stuff that goes on. I hope Seabass returns next year.

    I think its funny how much Mark Martin likes Bourdais' oval talent, when some here are so critical of it.... hmmm

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cygni
      I like to see that, and Seabass has been equally impressed with the cup boys. There is no need for the OW vs NASCAR stuff that goes on. I hope Seabass returns next year.

      I think its funny how much Mark Martin likes Bourdais' oval talent, when some here are so critical of it.... hmmm
      Nothing wrong with touching in the stock cars!
      -Kaaveh
      http://www.humansofracing.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cygni
        ...snip...
        I think its funny how much Mark Martin likes Bourdais' oval talent, when some here are so critical of it.... hmmm
        I think Bourdalaise is a very talented driver, and could do well on ovals. The only thing he needs to learn is in Open wheels on ovals, chop blocks are a BIG no no.

        Wouldn't it be interesting if Sebass goes to NASCAR and Tracy gets an F1 practice job?
        ...Always follow the money

        Comment


        • #5
          I am tempted to move this or repost this in the BS forum under the title, "Bourdais to NASCAR."

          Of course, this article will just get toasted there, but I would like a few more to see the article and read it than seem to be reading it here.
          After years of fighting and a split, guess what, we are all IndyCar

          October will always be a sad racing month for me. RIP Greg and Dan. You both were great and we miss you.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you accept the theory that talent follows money, you'll conclude the best talent in the USA is in NASCAR.

            With current state of OW, only top guys in OW--like Seabass--might be qualified. But, they shouldn't stay too long.

            Comment

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