NASCAR veteran Mark Martin met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday and was asked if he had made any progress on his 2014 plans. Martin is currently serving as a substitute driver for Tony Stewart for all but one of the season's final 12 races.
Here is what Martin had to say about 2014:
“You know I was thinking about it and had some discussions before Tony’s (Stewart) injury. I will be real honest with you I could care less about 2014 right now because I am doing all I can to tread water. Making this change was pretty huge because not only is it different crew guys work on the car which really isn’t a huge thing, but it’s a whole different thought process, it’s a whole different bunch of guys that I didn’t have a chance to go to test in February and go hang out in the shop. Just jumping right in it added, I don’t know, about three races to my schedule what I had so I picked up three additional races. So I am really pushed and driven to try to get immersed in this team and figure out what I like in these cars so that we can start putting that in there week to week. We are still just throwing stuff at the car and me saying ‘nah, yeah that’s better, nah,’ " he said.
"When you find something that really feels good to you there is a sense of continuity from track to track you can use that same logic. You might not use the same springs and all but you can use the same logic and you can simulate it out and shoot for those same kind of feels at other race tracks. We are not there yet obviously. This is not like making a change over the winter. It’s not like stepping out of a MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) Toyota into even a (Joe) Gibbs Toyota like I did at Martinsville. There is just a lot going on.
"I think everybody in here heard what I said in February. I’m not a candidate for the No. 55 car for 2014. I did not want to drive that car. It was because I wanted to see those guys run for a championship, which is something I’m not going to do. So, I had really built a strong relationship with those guys and they’re championship material and I want to see them be able to go out there and go after that. So, for me, making a decision on what I do in 2014 is not important right now. I’m in no hurry because I’m not really worried about what I do. I do have a focus on what I can do in NASCAR. I want to do more in NASCAR than drive race cars. I want to do more than that."