| Selected Driver Quotes
Saturday's John Deere 250 marked the first visit by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to Talladega Superspeedway, but for the most part the drivers navigated the track like a bunch of old pros.
So it was appropriate that an old pro came away with the victory.
Veteran driver Mark Martin, who is in his final season as a fulltime NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver after more than 20 years on the circuit, passed Ted Musgrave for the lead on lap 91 of the 94-lap race, then held on for his fifth Truck Series victory of the year.
"It is really awesome to drive that truck," Martin said of his No. 6 Ford. "(Crew chief) Mike Beam and that team are a dream to work with. They make such nice trucks to drive, and I sure had a good time."
Mike Skinner finished second, followed by Musgrave in third. Todd Bodine overcame a late stop-and-go penalty for passing below the yellow line to finish fourth. The rest of the top-10 consisted of A.J. Allmendinger in fifth, David Reutimann sixth, David Ragan seventh, Chad Chaffin eighth, Ron Hornaday Jr. ninth and Dennis Setzer 10th.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veteran and Alabama native Rick Crawford, racing at Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in his career, finished 15th.
Martin's No. 6 Ford overheated early in the race and he dropped toward the rear of the pack. As he worked his way through traffic to get back to the front, Martin said he developed a partnership with Mike Wallace - driver of the No. 15 Chevrolet - that paid off during the final laps following a caution on lap 87.
"We made a friend coming through in Mike Wallace," Martin said. "Mike and I worked together quite a bit, and there at the end when were lined up with all those Toyotas, it was not looking good. Mike gave me the push that I really needed there on the restart."
The race ended under caution following an accident on the final lap, but that was the only significant incident in the race.
"If you just take that last lap out of the books, it was a fantastic race," Musgrave said. "I was just out there cruising along saying, 'Oh, a milkshake right now would be good.' It was a good race out there."
"I think the guys did a spectacular job out there today," Martin said. "They got to racing big on the last lap and there was an accident. Beyond that, it was a really, really great race and a clean race. I was really impressed with everyone. They really used their heads and did a fabulous job."
Fans will witness the final 500 miles of a whopping 1,000 miles of racing tomorrow in the UAW-Ford 500, race four in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Tickets are still available to the UAW-Ford 500. Tickets may be ordered by calling 1-877- Go2-DEGA, by logging onto www.racetickets.com, and are also available for purchase on-site at the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office located on Speedway Boulevard at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.