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Martin refuses to be disappointed

Mark Martin refuses to be too disappointed despite missing out on the NASCAR Sprint Cup title
In their first season as team-mates, a deep mutual respect developed between Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson, however, would probably take issue with an assertion Martin made after Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead.

“My equipment is just as good, but I am not as good as Jimmie Johnson,” Martin said, after his twelfth-place finish left him second in the final Sprint Cup Series standings, 141 points behind Johnson, who won his fourth straight series title.

Martin has finished second in the Cup standings five times, to a handful of the sport's greatest drivers: Dale Earnhardt (1990 and 1994), Jeff Gordon (1998), Tony Stewart (2002) and now Johnson. But don't call Martin disappointed this time.

“For me, to even have a chance is pretty incredible,” said Martin, who won five races and a series-best seven poles this season. “It just speaks volumes about this team and my first opportunity to work with (crew chief) Alan Gustafson. I feel really blessed to have had a chance.

“There's no frustration, man. There's none. I'm very proud of what we accomplished, and on top of all that, I had more fun than anybody. So how could you … what else can you say, man? I had a blast.

“It's been an honour and a privilege, and I didn't leave nothing (out on the track). I never left anything anywhere. We got beat, and we got beat under any scenario that might have happened. I didn't leave anything out there.”

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, speaks with Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg`s/CARQUEST Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday in Loudon, N.H. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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