No regrets for vets

NASCAR veterans Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace reckon they have no regrets about ending their careers without a Daytona 500 victory between them

No regrets for vets

The two drivers, who boast a combined age of 94, are set to retire from fulltime Nextel Cup competition after 2005 and are likely to end their racing careers without a Daytona 500 win between them after they finished sixth and tenth respectively in Sunday's race.

"It ain't no big deal right now, I'm telling you," said Martin. "I don't have any major love for this place. Check with me at Charlotte. I'll have a tear in my eye there.

"It was a good outing for us. I would've liked to have won the race, but we didn't have it in hand and let it slip away."

Wallace, the 1989 Winston Cup champion, admitted that he had wanted to win the race which remains the only box unticked in his sparkling career. The Penske Racing South driver was inducted into Goodyear 'Legends of Daytona' museum on the Saturday prior to the race and could barely contain his emotions.

"I wanted to win this race, but that's okay," he said. "It really isn't okay, but I told everybody if I didn't win it wouldn't be the end of the world. I put on a good performance out there all day and my car ran strong all day. I was in the lead pack, top five and top 10 most of the day.

"I really thought I was going to finish a lot better than 10th. We had a good dancing partner hooked up and it didn't happen. I wanted to win the Daytona 500 today. I had a car good enough to win, but we'll just go win California or Mexico or Vegas now."

That dancing partner was his Martin after the wily old cats agreed to help each other try one final time to win the race that has always eluded them.

"Rusty and I had a pact," explained Martin. "We've been racing together for 30 years and we knew this was our last shot and I would've helped at the end and he would help me. I figured that he was probably the most loyal friend I had on the race track at the end of the race."

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