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“It would be big to get the turned around, finally, and get a win for our race team,” he said. “This is a track where we can get it done, we’ve got a good car and we’re ready to go to work.”

NASCAR on Thursday brought in 11 of the 14 drivers capable of making the Chase, which Bowyer called “a hell of a publicity stunt.” When Kasey Kahne entered the room, he joked with him and asked him “are you a longshot as well?”

“I didn’t even know I had a shot,” Kahne replied.

But the appearances did give Mark Martin an opportunity to respond to allegations from Regan Smith that he intentionally wrecked Smith at Atlanta.

“Wow I just saw the replay, I was wondering if it was intentional at the time. Now there’s no doubt in my mind,” Smith posted on his Twitter page after Tuesday’s race. “A driver as talented as Mark doesn’t just take a right turn going in a straight line. We had contact on a restart 10 laps prior, racing deal each continued on no harm no foul The wreck following was no racing deal.”

Asked about the allegations, Martin initially dismissed the discussion by flatly offering “We had an accident.”

He perked up, though, when asked if it was similar to an incident he had earlier this summer at Michigan with teammate Earnhardt, and if the 52-year-old driver is refusing to take any (incidents) on the race track.

“With the way the racing has become today, the double-file restarts, how equal the cars are, it’s pushed everyone to really a whole different level of driving then it used to. So part of that requires less sportsmanship and more me, more selfishness and less sportsmanship,” Martin said. “I’m falling right in there with the gang. The deal with Dale Jr. was a complete and total accident, and I took responsibility for that accident. I thought that I was going to get off the corner ahead of him and he got there sooner than I thought he would. I’ll just say again, these restarts, they’re getting pretty tough.

“I’m not going to be run into. I’m not going to be run into. I don’t run into people and people aren’t going to get away with running into me.”