Harvick's crew chief has new perspective

Ford Martin, left, and Gil Martin said they learned a lot on a mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico. Ronda Martin, Special to ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Gil Martin recently reached into the refrigerator at the Richard Childress Racing shop and pulled out a bottle of water.

He stared at it.

Then he cried.

Only 36 hours earlier, the crew chief for Kevin Harvick was at an orphanage in Monterrey, Mexico, passing out two-gallon jugs of water so the kids wouldn't have to drink from the nearby polluted river. He remembered vividly the looks on their faces, "like we'd given them a bucket of gold."

Now here he was about to take two sips out of a bottle and toss it in the trash as though it was nothing.

A gamut of emotions raced through his mind that made everything he was about to talk about on the new Sprint Cup car, all the frustration the organization experienced from a down year, all the frustration he experienced after being replaced as Harvick's crew chief following a successful 2011 season and then re-united with the lame-duck driver -- Harvick is leaving for Stewart-Hass racing in 2014 -- in the Chase, seemed insignificant.

"I've already been telling these guys I really don't want to hear anybody complain this year, because we've really got nothing to complain about," Martin said as he stood in the back of an RCR hauler during a recent test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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