Martin Looks for Third Victory in Prestigious All-Star Event All-Star wins rank high on veteran's list of accomplishments CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 18, 2007) -- Mark Martin has a hard time singling out his favorite memories during his 20-plus year ...
Martin Looks for Third Victory in Prestigious All-Star Event
All-Star wins rank high on veteran's list of accomplishments
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 18, 2007) -- Mark Martin has a hard time singling out his favorite memories during his 20-plus year racing career in the Nextel Cup Series, but he will readily admit that his two victories in the Nextel All-Star event rank at the top.
Martin won the 1998 All-Star event -- then called The Winston -- after Jeff Gordon ran out of fuel on the last lap. In 2005 he drove away from the field to claim his second All-Star win, which was one of the most fulfilling of his career.
"I'd have to say that those wins do rank high on the list," said Martin who will start his 18th consecutive All-Star race Saturday night, and his first in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "Sometimes the sweetest victories are the ones that you don't expect. They say that second place doesn't pay, but it sure does when the guy leading runs out of gas on the last lap. Jeff (Gordon) ran out of fuel and we passed him and got a very surprising win that day."
Martin's 2005 victory was a different story, but no less special to the veteran driver.
"That was just a great night," said Martin. "We were running a throw-back paint scheme from the 1993 season when we won four straight races. We didn't have the best car that night, but we just wanted it more. "We took the lead during the first segment and they inverted the field. We drove back through the field and took the lead again with about 20 to go and just pulled away from the field. It was just one of those special nights where it all came together."
A third All-Star win for Martin would tie him with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon for most All-Star victories.
"It's one of the best races all season," added Martin. "People can just rest a week from all of the point racing and just go for it. It makes for a great race and a great show for the fans."
"I've won it twice, but I'd like nothing more than to win it with Ryan Pemberton and this U.S. Army Team," added Martin. "It would also be really special to win it while representing all of the Soldiers. It's been a magical year for me and I can't think of nothing that would make it even more special than an All-Star win."