Martin Looks For Third Victory in Sprint All-Star Race All-Star wins rank high on veteran's list of accomplishments CHARLOTTE (May 12, 2008) -- Mark Martin has visited NASCAR Victory Lane an amazing 90 times during his 26-plus year racing...
Martin Looks For Third Victory in Sprint All-Star Race
All-Star wins rank high on veteran's list of accomplishments
CHARLOTTE (May 12, 2008) -- Mark Martin has visited NASCAR Victory Lane an amazing 90 times during his 26-plus year racing career, so it makes sense that he would have a difficult time singling out his favorite memories. However, the veteran driver from Batesville, Ark. will readily admit that his two victories in the Sprint All-Star event rank at the top.
Martin won the 2005 All-Star event driving a 1993 special 'throw-back' paint scheme. The win - one of his last in the No. 6 car -- made for a special night for Martin and his team. Martin took the lead in the last segment and drove away from the field to claim his second All-Star victory - one of the most fulfilling of his career.
"That was just a great night," said Martin who will start is 19th consecutive All-Star event this Saturday night and his first behind the wheel of the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Inc.
"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.
"You race for nights like that and it was a very rewarding win for us."
Martin's 1998 victory was a different story, but no less special to the veteran driver.
Martin won the 1998 version All-Star event -- then called The Winston -- after Jeff Gordon ran out of fuel on the last lap.
"I'd have to say that those wins do rank high on the list," said Martin. "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."
A third All-Star win for Martin would tie him with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon for most All-Star victories.
"That would be pretty special," added Martin. "It is one of the most exciting events of the season. People can just forget about points and all of that stuff and just go for it. That makes it a great show for the fans and it makes it a pretty fun race to drive in. I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do."
In addition to Martin's wins in 1998 and 2005, the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team boasts a win in the All-Star event in 2000. The pair would like nothing more than to make a return appearance together this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"We would love to go in there and win this thing together," said Martin. "Tony Gibson (crew chief) and these guys have done an outstanding job this season. We've had some great race cars and I can't think of a much better way to Victory Lane than by winning the All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway."