Bristol: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN, AAA TEAM BRACE FOR BRISTOL After their strong second-place run at Atlanta, Martin and the AAA Team head to Bristol for the circuits' first short-track race of the season. Martin and the AAA team have been hot in 2005, contending in each...

MARTIN, AAA TEAM BRACE FOR BRISTOL

After their strong second-place run at Atlanta, Martin and the AAA Team head to Bristol for the circuits' first short-track race of the season. Martin and the AAA team have been hot in 2005, contending in each of the season's first four races.

Chassis Number: (No. 274) The team will run RK-274 at Bristol this weekend. RK-274 is the car Martin used to run to a 16th-place finish at Bristol last fall. He also ran the car at both Martinsville races, including a third-place finish in the spring.

Worthy Note: Martin has finished inside the top 15 in his last eight races.

IN THE POINTS
Martin's sixth-place finish at Vegas moved him into fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings. He is currently 110 points outside of first and only 25 points behind third.

MARTIN AT ATLANTA
This will be Martin's 41st-career Cup start at Atlanta, where the veteran has posted 20 top-10 finishes, 12 top fives and two wins. Martin ran his first career Cup race at Atlanta 23 years ago on March 21, 1982, finishing 19th. He returned there that fall and drove to a top 10. He has posted three straight top five finishes at AMS, finishing third there last fall, fourth in the spring and second in the fall of 2004.

IN THE LEAD
Martin has led a lap in each of the first three races of 2006, marking the first time he has done so since 2001, when he led at least one lap in each of the first 13 races. Currently Martin has led 77 laps in 2006, including 57 last week at Las Vegas.

AAA AND MARK MARTIN
Martin is sporting a different look and sponsor this season. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA boasts more than 48 million members.

ENCORE SALUTE IN '06
Martin had planned 2005 as his final in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series, but when called into action by Jack Roush opted to return for one more go around. Martin's fourth-place finish in the points in '05 proved he is still one of the fastest stars in NASCAR and he plans on using 2006 as an encore performance of his highly popular "Salute To You" Tour, where he will continue to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including the team members, the fans, NASCAR and the media.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON BRISTOL

"Bristol can be crazy. I've always said it is like flying a jet fighter around the inside of a basketball arena, and try that with 42 other jets doing it at the same time. It can get really intense and it takes a great deal of patience by everyone. You just have to hope that you run well and that you can stay out of all the trouble, which isn't always easy to do. Over the years Bristol has been the source of some real highs and lows for me.

"I've had some of the most memorable races I can remember there and some pretty tough times there as well. We've had a lot of trouble staying out of the wrecks lately there. In fact our luck has been so bad there as of late that we are definitely due and hopefully we'll see that there this weekend."

PAT TRYSON
"Bristol has been a pretty tough place for us the last few years. We've had some good runs, but some really bad luck and we've seemed to get caught up in a lot of wrecks. We know that Mark can get the job done and I think that we'll have a good car, so if we can just stay out of all the wrecks and keep our nose clean then I think that we should be able to get a good finish and maybe even be there at the end again."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jack Roush , Mark Martin