Charlotte: Mark Martin preview

Martin Cherishes Opportunity to Represent Soldiers in Memorial Day Weekend Classic U.S. Army driver will be aiming for second Coca-Cola 600 victory CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2007) -- When Mark Martin takes the green flag to start Sunday's...

Martin Cherishes Opportunity to Represent Soldiers in Memorial Day Weekend Classic
U.S. Army driver will be aiming for second Coca-Cola 600 victory

CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2007) -- When Mark Martin takes the green flag to start Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, he will have an extra incentive to succeed in NASCAR's longest race of the season. It will be the first time he will be representing the U.S. Army in the Memorial Day weekend classic.

"The Coca-Cola 600 has always been a big race, but this year it has even more meaning for me," said Martin, who is in his first season driving for the U.S. Army/Ginn Racing team. "It's such an honor to represent these soldiers each week, especially on Memorial Day weekend. I'd like nothing more than to take this U.S. Army Chevy to Victory Lane and dedicate that effort to all the soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, and to our men and women in uniform who are fighting every day to protect us."

Martin's No. 01 Army Chevrolet will carry a special American Hero's decal on the hood, as part of a multicar program to honor the fallen heroes.

Based on his strong third-place finish in last week's Nextel All-Star Challenge, along with his past performances at Lowe's, Martin is rightfully considered one of the prerace favorites.

He won the Coca-Cola race in 2002 and finished in the top five in two of his last three 600s, including a fourth-place result last year. His impressive record at Lowe's also includes three wins in the fall Cup race, two victories in the All-Star Challenge, six wins in the Busch Series and two IROC wins.

"It's just a great race track," said Martin of the 1.5-mile oval located on the outskirts of Charlotte. "It's been the site of some of my greatest racing memories. I can still remember that Coke 600 win like it was yesterday. We really went after that race and there was a great sense of accomplishment once it was over."

Martin plans to attack this weekend's 600 with the same type of passion and determination.

"I am really hungry for another Coke 600 victory," noted Martin. "We had a great car last week, and should have an even better one for this weekend. The guys on this 01 team came really close to winning this race a couple of years ago, so I know they are just as hungry. One thing you can always count on is that we will never give up. We're like our soldiers, who inspire us every weekend."

Martin enters the Coca-Cola 600 15th in driver points, despite missing three races as part of his limited 2007 schedule with Ginn Racing. He and 01 co-driver Regan Smith have the Ginn Racing team ranked sixth in owner points.

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith , Mark Martin