Chicagoland: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS FOR FIRST WIN AT CHICAGOLAND After a strong run at Daytona, Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team turn their attention to the 1.5-mile oval of Chicagoland Speedway. Martin will be looking for his third top-10 finish in the last...

MARTIN LOOKS FOR FIRST WIN AT CHICAGOLAND

After a strong run at Daytona, Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team turn their attention to the 1.5-mile oval of Chicagoland Speedway. Martin will be looking for his third top-10 finish in the last four races this weekend. Worthy Note: Chicagoland is the only track on the Sprint Cup circuit that Martin has never posted a top-five finish.

SHORT HISTORY AT CHICAGOLAND

This will be the Sprint Cup Series' eighth visit to Chicagoland Speedway, where Martin has finished inside the top 10 in three of his seven visits. He finished sixth in the inaugural race in 2001 and ninth the following year. In 2004, Martin had one of the fastest cars in the race and was running third when he lost his engine with only two laps remaining and was forced to settle for a 24th-place finish. He rebounded in 2005 with a 10th-place result and finished 8th there in 2006 and 14th in a backup car in 2007.

TOP-FIVE SHUTOUT

Chicagoland is the only track on the Sprint Cup circuit where Martin has never posted a top-five

finish. It is one of four tracks (Chicago, Pocono, Loudon and Daytona) where the veteran has not won in a Sprint Cup point race.

FIRST HALF REVIEW

Martin has competed in 13 of his scheduled 26 events for 2008 (counting the two all-star events). Through his first 13 point races of the season, Martin has tallied two top-five finishes and six top-10s, while completing 99.8 percent of his laps and leading 69 laps. Martin's six top-10 finishes are more than 17 drivers who have competed in all 18 events.

WHAT'S THE POINT

Martin is currently 28th in the Sprint Cup driver points, having missed five events this season. However, Martin has averaged 120.8 points per event in 2008, an average that would have him sitting in ninth place in the standings had the veteran competed in all 18 events.

MARK MARTIN:

"I'm excited to get back on the track at Chicagoland this weekend. After a weekend of restrictor plate racing, I'll be glad to get back to more of the type of racing that I enjoy. The racing at Chicagoland has gotten better each year as the track has matured and the different grooves have started to come in. It's the kind of place where I think we should see some really good racing this weekend and hopefully we'll have this No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet right in the thick of things.

"I know a lot has been going on the past few weeks, but the thing to keep in mind now is that our goal is to finish out this year strong in this No. 8 DEI car. I'm 100 percent committed to helping get Tony Gibson, this entire No. 8 team, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the U.S. Army into victory lane before this season is over. Everyone has done an outstanding job this season. I've had the time of my life driving these cars and I can't think of a group that is more deserving to win a race. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens. Hopefully we can make a solid run at it this weekend at Chicago."

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mark Martin