Fontana II: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO LOCK DOWN PLACE IN CHASE AT FONTANA With just two races remaining before NASCAR's cut-off point, Martin will look for a strong run at California Speedway to help lock down a place in the second ever Chase for the Nextel ...

MARTIN LOOKS TO LOCK DOWN PLACE IN CHASE AT FONTANA

With just two races remaining before NASCAR's cut-off point, Martin will look for a strong run at California Speedway to help lock down a place in the second ever Chase for the Nextel Cup.

Chassis Number: (RK-314) - The team will run RK-314 this weekend at Fontana. This will be the car's third career run. It finished seventh in its debut at Indy and 17th two weeks ago at Michigan.

Worthy Note: If Martin can lose no more than 35 points to 11th place this weekend at Fontana, he will clinch a place in the Chase.

IN THE POINTS

With only two races remaining Martin is currently in fifth place; 226 points ahead of 11th place Matt Kenseth. He's 165 points ahead of eighth-place Carl Edwards. Martin joins Roush teammates Greg Biffle (3rd), Kurt Busch (7th), Carl Edwards (8th) and Matt Kenseth (11th) in the top-11 of the Nextel Cup standings. After 24 races, he trails first place by 396 points and he is 125 points behind third place Rusty Wallace.

MARTIN AT FONTANA

Martin has posted four top-10 and three top-five finishes in 10 starts at California. In addition, Martin has started inside the top 10 in four of the 10 races. Martin finished third last fall at Fontana and seventh this year in the spring.

Martin actually finished 10th in the inaugural race at Fontana, despite running out of gas on the race's final lap, while in the lead. Martin came back the next year to win the second ever Cup race at Fontana in 1998. Martin has led a total of 263 laps at Fontana, including 65 in a third place finish last fall and four in a seventh-place finish this Spring.

ON THE REVERSE

Martin and the team will run the 'reverse' white paint scheme this weekend in California, as well as the next week at Richmond.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM

Mark Martin has dubbed 2005 his "Salute to You" tour, a year in which he hopes to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including team members, fans, NASCAR and the media.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON FONTANA

"Fontana is my kind of track and that seems to be the type of place where this team excels. We were seventh there in the spring and we'll be looking to build on that this week. We had a really strong run last year in this race and we are excited about going back out there and hopefully we can give our fans out west something to cheer about.

"We've had a tough couple of weeks in the sense that we haven't had the finishes that our cars were capable of bringing home. On the other hand, we've done exactly what we need to do and we are sitting at fifth in the points with just two races remaining before the Chase starts, and that's a whole lot better off than we were a year ago today. This is a really good race team and I'm excited about heading down the stretch run with them."

PAT TRYSON

"We are excited about getting back out on the track at Fontana. It's one of Mark's better tracks and we've ran really well there the last two times we've been out there. Hopefully we can get a strong finish and lock up our place in the top 10 and then shift our attention to those final 10 races."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin