MARTIN DRIVING HOME POINT Veteran sits at 11th in points, despite having taken two races off AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 19, 2007) -- Despite having only competed in five of seven races this season, Mark Martin finds himself 11th in the Nextel Cup ...
MARTIN DRIVING HOME POINT
Veteran sits at 11th in points, despite having taken two races off
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 19, 2007) -- Despite having only competed in five of seven races this season, Mark Martin finds himself 11th in the Nextel Cup point standings as the series rolls into Phoenix. As a part of his planned limited schedule in 2007, Martin took off races at Bristol and Martinsville, but four top-five finishes in five starts have Martin sitting in 11th position and inside the 'Chase' cut-off mark well into April.
In fact, Martin is ahead of 25 drivers who have competed in all seven races and 29 drivers who have started more races in 2007. In two fewer events, Martin has outscored guys with the names of Busch, Biffle, Harvick and Earnhardt Jr. just to name a few.
"You know I fought my entire career to stay inside the top 15," said Martin. "I never really knew the secret was staying at home for some races (laughing). Actually, I think it just says so much about this No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet Team and how great of a situation they have put me in.
"I have the greatest job on the planet," added Martin. "And I'm very thankful to be able to be in this situation and to be able to still race with a team of his caliber."
In addition, Martin and co-driver Regan Smith have the No. 01 team in fourth in the Nextel Cup owner standings and in solid contention for an owner's championship.
Despite his current standing in the points, Martin still plans on taking Talladega off next weekend, before returning to action the following week at Richmond. Martin will then take part in seven consecutive events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Nextel All-Star Challenge before staying home from Sonoma, Calif.
Martin knows that with his current schedule, even with his huge success in 2007, he will eventually fall out of the top of the points chart.
"That's okay," added Martin. "Listen, I spent 19 years chasing that thing and I never gave any less than 100 percent. We had some great runs and I'm proud of what we were able to do, but at this point I just don't have any interest in continuing to chase after the cup.
"I do however, plan on going out and doing everything I can do win some races with this U.S. Army Team."