Las Vegas: Mark Martin preview

Atop Standings, Martin On A Roll Heading To Vegas Mark Martin heads to Vegas atop the Nextel Cup point standings for the first time since 2002. Martin is off to the best start of his 20 year NASCAR career and he'll look to build on that this ...

Atop Standings, Martin On A Roll Heading To Vegas

Mark Martin heads to Vegas atop the Nextel Cup point standings for the first time since 2002. Martin is off to the best start of his 20 year NASCAR career and he'll look to build on that this weekend at LVMS.

MARTIN OFF TO CAREER-BEST START

Martin has started the 2007 with back-to-back top five finishes for the first time of his Nextel Cup career.

NUMBER ONE

Despite plans to run a limited schedule in 2007, Martin left California Speedway atop the Nextel Cup points standings for the first time since Sept. 22, 2002. Martin last took the lead in the points standings at the fall Loudon race that season. He held the lead the following week at Dover, and lost it the next week at Kansas when his engine gave late in the race.

AT VEGAS

Martin has been hot in Vegas, collecting seven top-10 and four top-five finishes, including a win in the inaugural event in 1998. Martin finished sixth at Las Vegas last season. He also has two wins and two poles in the Busch race at LVMS, including a Busch win in 2005.

GINN ON THE GO

Martin's number one ranking in the points also marks the first time a car from Ginn Racing has led the points. Martin is also joined in the Nextel Cup top-10 by teammate Joe Nemechek.

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO NOW...

Despite plans for the limited schedule, many speculate that Martin's strong start in 2007 will keep him behind the wheel of the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevy, and while Martin maintains no intention to do so, team owner Bobby Ginn has left the door open if Martin should change his mind.

QUOTING MARK...

ON LAS VEGAS

"I've always enjoyed Las Vegas, and we've had a lot of success there over the years. The win there in 1998 really stands out for a number of reasons. We had a new team and it was the first race there, and I can remember leaving the track that night and looking down from the helicopter on the track and thinking 'wow,' this wasn't some dirt track win. Very rarely in my career have I allowed myself to stop for a second and think about a win or anything, but for a few minutes I did that night. It was a big deal to win at Vegas and we had done that. It's still a special win for me."

ON THE NEW SURFACE AT VEGAS

"They have redone the track surface there since last year and repaved surfaces aren't exactly my strong point. We did have a good test there with the U.S. Army team in January so we are looking forward to going back to Vegas and building on that. From where we were at the test and with the time we have to work with the car this weekend, I think we should be pretty good."

ON LEADING THE POINTS

"I think it's really awesome. We were able to contend for the win in each of the first two races and that says a great deal about Ginn Racing and the U.S. Army Team. We've had fast cars and the guys have been stellar on pit road. Ryan (Pemberton) has done an excellent job with the pit strategies and things are really coming together for this U.S. Army Race Team. We still have a ways to go at Ginn Racing, but we are sure headed in the right direction."

FAST FACTS

* Martin has seven top-10 finishes in nine races at LVMS, including four top-fives and a win.

* Martin won the inaugural Cup race at Las Vegas in 1998.

* Martin has led 243 laps at Las Vegas, including 57 last season

* Martin has finished in the top six of six of his nine races at Las Vegas.

* Martin has two poles and two wins in four Busch races at Las Vegas, including a win in the 2005 Busch race.

* Martin leads the Nextel Cup point standings for the first time since Sept. 22, 2002.

-credit: ginn racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Mark Martin