Las Vegas: Round three preview

Mark Martin Leads Ginn Racing To Top Of Standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.(March 6, 2007) -- The last time Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet) came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a new team, he left victorious. Entering 1998, the track's...

Mark Martin Leads Ginn Racing To Top Of Standings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.(March 6, 2007) -- The last time Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet) came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a new team, he left victorious.

Entering 1998, the track's first year, Martin's Roush Fenway Racing team underwent a facelift, with crew chief Jimmy Fennig and a new crew coming aboard the No. 6 team.

Martin led a race-high 82 laps in the inaugural event at Las Vegas en route to the victory.

"I had this little flashback when we finished everything and the helicopter lifted off and I looked down on it as I flew away," Martin said. "I realized what we had done.

"In the past, as soon as I got done with Victory Lane I wanted to start focusing on winning next week. I never paid any attention to what I may have accomplished in NASCAR and that day I had this flash of how much that meant."

The win was the first of a career-high seven for Martin that season. More importantly, it provided him and his new crew the confidence in each other they needed to contend for the championship throughout the season.

Heading into the third race of this season, Martin and his new Ginn Racing team have two top-five finishes and lead the standings.

It is the first time Martin has led the standings since Sept. 2002 and the first time a Ginn Racing team has ever been on top.

"We've been in contention in both of the first two races and I think that says a lot about Ginn Racing and the commitment that Bobby Ginn and Jay Frye have in this organization," Martin said. "I'm excited more than ever about what we have going on here and being a part of this for a long time."

Martin heads to Las Vegas with his future somewhat uncertain. His plan is to run 22 races in the No. 01 Chevrolet and mentor Regan Smith in the other 14 events. But if his hot start continues, can the veteran turn over the wheel and perhaps give up a shot at winning the championship that has eluded him for so long?

For now, Martin insists his plans have not changed.

"That win (at Vegas) told me that I hadn't made the biggest mistake of my career by making that change," Martin said. A win this Sunday may make him rethink his plans, and prevent the mistake of giving up the seat of a championship car.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Regan Smith , Mark Martin
Teams Roush Fenway Racing