JACK ROUSH REFLECTS ON 600Th CONSECUITVE START, JOURNEY WITH MARTIN Marin's streak dates back to Feb. 14, 1988 when he and Roush first hooked up for the Daytona 500 Concord, N.C. (July 12, 2006) -- Nineteen years ago when Jack Roush put together...
JACK ROUSH REFLECTS ON 600Th CONSECUITVE START, JOURNEY WITH MARTIN
Marin's streak dates back to Feb. 14, 1988 when he and Roush first hooked up for the Daytona 500
Concord, N.C. (July 12, 2006) -- Nineteen years ago when Jack Roush put together his first run at the Nextel Cup circuit, he put his faith in the hands of young driver Mark Martin.
Almost 20 years later, Roush and Martin will make their 600th consecutive Cup start together this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. Along the way the two have forged the way for one of the most successful teams in motor sports history. Together they have run up 35 Nextel Cup wins, 41 poles, 366 top-10 and 229 top-five finishes. Martin and Roush have finished second in the Championship standings four times, in stints ranging from 1990 to 2002 and Martin has become a regular in the year end top-10 standings. In addition the bulk of Martin's Busch record 45 wins came with Roush by his side.
"Well it's been a great ride with Mark Martin for 600 starts now," said Roush on Wednesday. "He's brought intensity, enthusiasm, great driving ability and integrity to the driver's seat, unlike no other driver that I can recall."
Roush also stated his admiration for the drive Martin still maintains today.
"He is still the man to charge the superspeedways, the restrictor plate tracks and he's got great enthusiasm and passion for everything he does. Every racetrack that he goes to he still expects to win and he expects his people to prepare to win. His drive and determination haven't slowed one bit and his ability is still at the top of the echelon. It's just a pleasure to be with him."
Going into the race Martin is currently sixth in the point standings, trailing a position in the top five by just a few points, as he makes his bid for a third-consecutive birth in the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup. Martin will look to more than likely close out his full-time Nextel Cup career with his 17th career top-10 finish.
"As I started with this journey with Mark 19 years ago I certainly didn't see the success and the number of wins that we've had together," added Roush. "I also didn't see this term being as long as it has, nor did I ever consider that it would ever end.
"Now as we look down the road the number of races left are definitely finite and it brings great sadness that we haven't won a championship and the amount of time left to close the deal is quickly winding down. However we do still have an opportunity and we have to make the most of that. I know that once we get him into the Chase, Mark will be there to do whatever it takes to get the job done."
Roush also said he looks forward to moving down the road with Martin as he moves into the Craftsman Truck Series.
"We do certainly still look forward to a lot of success and championships in front of us in the truck series as he moves off to that, and I will look forward to moving down the road with him as we continue on this journey that has brought us both so much fulfillment."
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Enterprises that operates 14 motorsports teams; five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, six in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Todd Kluever and Danny O'Quinn, Jr., and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Martin, David Ragan, Erik Darnell and Michel Jourdain, Jr.