FONTANA, Calif. (April 28, 1998) There's just something about racing in the western part of the country that intrigues Mark Martin. And the tracks out west have been well-suited to his style of driving, leading to several victories...
FONTANA, Calif. (April 28, 1998)
There's just something about racing in the western part of the country that intrigues Mark Martin. And the tracks out west have been well-suited to his style of driving, leading to several victories for the Arkansas native.
Martin and the No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins team have posted two wins in the West so far during the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season, at Las Vegas and Texas, and they now head to California Speedway for this weekend's California 500 Presented by NAPA with the same result in mind.
"I am so excited to go to California," said Martin, currently sixth in the NASCAR Winston Cup Seres standings. "That is an incredible facility and a great track for racing. We should have won the race there last year, but ran out of fuel at the end. We should have won Texas last year, too, but we made up for it this year."
Martin was also victorious last year in another western race in 1997, the Save Mart Supermarkets 300 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Martin finished 10th in last year's inaugural California 500 after running out of gas one lap from the finish. He pitted for fuel with 10 laps to go, but the crew didn't get enough gas in the car to finish the last lap, and he was forced to coast across the finish line.
Martin is looking to avenge that mishap with a solid run and a victory in Sunday's race, the 10th NASCAR Winston Cup Series event of the year.
"California is just the right size with the right amount of banking," Martin said. "It is very wide and smooth, which makes it easy to pass. It is a lot like Las Vegas, Michigan and Charlotte. It makes for a good race for the fans and a fun race for us to drive.
"I told my team we had to get through Martinsville and Talladega, and then we'd be going to some great tracks. I expect to move back up in the points over the next two months since the tracks coming up are some of my favorites."
Martin will also be competing in the second round of the IROC series on Sunday. He finished third at Daytona in February, and he hopes to be on his way to winning a record fourth IROC title.
Source: NASCAR Online