Martin to return for Texas race

MARTIN READY TO MAKE RETURN AT TEXAS After almost a month away from the track, Martin returns to Nextel Cup action this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Refreshed and well rested Martin will look to become the first two-time winner at the ...

MARTIN READY TO MAKE RETURN AT TEXAS

After almost a month away from the track, Martin returns to Nextel Cup action this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Refreshed and well rested Martin will look to become the first two-time winner at the 1.5-mile track where he visited victory lane in 1998.

* Martin won the second event at Texas in 1998.

* Martin won the inaugural Busch event at Texas and has three wins at Texas in the series.

MARTIN OFF TO CAREER-BEST START WITH GINN RACING

Despite a limited schedule in 2007, Martin started his Cup season with three-consecutive top-five finishes for the first time in his racing career and four straight top 10's . Until joining with Ginn Racing this season, Martin had never started a season with back-to-back top-fives and his second-place finish in the Daytona 500 is also a career best. Martin's three straight top-fives to open the season also marked the first time Martin has scored three consecutive top-five finishes since 2002 and his lead in the points was his first since 2002. He became the oldest driver to lead the points for more than one week and the first driver since 1983 to walk away with the lead.

WALKING AWAY ON TOP

Martin was able to do something few have done - walk away on top. Martin led the point standings for three weeks, before taking the race off at Bristol as part of his limited schedule.

POINTING FORWARD

Despite taking off Bristol and Martinsville, Martin still sits in 15th place in the driver standings, only 21 points outside of 12th and 58 out of 10th. With only four races started, Martin is ahead of 21 other drivers who have competed in all six events. In owner points, Martin and Regan Smith have the Ginn Racing No. 01 Chevy in sixth place, just two points behind fifth, and still solidly in contention for an owner's championship.

MARTIN AT TEXAS

Martin will make his 13th start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, where he won the second race in 1998. He has three top fives and five top 10's in those starts. Martin finished ninth in this race a year ago and 22nd at TMS in the spring

STARTING OVER

Martin's streak of 621-consecutive starts - the fifth longest in NASCAR history - came to an end when he did not start the race at Bristol. Martin will start a new streak this weekend that will end at two when he stays home from Talladega in two weeks.

MARTIN FAST FACTS - TEXAS

* Martin posted a Cup win at Texas in the second race there in 1998.

* Martin has three top fives and five top 10's in eight Cup starts at Texas.

* Martin has won three times in the Busch Series at Texas in four races, including the inaugural Busch race there in 1997. He'll compete again in the Busch race this weekend.

* Martin became the oldest driver ever to lead the Nextel Cup points for more than one week.

* Martin is off to his best ever start in the Nextel Cup Series, with three consecutive top-fives.

* Martin's top-five finish at Vegas marked the first time he has scored three straight top-fives since '02.

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith