Martinsville II: Mark Martin preview

NEXT TIME: When Martin takes the green flag at Martinsville Speedway next April, it will be his 800th career Sprint Cup start. Martin's 789 current Sprint Cup starts place him second on the all-time career starts list. Only Richard Petty has more...

NEXT TIME: When Martin takes the green flag at Martinsville Speedway next April, it will be his 800th career Sprint Cup start. Martin's 789 current Sprint Cup starts place him second on the all-time career starts list. Only Richard Petty has more with 1,185 entries.

CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-561 for Sunday's race at Martinsville. The team has used this chassis in its last two trips to Martinsville, notably finishing eighth last October at the short track.

MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 EBAY MOTORS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON RETURNING TO MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY.): "Martinsville was one of our more spectacular races this season. If you just look at the stats, you won't see that, but we had one of the strongest race cars at the track that day. We led for awhile but then had a pit road penalty midway through the race -- a freak deal with the air hose, really -- but our car was so strong that we got back into the top 10. Then, probably from pushing the car so hard to get back to the front, we cut a tire and that cost us what would have been a really, really good finish. Our car was so, so good, and I think we should be that way again this weekend."

MARTIN (ON HAVING EBAY MOTORS ON THE NO. 5 CHEVROLET.): "This is really exciting for all of us on the team. With the economy the way it is, it's exciting any time you can get a new sponsor to come on board. And with this one being about cars, about the automobile industry, that's exciting for us, too. I like the way they brought the fans into it and let them put their eBay usernames on the car. I've never driven a car with fans' names on it before. The fans have really stuck by us this year and this is a good way to say 'Thanks.' I'd like to get them all in Victory Lane Sunday."

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 EBAY MOTORS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFYING AT MARTINSVILLE.): "Of all tracks, Martinsville and Bristol (Tenn.) is where qualifying is most important. Not just because of starting position either, but more so because of pit selection. Pit road is so tight, and there aren't many openings, so having one of the first choices is ideal. Once the race starts, so many cars get lapped, so if you start in the back and it goes green for a while that's a threat very early in the race. If you start up front, there are fewer incidents to deal with and it's easier to take care of your tires and brakes. Everything's easier when you start up front, but it's more important at Martinsville than nearly every other track on the circuit."

GUSTAFSON (ON PIT STRATEGY.): "You always go into a race with a set pit strategy plan. But that can change slightly depending on where you're running, what the competition is doing and when the cautions fall. It's really a moving target. Pit sequencing at Martinsville is different. Everyone seems to be on different cycles. You can't get nervous and jump the gun on a call though. That's when you get in trouble. Once you make a plan, you've got to generally stick with that as much as possible and see it through to the end."

KYLE TURNER, FRONT TIRE CHANGER, NO. 5 EBAY MOTORS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON GIVING THE COMMAND SUNDAY.): "I'm really excited to do this with the other guys on Sunday. To be picked from everyone on the team was pretty cool, and I love racing back in Virginia, no matter which track we're at. I wasn't going to tell my parents about the command because I knew they would make a big deal. When they found out, they instantly bought tickets, so I'll have my own little fan section up there in the crowd which is nice."

-source: henrick motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports