Michigan: Mark Martin pre-race notes

Martin Doesn't Need to Shop for Army Birthday Gift BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 10, 2008) -- Presenting his primary sponsor -- the United States Army -- with the ultimate birthday gift is foremost on Mark Martin's mind as he readies himself for...

Martin Doesn't Need to Shop for Army Birthday Gift

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 10, 2008) -- Presenting his primary sponsor -- the United States Army -- with the ultimate birthday gift is foremost on Mark Martin's mind as he readies himself for Sunday's LifeLock 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

It's almost like having a second chance for Martin to provide the Victory Lane present to the Army, which will celebrate its 233rd birthday this weekend. The U.S. Army was formed on June 14, 1775.

When Martin's No. 8 Chevrolet Impala SS paid tribute to the 100th birthday of the Army Reserve at the April race in Phoenix, the veteran driver nearly pulled off the win. He dominated the race in the late stages before settling in with a fifth-place finish due to a fuel mileage issue.

"We've been knocking at the door for some time now and are definitely overdue for a victory," said Martin, who has 35 career Cup wins. "A trip to Victory Lane in the soldiers' car would be by far the best birthday gift that we could give to the U.S. Army."

The good news for the Army is that Michigan International Speedway has been a track where Martin has enjoyed success. He is a four-time NASCAR Cup winner at the 2.0-mile oval and has garnered 16 top fives and 27 top 10s.

"Michigan is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and I've had a lot of success there over the years," noted Martin. "It's big, wide and you can really pass there. If you are able to get your car setup right, you can do a lot of passing, which can make for a pretty fun day."

A strong performance at Michigan will not only put the icing on the birthday cake, but it could also propel the No. 8 team into the top 12 in owner points, which is the cutoff for making the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

After 14 races, the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. driving duo of Martin and Aric Almirola is currently 15th in owner points, only 22 points shy of 12th.

"Our goal is to make the Chase on owner points," said Martin. "This is a quality race team and I am confident that we will keep getting better."

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Aric Almirola , Mark Martin