Michigan: Mark Martin pre-race notes

Martin Has Only One Present in Mind for U.S. Army Birthday BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 13, 2007) -- Mark Martin says there is no need to shop for a gift. He knows exactly what he wants to give to his main sponsor -- the U.S. Army, which will...

Martin Has Only One Present in Mind for U.S. Army Birthday

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 13, 2007) -- Mark Martin says there is no need to shop for a gift. He knows exactly what he wants to give to his main sponsor -- the U.S. Army, which will celebrate its 232nd birthday at this weekend's Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

"The best birthday present for our soldiers would be to drive the U.S. Army Chevrolet to Victory Lane," said Martin. "When you stop and think what the Army has meant to our nation and to the world for the past 232 years it is truly a privilege to wear the Army racing uniform and represent our brave men and women in uniform."

The U.S. Army officially turns 232 on June 14, which is also Flag Day.

When Martin talks about a win at Michigan, he is basing it on first-hand knowledge. The veteran driver has an impressive record at the two-mile oval with four victories, 16 top fives and 27 top 10s.

"I'm excited about this weekend," said Martin. "Michigan has always been a good track for me and it has also been a good track for the 01 team."

Michigan is a sister track to California Speedway where Martin finished fifth in February.

"That's another reason I am encouraged about going to Michigan," added Martin.

Martin, 48, has every right to feel encouraged. His 2007 Nextel Cup record with the 01 Army team speaks for itself.

Despite missing three races as part of his part-time schedule with Ginn Racing, Martin is 12th in Nextel Cup driver points. In owner points, Martin and co-driver Regan Smith have the 01 team ranked fifth.

In the 11 races in which he has competed this season, Martin has three top fives, seven top 10s and 10 top 15s. His worst finish was 17th.

"It's been an incredible year so far and I don't see it changing," offered Martin, who is coming off back-to-back seventh-place finishes in Dover and Pocono. "For me, it's been a dream-come-true season. I have the best deal -- the opportunity to be involved with a very talented race team and to drive in selected races. I couldn't ask for more, except for maybe three more feet at Daytona."

The three feet reference is approximately what Martin lost by to Kevin Harvick at the season-opening Daytona 500.

"This is a very difficult sport to win in, but our U.S. Army team has the potential to visit Victory Lane on any given Sunday," offered Martin. "That's why I am excited about going to the track when I am scheduled to drive. And this weekend is even more special with the celebration of the Army's birthday."

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith , Mark Martin