Phoenix II: Mark Martin preview

POINT STANDINGS: With his third-place finish last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, Mark Martin advanced to 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, the highest the team can finish in the postseason. If Martin had qualified for the...

POINT STANDINGS: With his third-place finish last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, Mark Martin advanced to 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, the highest the team can finish in the postseason. If Martin had qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he currently would be fourth in the standings.

CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-588 for Sunday's race. This chassis finished fourth in its debut in the April Phoenix race. Since then, Martin also raced the car twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.): "Phoenix has been a good track for me since we first started racing there. I've had a lot of success at that track. Short track racing just works for me. I love it. It reminds me of the tracks I grew up racing on. You know, I almost won at Phoenix in 2008, then turned around and got my first win with Hendrick there last year. I'll never forget that night, so this track will always be special to me for that."

MARTIN (ON HIS GODADDY.COM APPEARANCE.): "Any time I can just hang out with the fans and get to talk racing, I enjoy it. This appearance is really special for Go Daddy because it's right there in their home market. It's the first time Danica (Patrick) and I will be at an appearance together. And it's a great way to get all the fans together and really cap off the season the right way. It's more of a 'thank you' to the fans than it is an appearance for me or Danica to be recognized in any way. I hope there's a good crowd because that always gets me pumped up."

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON PHOENIX BEING THE NO. 5 TEAM'S BEST TRACK.): "I don't know if I could pinpoint one track and say it's our best one overall, but if I had to Phoenix would be right up there. We've just always been really good there. It helps that we have had drivers that love short track racing and really get after it on the track. Mark was amazing there last year, and winning that first race with him was something just incredible for this whole race team and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization. In fact, we've never finished outside the top five since Mark got in our car. Knowing that, and the history we had at the track before Mark, it makes going back to Phoenix a lot of fun for this race team. I think we'll definitely be in the front and battling for the win on Sunday."

GUSTAFSON (ON FINISHING THE YEAR ON A HIGH NOTE.): "It means everything at this point in the game. The highest we can finish in points is 13th, so we want to achieve that. We really want to win a race before this year is over, too. Watching how this team has come together over the last eight races has really been a confidence booster for all of us. We've been trying new things and really working hard to improve our performance. I think that we've done that. Ending the season when you're improving yourself is a great motivator when you're getting ready to hit the track in Daytona (Fla.). We're working the kinks out now and hopefully when 2011 starts we're a step ahead of a lot of these other teams. I don't think we're championship contenders as we are right now at this moment, but we're getting there. We're leading laps and running up front and putting ourselves in the position to win at the end of these races. That's what you have to do week-in and week-out to fight for a championship."

-source: hendrick motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports