Pocono: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO CAP POCONO SUCCESS WITH FIRST TRACK WIN Mark Martin and the U.S. Army Team of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will head to the Pocono Mountains this weekend, where Martin will look for his first career victory at the 2.5-mile tri-oval....

MARTIN LOOKS TO CAP POCONO SUCCESS WITH FIRST TRACK WIN

Mark Martin and the U.S. Army Team of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will head to the Pocono Mountains this weekend, where Martin will look for his first career victory at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Despite having never won at Pocono, Martin has a storied career there, where he is the all-time leader in both top-five and top-10 finishes.

Worthy Note: Martin has six second-place runs at Pocono

MARTIN AT POCONO

This will be Martin's 42nd race at Pocono Raceway, where he has finished inside the top 10 on 29 occasions. He also boasts 19 top-five finishes at Pocono. Both numbers are the most of any driver. In addition, Martin has posted 27 top-10 starts in 42 races at Pocono.

LOOKING FOR NUMBER 'WON'

Martin has never won at Pocono, but he has come close on numerous occasions. The veteran has posted second-place finishes there six different times. In fact, Martin has finished second at Pocono in three of his last nine starts. In addition, he has finished third there on four more occasions. Martin has finished second or third in 25 percent of his starts and in the top five in almost 50 percent of his starts at Pocono.

FIGHTING BACK

Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team will look to get back on track this weekend, after a 23rd-place finish last weekend at Dover, where almost nothing went right for the team. After three straight top-10 finishes earlier in the season at Phoenix, Texas and Richmond, the team has finished outside of the top 10 in its last three races.

MAKING A STRONG POINT

Despite running a limited schedule and having missed three of 13 events in 2008, Martin is ranked 24th in the Sprint Cup point standings; ahead of 12 drivers who have competed in more events. In addition, Martin's four top-10 finishes are more than 18 drivers who have taken part in all 13 events. Martin has as many or more top fives than 22 drivers who have competed in every event this season.

MARK QUOTES:

"Pocono is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit, despite the fact that I've never been able to win there. We have had some really strong runs at Pocono over the years and we've been close a lot with something like five or six second-place finishes. It's funny because I always say that Pocono is one of my favorites and I've never won there, but I really don't like Martinsville very much at all and I've won there a couple of times.

"We've been a little off the last few weeks at Darlington, Charlotte and Dover, but we continue to make strides. Our short track stuff has been better than the cars at the bigger tracks. But we had a good test last week at Pocono and I'm encouraged by the gains we made there. Tony Gibson and this No. 8 U.S. Army Team continues to impress me with their work ethic and determination. Hopefully, we'll be able to go to Pocono this week and get this thing back on track, run up front and be competitive at the end."

FACT FACTS:

* Martin has finished second at Pocono on six different occasions.

* Martin has finished second or third in over 25 percent of his 39 starts at Pocono.

* Martin's 19 top-five finishes at Pocono are the most of any driver.

* Martin's 29 top-10 finishes at Pocono leads all drivers.

* Martin has finished second in three of his last nine races at Pocono.

* Martin finished in the top 10 in both races at Pocono last season, the 10th time in his career he has accomplished that feat.

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mark Martin