Richmond II: Mark Martin pre-race notes

MARTIN RETURNS TO ACTION AT RICHMOND After two weekends off, Mark Martin rejoins the No. 8 U.S. Army Team this weekend, where the team will look to take up where they left off in a third-place finish at Richmond earlier this season. Worthy...

MARTIN RETURNS TO ACTION AT RICHMOND

After two weekends off, Mark Martin rejoins the No. 8 U.S. Army Team this weekend, where the team will look to take up where they left off in a third-place finish at Richmond earlier this season.

Worthy Note: Martin won his second career Cup pole in his first Cup start at Richmond in 1981. He finished seventh in the race, his first career Cup top-10 finish.

DEEP HISTORY FOR MARTIN AT RICHMOND

This will be Martin's 46th start at Richmond, dating back to Sept. 13, 1981 when he earned his second career Cup pole in only his fourth career start. Martin rolled to a seventh-place finish, the first of his 23 career top-10 finishes at Richmond and the first of his Cup career. Over the years, the veteran has logged over 12,600 miles at the .75-track. He leads all drivers in top-five and top-10 finishes in both the Cup and Nationwide Series and his five Nationwide wins are a track record as well.

ON THE POLE

Martin earned his second career Cup pole at his first start at Richmond in 1981 and his 41st pole there in September 2001. His other pole came in September of 1996.

FRONT ROW

In addition to his two poles at Richmond, Martin has started on the front row at Richmond seven times during his Cup career at Richmond, including earlier this season in May and twice in the last three seasons.

LAST 10 RACES AT RICHMOND

Martin has scored the fourth most overall points in his last 10 races at RIR. During that span he has posted five top-10s and four top-fives, including a third-place run in May.

NO. 8 LOOKING FOR RETURN TO WINNER'S CIRCLE

The No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team's last trip to victory lane came at Richmond on May 6, 2006 - 88 races ago. Martin and the team hope to end that streak this weekend at RIR.

"We are looking forward to going back to Richmond this weekend. We've had a lot of success on these type of tracks this season and the U.S. Army Chevy was really strong at Richmond earlier this season. We had one of the best cars in the race, and if we can go back there and build on what we had last time, we should be up front competing for the win.

"We have a long history at Richmond, going all the way back to the early '80s when I first broke into Cup racing. I sat on the pole there the first time we went in 1981. We were able to actually get a top-10 there the first time as well. It has always been a track that is pretty fun to race on and we've had some great battles and quite a bit of success there over the years. I was able to win there in 1990, but I think a lot of people will remember that for the now famous 46 point penalty that we got after the race. That really played an important role in the championship that season. We've also had some really memorable runs there to race our way into the Chase in our last couple of seasons of point racing. There can be a lot of pressure with this race, but for us this weekend we'll be looking to get our car back into victory lane."

LAST YEAR AT RICHMOND..

Sept. 8, 2007 -- Richmond International Raceway

Started 19th, Finished 21st

Mark Martin and the U.S. Army Race team finished 21st in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Martin and the team struggled early with the car's handling, were forced to battle poor track position for most of the night and never were quite able to get into a rhythm during the 400-lap event.

Martin started 19th and struggled with the car's handling from the green flag. He fell back to 24th by just lap six and as far back as 29th on lap 58. The No. 01 U.S. Army Team worked with the car during the first three cautions of the race, but was unable to find the necessary blend of speed and handling necessary to move forward.

Martin patiently bided his time for the first half of the race, running between the 26th and 22nd position for the majority of the time. He broke back inside the top 20 on lap 238 where he would run the majority of the remainder of the race. He moved all the way to 15th after the race's ninth caution on lap 262.

Martin restarted in 17th with 50 laps to go after the 11th caution of the race. The car's handling took a turn for the worse as Martin was forced to contend with heavy traffic and the veteran fell all the way back to 23rd. He was able to regroup and move on to the 21st-place finish

-credit: dei

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