SPOT IN THE CHASE CLINCHED, MARTIN EYES RICHMOND Martin moves into Richmond firmly locked in the top-10 and a with a spot secured in the second ever 10-race Chase to the Nextel Cup, as he goes for his career sixth Cup win at Richmond. Chassis...
SPOT IN THE CHASE CLINCHED, MARTIN EYES RICHMOND
Martin moves into Richmond firmly locked in the top-10 and a with a spot secured in the second ever 10-race Chase to the Nextel Cup, as he goes for his career sixth Cup win at Richmond.
Chassis Number: (RK-221) - The team will run RK-221 at Richmond this weekend. This will be RK-221's sixth run this season. It finished seventh and third in the two Pocono races this season, fourth at Atlanta, 10th at Chicagoland and it won the All-Star race in May.
Worthy Note: Martin has clinched a spot in the Nextel Cup top 10 and cannot finish worse than eighth in the final 26-race standings.
IN THE POINTS - CLINCHED
Martin clinched a spot in the 10-race 'playoff' that will decide the Nextel Cup Champion last week in Fontana. Regardless of where Martin finishes at Richmond this weekend, he will make the chase and Martin, who is currently fifth, cannot finish any worse than eighth after the 26-race cutoff.
MARTIN AT RICHMOND
This will be Martin's 42nd 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 on to a seventh place finish, the first of his 22 career top-10 finishes at Richmond, where he's finished top 10 in five of his last seven.
Martin and the team will run the 'reverse' white paint scheme this weekend in California, as well as the next week at Richmond.
FIRST AND THE LAST
Martin's first and last Sept. runs at Richmond would have to rank among two of the most memorable of his celebrated career. Martin earned his second career pole and first career Cup top-10 finish at his first Richmond start in 1981. He clinched a spot in the inaugural Race for the Nextel Cup top-10 there last year on Sept. 11, capping off a mad furry of top-five finishes and surviving a multi-car wreck and 360 degree spin down the backstretch to clinch a spot in the playoff run for the championship with a fifth-place finish at the .75-mile track.
ON THE POLE
Martin earned his second career Cup pole at his first start at Richmond in 1981 and his 41st pole there in Sept. of 2001.
Mark Martin has dubbed 2005 his "Salute to You" tour, a year in which he hopes to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including team members, fans, NASCAR and the media.
QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON RICHMOND
"Richmond has been a good track for us over the years. We've been pretty good there and we've had a lot of big races there. It always makes for an exciting race and we are looking forward to going there and just seeing what we can do. We were kind of off there in the spring, so we'll have our work cut out for us getting back on track and hopefully running up front.
"Obviously clinching our place in the chase last week takes some of the pressure off and we hope to just go there and let it all hang out. We definitely have to shift our focus and look towards that championship. Our goal has been to make the chase and now we shift to winning the championship."
"We are locked in the chase now, so we've accomplished our first goal. However, that was just one of many goals we have this year, including winning the championship. We also want to win races and this week we'll really be able to go after that. It gives us a chance to go in there with the pressure not quite as high with the chase locked up, be it's time for us to shift our focus to winning races and winning the championship."