Richmond II: Mark Martin preview

GOLDEN START: Saturday's race will be Mark Martin's 50th Cup start at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Martin has made 50 or more starts at four other tracks on the Cup circuit: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Daytona...

GOLDEN START: Saturday's race will be Mark Martin's 50th Cup start at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Martin has made 50 or more starts at four other tracks on the Cup circuit: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.

POLE SITTER: Martin's next Sprint Cup Series pole position will be the 50th of his career and will place him eighth on the all-time pole winner's list.

CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-561 for Saturday night's race at Richmond. This is the same chassis Martin drove at Richmond earlier this year. Most recently, this chassis was tested at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado.

MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON NOT MAKING THE CHASE.): "It's disappointing for sure. After last year, you know we made it and had a shot at the championship and that was exciting for me and everyone on this race team. That was a career year for me and for Alan (Gustafson, crew chief). And not every year is going to be like that. This year we definitely have some things to work on and improve on. I have no doubt that we're going to figure it out. Not making the Chase last year would have been awful because we were in championship form. This year, we have more important things to work on. It doesn't hurt as bad as it would have had we not made it last year."

MARTIN (ON THE NEXT 11 WEEKS.): "These next 11 races are going to be fun. We can throw anything at the car, and I know this team is going to be super aggressive now about figuring out where to find more speed and better handling. It's all about the win and setting ourselves up for 2011 now. I'm looking forward to it."

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON THE TEAM'S GOALS DURING THE NEXT 11 WEEKS.): "I'm really frustrated and disappointed by our performance this year. I feel like the effort and the focus is there, but we've fallen short of meeting our goals and expectations, and that's always difficult to handle. But, at the same time, we know we're struggling. We've identified that. The exciting thing for me and the energizing thing for me is that these next 11 weeks are a really good opportunity to re-evaluate everything and be really aggressive and rebuild all phases of our race team. That generates some new excitement. I've been through these situations before. Everyone goes through these downtimes. We need to focus on getting out of this low as quickly as we can and work on maintaining our highs. We came off of a really high high last year and now we're in a low. I've learned from both situations, and I'm going to be better equipped to handle both situations in the future.

"I'm disappointed in the way we've performed and the results we've gotten but at the same time I'm excited and enthused. You have to look for the positive in every situation. The positive is that this is a good opportunity for us to be aggressive about pushing our cars, our team, our pit crew, every phase of this team to the max without fear of going over. Not being in the Chase, we can take those chances. If we do that and do it successfully then we know we'll be in good shape for 2011. That's my goal. We're going to push really hard. Be incredibly aggressive. Face our demons. We're not burying our head in the sand. It's all on our shoulders, mine especially. I'll take the weight. I'm going to look at where we went wrong and aggressively pursue correcting those problems."

-source: hendrick motorsports

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