Richmond: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN MARCHES FORWARD TO RICHMOND After taking the race off at Talladega, Martin returns to the Cup circuit this weekend at Richmond International Raceway for his seventh race of the season and his second in the Car of Tomorrow. Worthy Note:...

MARTIN MARCHES FORWARD TO RICHMOND

After taking the race off at Talladega, Martin returns to the Cup circuit this weekend at Richmond International Raceway for his seventh race of the season and his second in the Car of Tomorrow.

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.

RICHMOND DEEP IN HISTORY FOR MARTIN

This will be Martin's 43rd 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 23 career top-10 finishes at Richmond and the first of his Cup career. He has finished top 10 in six of his last 10 at RIR. He finished fifth there last fall and 11th in the spring.

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.

ON THE POINT

Martin dropped to 17th in the driver points after missing his third race of the season, but despite having only competed in six of nine events this year, he trails the Chase cut-off point by only 83 points. He leads 18 drivers in the points that have competed in three more races. In addition, Martin and co-driver Regan Smith have the No. 01 car at fifth in the Nextel Cup Owner points.

ON HIS OWN TERMS

Martin entered the 2007 season resolved to run a limited schedule and he stuck to his plan. He started his Cup season with three-consecutive top-five finishes - for the first time in his racing career - and five straight top 10's . Until joining with Ginn Racing this season, Martin had never started a season with back-to-back top-fives and his second-place finish in the Daytona 500 is also a career best. Martin's three straight top-fives to open the season also marked the first time Martin had not scored three consecutive top-five finishes since 2002 and his lead in the points was his first since 2002. He became the oldest driver to lead the points for more than one week and the first driver since 1983 to walk away with the lead.

QUOTING MARK:

ON RICHMOND:

"We have a pretty long history at Richmond, going all the way back to the early '80's when I first broke into Cup racing. I set on the pole there the first time we went back in 1981. We were able to actually get a top-10 there the first time as well. It has always been a track that was 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 the last couple of seasons. The second Richmond race has kind of taken on a new significance in the last couple of years.

"I'm really looking forward to going there this weekend with Ryan (Pemberton) and this U.S. Army Team. We know that we have to work to improve our COT program, but I'm confident that Ryan and the guys at Ginn Racing are more than up for the challenge going forward. They have been good as a team at Richmond in the past few seasons, so I'm excited to get there and back out on the track with these guys."

Mark Martin Fast Facts - Richmond

* Martin has finished inside the top 10 in six of his last 10 races at Richmond.

* Martin earned his first career Cup top-10 finish at Richmond on Sept. 13, 1981 finishing seventh.

* Martin sat on the pole at his first career Cup race at Richmond in 1981.

* Martin has one win, 23 top-10 and 12 top-five finishes in 42 races at Richmond.

* Martin earned his 41st career Cup pole at Richmond in Sept. of 2001.

* Martin has five Busch wins at Richmond.

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Regan Smith , Mark Martin