Atlanta: Mark Martin preview

Martin Excited About Return To Atlanta After a disappointing 30th-place finish at Vegas, Martin and the No. 6 Team will look to get back on track at Atlanta, where Martin posted what was perhaps his most dominant run last season, leading 227...

Martin Excited About Return To Atlanta

After a disappointing 30th-place finish at Vegas, Martin and the No. 6 Team will look to get back on track at Atlanta, where Martin posted what was perhaps his most dominant run last season, leading 227 laps and finishing second.

Chassis Number: (RK-118) - The team will run RK-118 at Atlanta, the same car that he led 227 laps and finished second with there last fall. It will be the car's first run since that race.

Worthy Note: Martin has lead 879 laps, has two wins, 18 top 10's and 10 top fives in 38 career Cup starts at Atlanta.

IN THE POINTS

Martin is currently 10th in the Nextel Cup point standings, 151 points behind first. Martin has currently been inside the top-10 for 15 straight weeks, dating back to September of last season.

MARTIN AT ATLANTA

This will be Martin's 39th-career Cup start at Atlanta, where the veteran has posted 18 top-10 finishes, 10 top fives and two wins. Martin ran his first career Cup race at Atlanta just one day shy of 23 years to the date of this Sunday's race on March 21, 1982, finishing second. He returned there that spring and drove to a top 10. He finished second at AMS last fall, his first top-10 finish at the track since back-to-back top-10's there in 2002.

THREE TRACKS EQUALS THREE WINS ON THE 'SALUTE' TOUR

Martin has already notched three wins on the "Salute Tour" with all three having had significance in the record books. Martin's 12th career win in the IROC race at Daytona set a record for wins in the series. Both of his Busch wins this season have extended his record for wins in that series, which now stands at 47.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM LAUNCHES

Mark Martin will make his final run at the Nextel Cup title in 2005. Martin has dubbed 2005 as 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 ATLANTA

"We sure are excited about going back to Atlanta. Boy you talk about having fun, now we are talking about going to Atlanta. That's a real race track with real racing. It's a big, fast race track. The pavement has gotten a little older and it has finally given up and made it a really fun place to race. From top-to-bottom, it's one of the best places that we go to race. It usually makes for a great show and a great race.

"We had a great race there in the fall. We led a lot of laps and really let a win get away there, so we are excited about going there this weekend."

PAT TRYSON

"We can't wait to get down there. It's one of Mark's best tracks and we really had the place figured out last fall. Hopefully we can go back there have another strong run and this time seal the deal with a win. We have two wins in the Busch car, but we want really bad to put that No. 6 Viagra Ford into victory lane and I can't think of a better place to do that than Atlanta on this Sunday."

Mark Martin Fast Facts -- ATLANTA

* Martin has tallied 18 top-10 and 10 top-fives at Atlatna, with seven of the top-fives coming in the Spring.

* Martin has won twice at Atlanta. Both wins came in the spring ('91 & '94).

* Martin has started in the top-10 in 23 of his 38 races at Atlanta. He has started inside the top five 16 times. He has earned one pole (3/92) and has started on the front row six times.

* Martin scored his first top 10 at Atlanta in only this second start there, on November 7, 1982.

* Martin has led 879 laps at Atlanta, with 227 of them coming last Fall.

* Martin had three wins and two poles in the Busch car at Atlanta.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin