Bristol: Mark Martin pre-race notes

MARTIN, NO. 6 TEAM ROLL INTO BRISTOL Fresh off a fourth-place finish in Atlanta, Martin and the Viagra Racing Team take the "Salute To You" Tour to Bristol, Tennessee for the first short track race of the season. Martin, who has three top-10 ...

MARTIN, NO. 6 TEAM ROLL INTO BRISTOL

Fresh off a fourth-place finish in Atlanta, Martin and the Viagra Racing Team take the "Salute To You" Tour to Bristol, Tennessee for the first short track race of the season. Martin, who has three top-10 finishes in four races this season, will be looking for his first top-10 at Bristol in almost five seasons.

Chassis Number: (RK-241) - The team will run RK-241 this week in Bristol. RK-241 is best known for its win last season in the June race at Dover. This is the car's first run of the season.

Worthy Note: Martin's seven poles tie for the most ever at Bristol. Martin has started in the top five in 16 of 36 races at Bristol.

IN THE POINTS
Martin's fourth place finish at Atlanta moved him up to fifth place in the Nextel Cup point standings, 141 points outside of first and only 38 points behind third. Martin has now been inside the Nextel Cup Top-10 for 16 weeks dating back to September of last season.

MARTIN AT BRISTOL
Martin's trek at Bristol is a tale of streaks. In 36 races at Bristol, Martin has finished top 10 on 20 occasions and inside the top five 15 times. From 1995-2000 Martin has a total of 10 straight top-10 finishes at Bristol. He won four straight poles in 1995 and 1996. However, Martin has not finished inside the top 10 at Bristol in the past nine races, five of which he was involved in accidents that put an end to his chances. Martin finished 23rd last spring at Bristol and 13th in the fall there.

LOOKING TO BREAK THE DRY SPELL
Despite running up front on several occasions, Martin will be looking for first his top 10 at Bristol this weekend since a third place finish on August 26, 2000.

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 BRISTOL

"Bristol can be crazy. I've always said it is like flying a jet fighter around the inside of a basketball arena, and try that with 42 other jets doing it at the same time. It can get really intense and it takes a great deal of patience by everyone. You just have to hope that you run well and that you can stay out of all the trouble, which isn't always easy to do.

"Over the years Bristol has been the source of some real highs and lows for me. I've had some of the most memorable races I can remember there and some pretty tough times there as well, but it's always good racing and I'm looking forward to going there this weekend. Pat (Tryson) and the guys have been working really hard and we're excited about getting back out on the track."

PAT TRYSON
"We are ready to get back out on the track and we want to get off to a good start. You need to qualify well at Bristol, or it's really easy to go a lap down there. We were pretty good there last fall and not so good there in the spring, so hopefully we have it figured out and we can give Mark the car he needs to do what he does best - win the race. We know we have the driver to get it done, it's just up to us to give him the right equipment."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin