Dover II: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN EXCITED TO TAKE CHASE TO DOVER Monster Mile the most successful 'Chase' track on schedule for Martin CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2006) -- Mark Martin was none too excited about his 11th-place finish in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at New ...

MARTIN EXCITED TO TAKE CHASE TO DOVER
Monster Mile the most successful 'Chase' track on schedule for Martin

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2006) -- Mark Martin was none too excited about his 11th-place finish in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Martin had a fast car and ran the majority of the day inside the top 10, but pit strategy backfired late and veteran was forced to settle for 11th. However, what he was excited about was the race on the docket for this weekend.

"You know where we go next," said a grinning Martin to a handful of reporters inside the garage just moments after the race. "Dover!"

The one word answer was just about all Martin would muster. Dover. Dover -- where Martin has raced 40 times during his Nextel Cup career alone. Dover International Speedway -- where Martin has four victories, with the last coming in 2004 and where he has finished inside the top 10 five straight times and inside the top four in four of the last races. Dover -- where Martin won the first of his 47 career Busch races in 1987 and the same track where he finished fifth at his first crack at Cup competition there on May 16, 1982. Martin also has four Cup poles at Dover. Martin's 19 top-five finishes are tops at Dover and he boasts 25 top-10 finishes to boot.

Not surprisingly, Martin lists Dover as one of his favorite tracks on the circuit.

"I love Dover," said Martin. "I've always loved it. From the first time I went there until the last time. It's absolutely in my list of favorite tracks and to be honest I don't think there is a cooler race track in the world to go race on, and I'm excited about getting back there this weekend."

With one race down in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, Martin is currently in sixth place and 75 points behind the leader. However a strong run at Dover this weekend could go a long way in erasing that gap, as Martin and the nine other Chase hopefulls head down the stretch run.

"We always run well there," added Martin. "Pat (Tryson) and the team do a great job on those tracks and hopefully we'll be strong there again this go around. I'm excited about the next couple of races (Dover and Kansas), as they are places where we should be able to go and turn in strong runs.

"You just have to take these races one at a time," said Martin. "You have to go out and run for the win and see what happens. We still have some really good tracks left for us and a couple of wildcards as well, so it's important that you get everything you can out there in these 10 races."

-credit: rr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin