Fontana II: Mark Martin preview

Heading Out To California For The Labor Day Weekend Show After a 13th-place finish at Bristol, Martin and the team head to California Speedway for the track's inaugural Labor Day weekend event. With only two races to go, the pressure is intense...

Heading Out To California For The Labor Day Weekend Show

After a 13th-place finish at Bristol, Martin and the team head to California Speedway for the track's inaugural Labor Day weekend event. With only two races to go, the pressure is intense as Martin continues his march towards the Nextel Cup top-10. Martin finished 11th at Fontana in the spring.

Chassis Number: (RK-231) - The team will run RK-231 this weekend at Fontana. Considered one of the team's favorite cars, Martin ran RK-231 to a second place finish two weeks ago in Michigan. The car also posted strong runs at Chicago , Indy and Las Vegas this year.

Worthy Note: Martin is in 12th place, 35 points outside of 10th with two races remaining in the race for the top-10.

IN THE POINTS - DOWN TO THE WIRE WITH TWO TO GO

With the race for 10th at a fever pitch, Martin is currently in 12th place tied with Jeremy Mayfield with 2883 points. Martin holds the tiebreaker over Mayfield with wins, top fives and top 10's accumulated in 2004. Martin is currently 35 points behind 10th place Ryan Newman, 36 points behind ninth place Bobby Labonte and 40 points behind eighth place Kevin Harvick. Martin is nine points behind 11th place Kasey Kahne and 10 points ahead of 15th place in a race where only 50 points separates eighth and 15th places. Martin trailed the top 10 by 123 points just three races ago.

MARTIN AT FONTANA

Martin has posted three top-10 and two top-five finishes in eight starts at California. In addition, Martin has started inside the top 10 in four of the seven races. Martin finished 11th earlier this year at California. Last year Martin was set to record another top-five finish at the track, before being taken out by another car on the last lap and falling to a 17th-place finish. Martin actually finished 10th in the inaugural race at Fontana, despite running out of gas on the race's final lap, while in the lead. Martin came back the next year to win the second ever Cup race at Fontana in 1998.

WHITE LIGHTNING IN FOR THE STRETCH RUN

Martin will race the reverse paint scheme in each of the last two races for the Top-10, including this week at Fontana and the following week at Richmond. Martin has run the night race scheme in six races this year (counting the All-Star), recording top-10 finishes on four of the six occasions, including a victory at Dover.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT ON FONTANA

"We are excited about going to California for this race. We've been pretty good on those types of tracks this season, especially over the past couple of months. We ran really well at Michigan two weeks ago and those are similiar tracks. Pat and the guys have done such a wonderful job of giving me strong cars and hopefully we'll have another one this weekend.

"We just have to go and try to win the race. As I've said all along, if we can do that then we'll still have a shot at the top 10. We have to just concentrate on getting the best finishes possible over the next two and if we get in then that's great, and if we don't, then we are going to still go out and try to win every race."

PAT TRYSON

"W are ready. We are taking RK-231, which is one of our fastest cars and the car that we used a couple of weeks ago at Michigan. It was really fast there and Fontana and Michigan are a lot alike, so hopefully we'll have another strong run this weekend. I'm proud of the guys and the effort that this entire Viagra Team has put in. We are going to pull together another couple of strong runs and get ourselves inside that top 10 after Richmond. Hopefully we can get that started with a win this weekend at California."

-rr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Mark Martin