Indianapolis: Mark Martin preview

Rejuvinated Martin Ready to Take Shot at Brickyard Fresh off a second-place finish at Pocono, the Viagra (sildenafil citrate) Racing Team is in striking distance of 10th place and zoned in on the next challenge, Indianapolis Concord, N.C.

Rejuvinated Martin Ready to Take Shot at Brickyard

Fresh off a second-place finish at Pocono, the Viagra (sildenafil citrate) Racing Team is in striking distance of 10th place and zoned in on the next challenge, Indianapolis

Concord, N.C. (August 3, 2004) - Mark Martin and the Viagra (sildenafil citrate) Racing team were in the process of closing out one of their strongest runs in recent memory as the laps wound down at Chicagoland Speedway last month. Driving one of his fastest cars in recent memory Martin had made his way through the field with ease on a couple of occasions and the veteran was closing in on second place with hopes of chasing down the leader with only three laps remaining when the No. 6 Ford lost its engine. Martin was forced to settle for a disappointing 24th place finish.

"Chicago was a real heartbreaker," said Martin. "We ran so well and the car just couldn't have been much better. We had a couple of mistakes that put us in the back, but we were able to just move through the field with ease. It hurt not to get the finish we were looking for, but you just have to move on. I thought, you know what forget the points thing, we just need to go win the Brickyard."

So Martin and the team replaced the sting with ambition.

"After Chicago I just told these guys, 'don't worry about it. No sweat. Let's just go win the Brickyard and that will make our reason. We've visited the garage about seven times this year during the races and all with disastrous finishes. We have a fast car and a fast race team. It's happened way to many times this year. Our heart was broken in Chicago, but we are over it now and we are all geared up to go and get them this week at Indy."

Martin knows his is a lofty goal and one that will not come easy.

"I never wish for something that is slightly out of reach, but with the car I ran so well with a Chicago, it's a realistic goal. It's the biggest trophy, the biggest check and hopefully the biggest thumbs up from our sponsor that might be disappointed with our bad luck this year.

"I know there are no guarantees, but I want to hand everyone a great effort, because we've had that this year. It's been a spectacular effort from our team this year. Now there have been a lot of days that we didn't get the kind of results that I feel like this team has earned, but we can't do anything about that now. All we can do is attack the future. The problems we've had have not been foreseeable and it wasn't things where we shot ourselves in the foot, we've just had bad luck. But still, we've ran up front in a lot of races and nothing can take that away from Pat (Tryson) and Wally (Brown) and all the guys on this Viagra Team."

Martin and the team tested at Indianapolis the day after the Chicago race, using the same car, RK-231, that was so successful at Chicago.

"We didn't dominate the test, but we were in the top three or four there," said Martin. "You can win from there. Now there was another test so even if there was another five good cars not there, that still puts us in the top eight or so. I think we have a top-eight car going into Indy. It's just up to what we do and circumstance, but we have a shot and that's all I've ever asked for in racing. I know that we will not go there and dominate, but we didn't dominate at Dover either, but nobody could run with us at the end. We'll just go there and see what happens, but no matter what it's exciting for this team to be able to talk about running up front and being competitive week-in and week-out."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin