Las Vegas: Mark Martin pre-race notes

MARTIN SET TO TAKE 'SALUTE' TO VEGAS After starting the season with back-to-back top-10 finishes at Daytona and Fontana, Martin and the team will be looking for their first Nextel Cup win of the "Salute" season when they roll into Las ...


After starting the season with back-to-back top-10 finishes at Daytona and Fontana, Martin and the team will be looking for their first Nextel Cup win of the "Salute" season when they roll into Las Vegas.

Chassis Number: (RK-231) - The team will run RK-231 at Vegas. RK-231 finished seventh at Fontana two weeks ago. It was the star of the stable in 2004, with top-five runs at Dover 2, California 2, Michigan 2 and Las Vegas. The car also had strong runs at Charlotte 2, Pocono 1, Indy and Chicago.

Worthy Notes: Martin's six top 10 finishes at Las Vegas are the most of any driver;Martin won the inaugural race at Vegas in '98


Martin moved up four places to third in the Nextel Cup points after Fontana. He is currently just 39 points out of first place.


Martin's career at LVMS has been stellar. He hit the jackpot there in the inagurual race in 1998 and followed that up with four straight top-10 runs. Martin finished fifth there a year ago. Martin's only finish outside the top 10 at Vegas came in 2003, when he suffered an engine failure on lap 114. With the excepton of 2003, Martin has finished every lap run at Las Vegas in a Cup event.


Martin has already notched two wins on the "Salute Tour", and both have 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, while his Busch win a week ago at Fontana was a record-extending 46th for Martin in that series. Martin will look for his first Cup win of the season this weekend in Las Vegas.


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.


"Las Vegas is a very special race track for me. We won the first race there in 1998 and that win really stands out in my memory. It's not really often over the years that I ever took a moment to let something soak in, but for some reason that win in 1998 really stood out. I realized that it wasn't just a win on some dirt track in Arkansas, but that we had just done something special.

"We are off to a good start in 2005 and I know that Pat and the guys are looking forward to going out to Vegas to race. This track is one of my favorites and we've run really well there over the years. Hopefully we can go back to victory lane there in the Viagra car this weekend and finish up there like we started."


"Mark has always run really well at Las Vegas and hopefully we can maintain that tradition this year. We had a good test at Vegas back in February and we are confident that we can go there and make some noise this weekend. It's one of the 1.5-mile tracks on the circuit that really suits the way Mark likes to race. It's a driver's-type track and we have the best driver in the business."

Mark Martin Fast Facts -- LAS VEGAS

* Martin's six top-10 finishes at Las Vegas are the most of anyone.
* Martin won the inaugural Cup race at Las Vegas in 1998.
* Martin has led 186 laps at Las Vegas, the third most of any driver.
* Martin has currently been running at the finish of 24 straight races, the longest current streak.
* Martin has finished every lap of six of his seven races at Las Vegas (91.3 percent).
* Martin has finished in the top-five of four of his seven races at Las Vegas.
* Martin has two poles and a win in three Busch races at Las Vegas; He will run the No. 9 Busch car this weekend as well.


* Martin's 34 Nextel Cup wins put him fourth on the win list among active drivers and 17th on the all-time list.
* Martin has currently started 547 straight Nextel Cup races, the third-longest current streak and the sixth-longest streak in Cup history.
* Martin's 41 Nextel Cup poles are the fifth most in Cup history.
* Martin ranks fifth all-time in the Nextel Cup point standings.
* Martin has started 604 Cup races, finishing inside the top 10 on 342 occasions, inside the top five 215 times and visiting winner's circle 34 times.
* Martin's 46 career wins in the Busch Series are a NASCAR record.
* Martin's 12 victories in IROC competition are the most over. Martin has won four championships in the IROC series, including a record three straight..


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin