Las Vegas: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO HIT JACKPOT IN FINAL VEGAS CUP START After a solid run and finish at California, Martin will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, where he will look to hit the jack pot in his final Nextel Cup start there, just as he...

MARTIN LOOKS TO HIT JACKPOT IN FINAL VEGAS CUP START

After a solid run and finish at California, Martin will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, where he will look to hit the jack pot in his final Nextel Cup start there, just as he did in his first start at Vegas in 1998 when he took the checkered flag.

Chassis Number: (No. 315) - The team will run RK-315 this weekend at Las Vegas. RK-315 finished ninth at California. It is the car Martin used in last year's win at Kansas. The car narrowly missed victory lane again in a second-place run in the finale at Homestead. It also finished third at Atlanta in the fall and fourth at Dover. RK-221 will be the backup.

Worthy Note: Martin won the inaugural Cup event at Vegas in 1998.

IN THE POINTS
Martin's top 10 at California moved him up to sixth in the points, 12 points behind fifth and 80 out of first.

MARTIN AT LAS VEGAS
Martin's has enjoyed great success in his career at Las Vegas. In eight starts he has five top-five finishes and a victory. With the exception of mechanical problems in 2003 and '05, Martin hasn't finished worse than 10th and he has finished every lap at the track. Martin also has a pair of poles and two victories in the Busch Series at Vegas, including a win in last year's Busch race.

IN THE LEAD
Martin had led a lap in each of the two opening races in 2006, marking the first time he has done so since 2001, when he led at least one lap in each of the first 13 races.

AAA TO SPONSOR MARTIN IN 2006
Martin will sport a different look and sponsor this season, with the No. 6 Ford Fusion decked out in the red and blue colors of AAA. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA boasts more than 48 million members.

ENCORE SALUTE IN '06
Martin had planned 2005 as his final in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series, but when called into action by Jack Roush opted to return for one more go-around. Martin's fourth-place finish in the points in '05 proved he is still one of the fastest stars in NASCAR and he plans on using 2006 as an encore performance of his highly popular "Salute To You" Tour, where he will continue to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including the team members, the fans, NASCAR and the media.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON LAS VEGAS

"We won the first race there in 1998 and that win really stands out in my memory, so that has made Las Vegas a special track for me. 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 and unlike a lot of the wins I put off thinking about the next race for a couple of minutes and just let it all soak in. Also the fans out west are incredible and it's always fun to go out there and put on a good race for those guys.

"Las Vegas is also the style of track where we run the best, and we are really looking forward to getting out there. We had a strong car at California, although we kind of faded late with all the restarts. Hopefully things will fall back into place a little better for us this week and I'd love to put that AAA Fusion into victory lane in our last Cup race at Las Vegas."

PAT TRYSON
"We are taking the same car that we ran at California, where we were actually a lot better than our finish showed. Las Vegas has been one of Mark's best tracks on the circuit, so we know the pressure will be on us to make the car run fast. If we can do that, I'm confident that we will be able to compete for a top-five finish and hopefully the win."

MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS -- LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

* Martin has six top-10 finishes in eight races at LVMS, including four top-fives and a win.
* Martin won the inaugural Cup race at Las Vegas in 1998.
* Martin has led 186 laps at Las Vegas.
* Martin has finished in the top six of five of his seven races at Las Vegas.
* Martin has two poles and two wins in four Busch races at Las Vegas, including a win in last year's Busch event.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jack Roush , Mark Martin