Loudon II: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN SHIFTS ATTENTION TO CHASE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP This week Martin and the No. 6 Viagra* Team will shift their focus to New Hampshire Int'l Speedway and the quest for the 2005 Nextel Cup Championship.. Chassis Number: (48) - The team will run...

MARTIN SHIFTS ATTENTION TO CHASE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP

This week Martin and the No. 6 Viagra* Team will shift their focus to New Hampshire Int'l Speedway and the quest for the 2005 Nextel Cup Championship..

Chassis Number: (48) - The team will run chassis No. 48 at Loudon this weekend. No. 48 is the same car that Kurt Busch used to run to a victory last Saturday night at Richmond. The car was posted a strong run earlier this season at Martinsville for Busch and finished fifth at Martinsville last fall.

Worthy Note: Martin finished inside the top 10 in 10 of his first 12 starts at Loudon.

IN THE POINTS

With the first 26 races in the books the top-10 resets with Martin in sixth place, just 25 points out of first place.

BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE

Martin has started a total of 254 races at the remaining 10 tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted 16 wins, 86 top-five and 135 top 10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 53.1 percent of his starts at the 'Chase' tracks. He has an average finish of 14.02 and he has led a total of 5,295 laps, including 364 at Loudon.

MARTIN AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire is one of only seven tracks currently on the Nextel Cup schedule where Martin has yet to win, and one of only three where he has 10 or more starts and has not visited winners circle. Martin has finished second at Loudon on three occasions, including his first race there on July 11, 1993. In addition, he has two poles, 11 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 20 starts at the track.

UPS AND DOWNS AT LOUDON

Martin finished inside the top 10 in 10 of his first 12 starts at Loudon, but he hasn't posted a top -10 finish there in eight of his last nine, including a streak of seven races. In fact, Martin has not finished inside the top 13 at Loudon since the season finale there in 2001.

RECORD 12th IROC CHAMPIONSHIP ALL BUT LOCKED UP

Martin's dramatic win over Kurt Busch in last Thursday's IROC race was not only Martin's record extending 13th of the series, but it all but locked up what will be his record setting fifth championship in the International Race of Champions.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM

Mark Martin has dubbed 2005 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.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON LOUDON

"Loudon can be a really tough race track. It can be really hard to pass there and if you don't handle well, then you are in for a long day. We ran really well there when we first started going, but haven't ran well there the last few years. We haven't been very good there in a while, but we tested there a few weeks ago and we are taking a different car, so we really hope to see a lot of improvement and get off to a good start in the Chase.

"I can't say enough about the effort of this team. Up to this point we've accomplished our goal of making the Chase. Now it's time to shift our focus to the last 10 races and going after that Championship."

PAT TRYSON
"The guys are pretty excited about getting started with the Chase next week at Loudon. We were not very good there in the spring - or last year there for that matter - but we tested there a couple of weeks ago. We are taking a different car - the one Kurt Busch won with last week at Richmond - and hopefully we can have the same kind of results. Mark has a pretty solid history at New Hampshire, so we think if we can give him the right car we'll be able to get a strong finish and get started on a good note for the last 10 races."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Mark Martin