Loudon II: Mark Martin preview

Race For The Championship is On! Martin and the Viagra Racing Team secured their spot in the Race for the Chase with a solid fifth-place run at Richmond. The finish moved Martin up to eighth place in the point standings. This week Martin will ...

Race For The Championship is On!

Martin and the Viagra Racing Team secured their spot in the Race for the Chase with a solid fifth-place run at Richmond. The finish moved Martin up to eighth place in the point standings. This week Martin will begin his quest for the Nextel Cup Championship in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Chassis Number: (RK-264) - The team will run RK-264 this weekend at Loudon. RK-264 is the same car that Martin ran to a fifth-place finish last week at Richmond in the car's first ever run.

Worthy Note: Martin has never won at Loudon, despite finishing second on three occasions.

THE RACE FOR THE CHASE - 10 TO GO

Martin advanced all the way from 15th to eighth place in just five races and will start the Chase for the championship just 35 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE

Martin has won on seven of the 10 tracks that will decide the winner of the Nextel Cup. In fact Martin has multiple wins at five of the 10 tracks, including four wins at Dover where he won earlier this season. Martin has a combined for 16 wins, 77 top-fives, 147 top-10's and 16 poles in 266 starts at the remaining 10 tracks. Martin has finished in the top-10 in 55 percent of his starts at those tracks.

MARTIN AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire is one of only seven tracks currently on the Nextel Cup Schedule where Martin has never won, and one of only three where he has made more than 10 starts and not won. Martin has finished second at Loudon on three occasions, including his first race there on July 11, 1993. In addition, Martin has two poles, 11 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 19 starts at Loudon. Martin finished 14th there this year in July.

ON A ROLL

Martin and the No. 6 Viagra Team move into the 'playoffs' on a roll, having finished top five in four of the last five and five of the last seven races. In fact, Martin has posted eight of his 12 top-10 and all but one of his seven top-five finishes after June 6.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT ON LOUDON

"Obviously we are excited about the opportunity to get in the hunt for the championship. Considering what we had to go through to get here it's unlikely that anyone on this team will overlook the challenge or the opportunity. We've come so far, but it's back to square one now. We have 10 races to get it done and we'll have to beat the best of the best if we are going to have a shot at it. From here on, we are just going to go out and try to win races. If we can do that the rest will fall into place.

"Loudon is one of the most challenging tracks that we go to. It can be very hard to pass people, and you have to be able to handle there or you'll be in for a tough day to say the least. We weren't very good there in July, so we'll have our work cut out for us this weekend. But, I have a lot of confidence in Pat and the guys and hopefully we'll be able to get us another good finish this weekend and get this thing started right."

PAT TRYSON

"We've put so much into getting in the Chase and now it's time to concentrate on winning the thing. We weren't great at Loudon in the spring, so we'll have our work cut out for us this weekend. We are taking the same car that we ran last week at Richmond, so the guys have worked hard to get it turned back around. Hopefully we can get the same kind of finish this weekend."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin