Martin always run pretty well in Texas

Mark Martin won at TMS in 1998 and had good runs most of the time.

CORNELIUS, N.C. — The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series doesn’t race in Arkansas so Saturday night’s 500-mile race on the high speed Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth is the closest No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Mark Martin has to a home track.

After 31 years of Sprint Cup racing, the 54-year-old Martin has legions of fans including many who make the trek to Texas to see the Michael Waltrip Racing driver. Martin finished third in this race last year and should be a contender again Saturday night.

Mark Martin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Mark Martin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Martin substituted for Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 last weekend at Martinsville. In 2013 he’s driving the No. 55 in 24 races sharing driving duties with Michael Waltrip and Brian Vickers. The No. 55 is 13th in car owner points.

TEXAS - “I’ve always loved Texas Motor Speedway for a lot of reasons. I’ve always run pretty well there. We won there in 1998 and had good runs most of the time.

That’s been in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide racing. For some reason I just like racing there. It’s fast and will be again this weekend with the new cars.

Should be a heck of a show. The track does it up right every race and this weekend will be no different. Bruton (Smith) and Eddie (Gossage) do a great job with that track. It seems every year we go back they have something new and better. They really think of the fans.”

BATESVILLE, ARK. - “The track is about 450 miles from Batesville so I’ve had a lot of support at Texas. When I walk by the fence going out to qualify or in driver introductions I hear from them. I know Saturday we have a few hospitality visits and things like that going on. It’s good. The fans are real enthusiastic down there.”

WORKING WITH MULTI-DRIVER TEAMS— “From my standpoint, it has worked well because I've worked with people that embraced it -- Tony Gibson and all the guys on that team -- Ryan Pemberton and all the guys on that team.

Rodney (Childers, 55 crew chief) and all his guys at the 55 -- Rodney gave his guys the opportunity to move to a different car when they found out that I was going to do a limited schedule or a split season.

Everyone at the 55 made the choice -- they wanted to be there. It's worked really, really well. It’s fun, it's comfortable -- we've had great results. They were in contention to win with all three drivers last year.

I certainly think that how you approach it and if you approached it with a negative attitude then I don't think it would work at all. I think it's important from that standpoint for everyone to be on board.”

Michael Waltrip Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Brian Vickers , Denny Hamlin , Mark Martin
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Preview
Tags martin, nascar-cup, texas 500, toyota, waltrip