Martinsville II: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO TAKE MOMENTUM INTO MARTINSVILLE Martin moves into Martinsville after posting a fifth-place finish at Charlotte last Saturday. Martin has now posted top-five finishes in three of the last four and top-seven finishes in four of the...

MARTIN LOOKS TO TAKE MOMENTUM INTO MARTINSVILLE

Martin moves into Martinsville after posting a fifth-place finish at Charlotte last Saturday. Martin has now posted top-five finishes in three of the last four and top-seven finishes in four of the five 'Chase' races.

Chassis Number: (RK-274) - The team will run RK-274 this weekend at Martinsville. RK-274 is the same car Martin ran to a third-place finish at Martinsville in the spring. This will be the car's fifth run this season.

Worthy Note: Martin has finished third in his first and last starts at Martinsville.

IN THE POINTS

Martin's fifth-place run at Lowe's moved him up two places to fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings. Martin was also able to close the gap to the leader from 113 to 51 points. Martin is 34 points out of fourth and 40 points behind third.

BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE

Martin has started a total of 111 races at the remaining five tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted 6 wins, 36 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has a 13.32 average finish at Chase tracks and he has led a total of 1,814 laps, including 318 at Martinsville.

MARTIN AT 'MARTIN'SVILLE

Though not a favorite of his, Martin has experienced success at Martinsville where he has won twice and boasts 21 top-10 finishes and three poles. Martin posted a strong showing at Martinsville in the spring, finishing third. The finish was Martin's first top-five at Martinsville since he won there in April of 2000.

FIRST AND LAST TIME'S A CHARM

Martin was strong at Martinsville right off the bat, qualifying fifth and posting a third place finish in his first race there on September 27, 1981. Martin finished third there this spring as well. Martin has finished third at Martinsville on six occasions.

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 MARTINSVILLE

"Martinsville is a place that I've always hated with a passion, but we've won two or three times there. I"ve always loved Pocono, but I've never won there, so what does that tell you. It's always been a thorn in my side as far as short tracks. People have always told me how well I run there, but it sure never feels that way. It can be physically demanding. Sometimes you leave there worn down, sometimes you feel fine. It's been a real challenge for me, because it really just doesn't fit my driving style. However we had a good run there in the spring and we've been pretty good there the last few times. Hopefully we can put together another top five and keep moving forward.

"We had a good run last week at Charlotte and we just have to keep that going. Pat (Tryson) and the guys have done an outstanding job during the 'Chase' and I don't think that we are anywhere near through just yet."

PAT TRYSON
"We had a good car there in the spring and were able to run up front and get a third place finish out of the race. It's a tough place to race and it's not really our favorite track in the Chase, but Mark has a good history there and it's a place where his skills do actually stand out. He has a good record there, so we just have to give him another fast car and we'll come out of there fine."

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