Phoenix: Martin paint scheme honors anniversary

Martin's No. 8 Chevy to Honor Army Reserve's 100th Anniversary PHOENIX (April 8, 2008) -- Mark Martin's No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the United States Army Reserve in this weekend's NASCAR...

Martin's No. 8 Chevy to Honor Army Reserve's 100th Anniversary

PHOENIX (April 8, 2008) -- Mark Martin's No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the United States Army Reserve in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

The hood on Martin's Impala SS will be covered with the Army Reserve's 100th anniversary logo and tag line -- Army Reserve, 100 Years Strong.

"It's awesome -- and appropriate -- that one of NASCAR's top drivers is honoring the Army Reserve's 100th anniversary in this weekend's NASCAR race." said Lt. Col. Virginia Zoller of the U.S. Army Reserve. "Mark Martin is a hero to generations of NASCAR fans. When he drives the car with our anniversary logo, he helps recognize the contributions of hundreds of thousands of heroes who served our nation for a century."

The history of the Army Reserve dates back to April 23, 1908 when Congress established the Army's first federal reserve force.

The Army Reserve began as a small force of approximately 160 medical professionals. Today, the Army Reserve consists of 205,000 soldiers and is an operational, expeditionary and domestic force that is an essential piece of the U.S. Army.

Joining the Army Reserve contingent for Saturday night's Cup race will be a local hero -- Staff Sgt. Christopher Cruse, a Phoenix native who received multiple honors for his service in Iraq, including the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.

Cruse was severely injured when his humvee was struck by an anti-tank mine on July 25, 2004. He is currently back in Phoenix, serving as an Army Recruiter in the Glendale area.

"This Army Reserve paint scheme has plenty of meaning," said Martin. "We want nothing more than to go out there on Saturday and put on an excellent show as our way of honoring all the men and women who have served, and are currently serving, in the U.S. Army Reserve. They have sacrificed so much for our freedom."

Taking into account how Martin has performed in Phoenix, there's a good chance the Army Reserve car will run up front. In 22 races at the one-mile oval, Martin has one win, eight top fives and 14 top 10s. In addition, the veteran has led a track-high 608 laps, including 137 in the last three races.

-credit: dei

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mark Martin