Pocono II: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS FOR ELUSIVE POCONO VICTORY Martin ran to his sixth finish of 15th or better in the last seven races with a 15th-place run at Loudon last weekend. The team will look to turn it up a notch as Martin looks for his first win at Pocono...

MARTIN LOOKS FOR ELUSIVE POCONO VICTORY

Martin ran to his sixth finish of 15th or better in the last seven races with a 15th-place run at Loudon last weekend. The team will look to turn it up a notch as Martin looks for his first win at Pocono where he has finished runner up on six occasions.

Chassis Number: (RK-221) - The team will run RK-221 this week at Pocono. RK-221 had a strong run at Pocono in June, finishing seventh. It finished 10th in its last run two weeks ago at Chicagoland. It won earlier this year at the All-Star and finished fourth in its other run at Atlanta.

AT POCONO Starts: 37 (18) Wins: - Top 5's: 17 (6) Top 10's: 25 (12) Poles: 3 (2) Highest finish: 2 (6 times) First time: 6/6/82 (26th) Last time: 6/12/05 (7th) 8/1/04 (2nd)

Worthy Note: Martin has six second-place finishes at Pocono, including last fall.

IN THE POINTS With 19 races in the books, Martin is currently seventh in the point standings, 27 points out of fifth and 352 points behind first.

MARTIN AT POCONO This will be Martin's 38th race at Pocono, where he has finished inside the top 10 on 25 occasions, including a seventh-place run last month. Martin boasts 18 top-five finishes at Pocono, the most of any driver. Martin finished second last fall at Pocono for the sixth time in his career.

LOOKING FOR NUMBER ONE Martin has never won at Pocono, but he has come close on numerous occasions. The veteran has posted second-place finishes on six different occasions. In fact Martin has finished second at Pocono in three of his last six starts, including last year's Pennsylvania 500.

GETTING STARTED Martin has posted 26 top- 10 starts in 36 races at Pocono.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM ark Martin has dubbed 2005 his "Salute to You" Mtour, a year in which he hopes to take the time to thank each and Meveryone that he feels played a role in his success, including team Mmembers, fans, NASCAR and the media.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT --ON POCONO

"Pocono is one of my favorite race tracks. It's really hard to believe that we've never won there, but we've run really well and we've finished second a whole bunch of times. We had a good car there last month and we've probably going to finish second and we might have even had a shot at the win, but we lost a tire there on the last restart and had to settle for a seventh place finish. Hopefully we can go there and put ourselves in that position again and come out on top this time."

"We had a tough race at Loudon. The car just wasn't as good as it needs to be to be competitive. Still the team kept fighting and we were able to use some really great work in the pits and run to a respectable finish. It wasn't by any means what we went into the weekend hoping for, but we got out of there in okay position in the points and we'll point our focus to Pocono and getting a win there."

PAT TRYSON "We were good there in June and hopefully we can expand on that. We are taking the same car back this time that gave us a chance to win the race last time, so it will just be up to us to get ourselves back in position to win again and hopefully this time things go our way and we help Mark get his first win at Pocono."

MARK MARTIN FAST FACTS - POCONO

* Martin has finished second at Pocono on six different occasions.

* Martin has 18 top-five finishes at Pocono are the most of any driver.

* Martin has 26-top 10 finishes at Pocono leads all drivers.

* Martin has posted 26 top-10 starts in 36 races at Pocono.

* Martin has finished second in three of his last six races at Pocono.

LAST YEAR AT POCONO... AUGUST 1, 2004 Pocono Raceway PENNSYLVANIA 500 -- Started 21st, Finished 2nd

Martin used his sixth-career second-place finish at Pocono Raceway to move to within 89 points of 10th place in the Nextel Cup point race. Martin had one of the fastest cars all day, running in the field's top two for the final 75 laps of the race, including 10 laps led along the way. The finish was Martin's third top five of the season and his eighth top 10. Scattered showers and heavy fog vastly limited the team's time on the track during the weekend, as the team's had only one hour of practice on Friday and both practice sessions on Saturday were cancelled. Martin had an early draw in Friday's rain-delayed qualifying that proved detrimental, as cooler temperatures later in the day allowed several cars to pick up their times and Martin was forced to settle for a 21st place starting position. However Martin wasted little time on Sunday establishing himself as one of the fastest players in the game, powering the Viagra Ford inside the top 10 by lap 21. By lap 30 Martin was running in seventh position and turning the fastest lap times on the track.

ALL-TIME ELITE, MARTIN * Martin's 34 Nextel Cup wins put him fourth on the win list among active drivers and 17th on the all-time list.

* Martin has currently started 564 straight Nextel Cup races, the third-longest current streak and the sixth-longest streak in Cup history.

* Martin's 41 Nextel Cup poles are the fifth most in Cup history.

* Martin ranks fifth all-time in the Nextel Cup point standings.

* Martin has started 620 Cup races, finishing inside the top 10 on 349 occasions, inside the top five 220 times and visiting winner's circle 34 times.

* Martin's 47 career wins in the Busch Series are a NASCAR record.

* Martin's 12 victories in IROC competition are the most ever. Martin has won four championships in the IROC series, including a record three straight.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin