Pocono: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO BREAK INTO POCONO WIN COLUMN After successfully taming the 'Monster Mile' of Dover with a third-place run, Martin will take his "Salute To You" Tour to Pocono, where he's been nothing less than stellar over the years, posting 17...

MARTIN LOOKS TO BREAK INTO POCONO WIN COLUMN

After successfully taming the 'Monster Mile' of Dover with a third-place run, Martin will take his "Salute To You" Tour to Pocono, where he's been nothing less than stellar over the years, posting 17 top-five finishes and six runner-ups in 36 starts.

Chassis Number: (RK-221) - The team will run RK-221 at Pocono this weekend. RK-221 is the car that Martin won the All- Star Challenge with three weeks ago. The car finished fourth in Atlanta in its other run this season.

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

IN THE POINTS

Martin's third place run propelled him up six places to sixth in the Nextel Cup Point standings, just 18 points out of fifth. At the midway point in the 'regular' season, Martin is currently 324 points behind first place.

MARTIN AT POCONO

This will be Martin's 37th race at Pocono, where he has finished inside the top 10 on 24 occasions. Martin boasts 18 top-five finishes at Pocono, the most of any driver. Martin was strong in both races last season at Pocono. He finished second in the fall and 36th in spring after experiencing engine problems in a race where he ran inside the top-five most of the day.

LOOKING FOR NUMBER ONE

Martin has never won at Pocono, but he has came 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 five starts.

GETTING STARTED

Martin has posted 26-top 10 starts in 36 races at Pocono, including three poles and a fourth place start in this race last year.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM

Mark Martin is making his final run at the Nextel Cup title in 2005, and has dubbed 2005 as 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 POCONO

"Pocono is a great race track for us. It has long straightaways and you have to really be able to get in into the corners well. We ran well there in both races last year and finished second there in the fall. I love racing there. We've never won there, but we finished second a bunch, so I guess you could say that we might be due there. We'd like nothing more than to go there and get our first win there this weekend.

"We had a really solid run at Dover last weekend and a great points day. We are sitting at sixth halfway through the first 26-race period and I'm very happy with the way Pat (Tryson) and the Viagra Team have performed this season. We are in the middle of what should be a great stretch for us and are exited about the next couple of races we have coming up."

PAT TRYSON

"Mark has always been really good at Pocono and we were pretty good there last year in both races. We are taking the same car that we ran at The All-Star race a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully it'll bring us the same results that we had there. We had a good run last week, so we'll be looking to improve on that and hopefully help Mark get to victory circle for the first time at Pocono."

Mark Martin Fast Facts -- POCONO

* Martin has finished second at Pocono on six different occasions.
* Martin's 18 top-five finishes at Pocono are the most of any driver.
* Martin's 25-top 10 finishes at Ponco leads all drivers.
* Martin has posted 26-top 10 starts in 36 races at Pocono, including a fourth-place starting spot there last June.
* Martin has finished second in three of his last five races at Pocono.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin