Richmond: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN, No. 8 Team HUNGRY FOR VICTORY LANE AT RICHMOND After their strongest run of the season three weeks ago at Phoenix, Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Race/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team head to Richmond International Raceway hungry for...

MARTIN, No. 8 Team HUNGRY FOR VICTORY LANE AT RICHMOND

After their strongest run of the season three weeks ago at Phoenix, Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Race/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team head to Richmond International Raceway hungry for victory. Martin led 68 laps and was the strongest car down the stretch at Phoenix, but lost out on fuel mileage. The team will look to finish the job this weekend.

Worthy Note: Martin won his second career Cup pole in his first Cup start at Richmond in 1981. He finished seventh in the race, his first career Cup top-10 finish.

RICHMOND DEEP IN HISTORY FOR MARTIN

This will be Martin's 45th start at Richmond, dating back to Sept. 13, 1981 when he earned his second career Cup pole in only his fourth career start. Martin rolled to a seventh-place finish, the first of his 23 career top-10 finishes at Richmond and the first of his Cup career. Over the years, the veteran has logged over 12,300 miles at the .75-track. He leads all drivers in top-five and top-10 finishes in both the Cup and Nationwide Series and his five Nationwide wins are a track record as well.

ON THE POLE

Martin earned his second career Cup pole at his first start at Richmond in 1981 and his 41st pole there in September 2001. His other pole came in September of 1996.

NO. 8 LOOKING FOR RETURN TO WINNER'S CIRCLE

The No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team's last trip to victory lane came at Richmond on May 6, 2006 - 72 races ago. Martin and the team hope to end that streak this weekend at RIR.

POINTING IT OUT

Despite running a limited schedule and having missed two of seven events in 2008, Martin is still in the top 30 in the Sprint Cup point standings; ahead of nine drivers who have competed in more events. In addition, Martin has three top-10 finishes in 2008; more than 19 drivers who have taken part in all nine events. Also, Martin has as many or even more top fives than 21 drivers who have raced in every event in 2008.

CHASING THE OWNER POINTS

While neither Martin nor co-driver Aric Almirola are in contention for a Sprint Cup Driver Championship, the No. 8 U.S. Army team accumulates points each week as with any other team. The No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team has tallied four top-10 finishes in nine events this season and three top-eight runs in the past four races, and is currently sitting 17th in owner points. The No. 8 team is just 63 points outside of the top 12 and the "Chase" cutoff point.

MARK MARTIN:

"We have a long history at Richmond, going all the way back to the early '80s when I first broke into Cup racing. I sat on the pole there the first time we went in 1981. We were able to actually get a top-10 there the first time as well. It has always been a track that is pretty fun to race on and we've had some great battles and quite a bit of success there over the years. I was able to win there in 1990, but I think a lot of people will remember that for the now famous 46 point penalty that we got after the race. That really played an important role in the championship that season. We've also had some really memorable runs there to race our way into the Chase in our last couple of seasons of point racing.

"We had a great run at Phoenix and it is our hope that it carries over to Richmond. This has always been a strong track for this No. 8 team at DEI and hopefully I can add a little to that mix and we'll be able to go in this weekend and again compete for a win. We came really close at Phoenix, and hopefully we can get the job done for our Soldiers this weekend."

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Aric Almirola , Mark Martin