Richmond: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN SHIFTS FOCUS TOWARDS RICHMOND Fresh off their strong fourth-place run at Darlington, Martin and the Viagra* team will look to continue their success at Richmond, where Martin has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six ...

MARTIN SHIFTS FOCUS TOWARDS RICHMOND

Fresh off their strong fourth-place run at Darlington, Martin and the Viagra* team will look to continue their success at Richmond, where Martin has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six races.

Chassis Number: (RK-274) - The team will run RK-274 at Richmond. RK-274 is the same car Martin ran at Phoenix three weeks ago for a 16-th place finish. The car finished third at Martinsville in its other run this season.

Worthy Note: Martin earned his first career top-10 finish at Richmond in Sept. of 1981.

IN THE POINTS

Martin's strong run moved him up five places to sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings. Martin is currently 43 points behind fifth and 293 points out of first.

MARTIN AT RICHMOND

This will be Martin's 41st 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 on to a seventh place finish, the first of his 22 career top-10 finishes at Richmond, where he's finished top 10 in five of his last six.

FIRST AND THE LAST

Martin's first and last runs at Richmond would have to rank among two of the most memorable of his celebrated career. Martin earned his second career pole and first career Cup top-10 finish at his first Richmond start in 1981. He clinched a spot in the inaugural Race for the Nextel Cup top-10 there last year on Sept. 11, capping off a mad furry of top-five finishes and surviving a mulit-car wreck and 360 degree spin down the backstretch to clich a spot in the playoff run for the championship with a fifth-place finish at the .75-mile track.

ON THE POLE

Martin earned his second career Cup pole at his first start at Richmond in 1981 and his 41st pole there in Sept. of 2001.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM

Mark Martin will make his final run at the Nextel Cup title in 2005. Martin 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 RICHMOND

"Richmond is a cool track and a fun place to race. It's always been a challenge, but we've had a lot of success there over the years and a long history and we've been really good there lately as well. We are excited about going back there and racing again this week.

"We had a strong run last week at Darlington and a good points day. Pat (Tryson) and the team gave me a really good car and it was fun to drive. I made a mistake late that could have cost us, but the team was really on their game and we were able to get a fourth place out of it. Hopefully we can keep that going this weekend and get another strong run at Richmond. We are pretty excited about the string of races we have coming up at some of my favorite tracks."

PAT TRYSON

"Richmond is a good race track for this team and it's a place where Mark has always been strong. We are taking the Phoenix car, which actually ran really well there, and hopefully we'll be able to put together another good run. We know Mark is capable of winning at all of the next few tracks we have coming up, so it will be up to this team to step it up and make sure that he has the cars he needs to seize the opportunity."

Mark Martin Fast Facts -- Richmond

* Martin has finished inside the top 10 in five of his last six races at Richmond.

* Martin earned his first career Cup top-10 finish at Richmond on Sept. 13, 1981 with a seventh place finish.

* Martin sat on the pole at his first career Cup race at Richmond in 1981.

* Martin has one win, 22 top-10 and 12 top-five finishes in 40 races at Richmond.

* Martin earned his 41st career Cup pole at Richmond in Sept. of 2001.

* Martin has five Busch wins at Richmond and will race in the Busch race this Friday night.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin