Talladega II: Mark Martin preview

UP TO FOURTH IN THE POINTS, MARTIN MOVES ON TO TALLADEGA NASCAR's Chase for the title moves to Sweet Home Alabama and Talladega Superspeedwday this weekend. Due to its unpredictable nature Talladega is considered by many the wildcard of the...

UP TO FOURTH IN THE POINTS, MARTIN MOVES ON TO TALLADEGA

NASCAR's Chase for the title moves to Sweet Home Alabama and Talladega Superspeedwday this weekend. Due to its unpredictable nature Talladega is considered by many the wildcard of the Chase, where drivers will hope to mount a strong run, while at the same time avoiding the 'big one.'

Chassis Number: (RK-286) - The team will run RK-286 at Talladega. RK-286 is the same car Martin was running in the top five with in the spring before getting caught up in an accident. The car also finished eighth in this year's Budweiser Shootout.

Worthy Note: Martin is the only Chase contender with a win at Talladega.

IN THE POINTS

With the fourth-place run, Martin moved to fourth in the points; his highest position since April of this season. Martin is currently only 21 points behind points leader Jimmie Johnson.

BREAKING DOWN THE CHASE

Martin has started a total of 195 races at the remaining eight tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted 12 wins, 61 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 52 percent of his starts at the remaining 'Chase' tracks. He has an average finish of 14.4 and he has led a total of 3,277 laps, including 312 at Talladega.

THE LONE RANGER

Martin is the only driver of the 10 in the Chase that has won on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.

MARTIN AT TALLADEGA

This will be Martin's 40th race at Talladega Superspeedway, where he has won twice and finished inside the top 10 twenty-one times. Martin finished 12th in his first race at Talladega in 1982. He's finished inside the top 10 in six of the last 13 there, but last fall's sixth place finish is Martin's only top-10 in his last seven races there.

UNRESTRICTED

Martin is one of just six drivers to have competed in all 71 restrictor-plate races. Martin's 34 top-10 finishes are the most of any driver at restricted races. He has finished in the top 10 in 49 percent of the restrictor-plate races.

HALL OF FAMER

For his accomplishments at Talladega, which include two wins and 21 top-10 finishes, Martin was inducted into the Talladega Hall of Fame in 2002.

RECORD 12th IROC CHAMPIONSHIP ALL BUT LOCKED UP

Martin's dramatic win over Kurt Busch in last Thursday's IROC race was not only Martin's record extending 13th of the series, but it all but locked up what will be his record setting fifth championship in the International Race of Champions.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM

Mark Martin has dubbed 2005 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 TALLADEGA

"Everybody knows that I'm not the world's biggest fan of restrictor-plate racing. I know that it's really exciting for the fans and I know that if I were at home you couldn't pry me away from the TV, but for the drivers it can be pretty frustrating, because nothing is really in your control. If you make a move, whether or not it's a good or bad move, completely depends on what happens with the other people around you. You might go to the front or you might go to the back, but it depends more on what they do than what you do. On top of that you ride around hoping to avoid the big wreck and it can just make for a frustrating day.

"We had a good run last weekend at Dover and we are up to fourth. Talladega may really be a wild card here, because you just can't predict what's going to happen. I know that we'll have a good car and hopefully we can just stay out of trouble, get a decent finish and move on to Kansas where we also hope to run well."

PAT TRYSON

"We were pretty good a Talladega in the spring and I think we were running second or third when we got caught up in the 'big one.' We should be good this weekend as well, the key will just be staying out of trouble. I don't think there is really any trick to it, we just need to run well and hope that we don't find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin