Talladega: Mark Martin preview

MARTIN LOOKS TO GET IT DONE AT TALLADEGA Martin and the No. 6 Viagra Team head to the 'World's Fastest Speedway' hungry for a strong finish. Martin finished 16th last week at Phoenix and will look to rebound with a top-10 finish at Talladega in...

MARTIN LOOKS TO GET IT DONE AT TALLADEGA

Martin and the No. 6 Viagra Team head to the 'World's Fastest Speedway' hungry for a strong finish. Martin finished 16th last week at Phoenix and will look to rebound with a top-10 finish at Talladega in the second restrictor-plate race of the season.

Chassis Number: (RK-286) - The team will run RK-286 this weekend at Talladega. RK-286 is the same car that Martin used in an eighth- place finish earlier this season in the Bud Shootout.

Worthy Note: Martin's 34 top-10 finishes in restrictor-plate races are the most ever.

IN THE POINTS

Martin moved up one spot to sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings. With eight races in the books, he is currently 12 points behind fifth place and 263 points out of first. Martin has now been inside the top-10 in points for 20 weeks dating back to last September.

MARTIN AT TALLADEGA

This will be Martin's 39th 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 12 there, but last fall's sixth place finish was Martin's only top-10 there in the previous six races.

UNRESTRICTED

Martin is one of just six drivers to have competed in all 69 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.

MARKMARTINSALUTE.COM LAUNCHES

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 TALLADEGA

"For a fan there might not be anything more exciting than a restrictor-plate race at Talladega. For a competitor it isn't quite the same and I can't exactly say that I'm looking forward to another one. I can't wait to sit and watch it next year, but for the guys racing it's pretty tough. It's a lot like riding around on the interstate with the cruise set on 70 and 42 cars all around you driving the same speed and you are just waiting for someone to mess up and see what happens. I don't like that because it takes so much out of the hands of the drivers. We'll be hoping to go there and stay out of trouble and hopefully get out with a good finish before we head to Darlington where it's a handling track with a great deal of the result determined by the driver.

"We had a tough week in Phoenix. I think at times we showed that we had a pretty good car, but we took gas only late and the gamble ended up really hurting us and probably costing us a top 10. We've already put that in the past and are focusing our attention to Talladega."

PAT TRYSON

"You just have to cross your fingers half the time at Talladega and Daytona and hope that you don't get caught up in the 'big one' that's bound to happen. Beyond that you just have to hope your car is not only good enough, but in the right place at the right time when it all goes down."

Mark Martin Fast Facts -- Talladega

* Martin's pace in the 1997 Winston 500 at Talladega set an all-time NASCAR Cup record for the fastest race ever run, as Martin won the caution-free event with an average speed a 188.354 mph. He covered the 500-mile distance in two hours, 38 minuntes and 18 seconds.

* Martin has two victories at Talladega, with both coming in the spring race (1995 and 1997).

* Martin has scored top-10 finishes in six of his last 12 races at Talladega.

* Martin has finished in the top 10 in 49 percent of his 69 restrictor -late races.

* Martin's 34 top-10 finishes in restrictor plate races are the most ever.

* Martin is one of six drivers to have completed in all 69 restrictor-plate races.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin