MARTIN A TRUE MASTER OF THE ROAD COURSE Veteran will look to expand on his phenomenal road course record at Watkins Glen this weekend CONCORD, N.C. (August 9, 2006) -- Mark Martin has taken the green flag in a Nextel Cup road course race 40...
MARTIN A TRUE MASTER OF THE ROAD COURSE
Veteran will look to expand on his phenomenal road course record at Watkins Glen this weekend
CONCORD, N.C. (August 9, 2006) -- Mark Martin has taken the green flag in a Nextel Cup road course race 40 times during his esteemed NASCAR career, and he has brought home a top-10 finish in an astounding 80 percent of those races. Thirty-two times, more than any other driver in NASCAR history, Martin has taken the checkered flag at a road course in 10th place or better. This weekend at Watkins Glen International he will look to accomplish that feat once more.
"Well I've always really liked the road course," said Martin. "We've had a lot of success on them over the years and we always look forward to going back. The road course racing reminds me a lot of those winding dirt roads in Arkansas where I first learned to drive. It's a lot like that, except the roads are paved, the equipment is a lot more advance and the competition is pretty steep.
"Still, when you get right down to it, it's about the same things. It's about who can get around that thing the fastest. Hopefully this weekend that will be us."
Martin's history at Watkins Glen is nothing short of phenomenal. Competing in 18 races at the road course, Martin had finished inside the top 15 seventeen times (94 percent). He had finished inside the top 10 sixteen times (89 percent), and inside the top five 12 times. In addition, he boasts three wins at The Glen, with all three wins coming in consecutive starts from 1993-95 and with all three coming from the pole. Martin's three poles tie only with Dale Earnhardt for the most ever at the track,
Martin has led 204 laps at The Glen, the most of any driver, and his 6.22 average finishing spot is the best of all active drivers as well. He has posted top-10 finishes in 16 or the last 17 races including a seventh-place run last season and a third in 2004.
Overall on the road courses Martin has turned in top-five finishes in exactly half of his 40 starts. He has four wins and has led 365 of the 3,644 road-course laps ran. He has logged over 8,500 miles on Cup road courses, with an average start of 9.2 and an average finish of 8.2. Martin finished eighth in his first Cup road course start at Riverside International Raceway, on June 13, 1982.
Martin moves into the race in sixth place in the Nextel Cup point standings, with only five races remaining before the cutoff point for the 10-race Chase to the Nextel Cup. Martin is currently 137 points in front of 11th and 100 points in front of 10th, going into a track where he has been Mr. Consistent for the past 18 years.
"I am really looking to go there and run well and hopefully add a little distance between myself and 10th and 11th place," added Martin. "We had a good run last weekend at Indy, so we really need to get on a roll here and close this thing out. If we can do that then we can shift our attention to winning that championship. We have all the pieces to do it, we just have to put it all together at the right time and see what happens."
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Enterprises that operates 14 motorsports teams; five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, six in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Todd Kluever and Danny O'Quinn, Jr., and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Martin, David Ragan, Erik Darnell and Michel Jourdain, Jr.
-credit: roush racing