Martin Looking for Final Piece of Puzzle with Top-Five at Chicago
July 10, 2007
JOLIET, IL (Army News Service, July 10, 2007) - Mark Martin boasts 238 top-five finishes in his illustrious Nextel Cup career. Those finishes have come on virtually every track on the Nextel Cup circuit, except for one - Chicagoland Speedway.
"That is kind of a surprising statistic," said Mr. Martin. "Because it's really my kind of track and we've had some good runs there. Of course we have raced there a lot less than most of the other places, but hopefully we can go there this weekend and put that stat to rest with a solid top-five outing in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet."
Though Chicagoland may be the only track on the circuit where Mr. Martin has yet to claim a top-five finish in a Nextel Cup race, that's not to say he has not run well there. He has finished inside the top 10 in three of the six NASCAR Cup races contested at the 1.5-mile oval.
He finished one spot out of the top five in the inaugural run at Chicagoland in 2001. He all but had a top-five locked up there in 2004 when he lost his engine while running third with only two laps remaining.
"Chicagoland is a great place to race," added Mr. Martin. "The track gets better each time we go there. It's a track where, if you can get the car working right, you can really pass some cars and make some noise. Hopefully, we'll be doing plenty of that this weekend in the Army Chevy."
Mr. Martin has led in four of the six events at Chicagoland. He raced only once there in the Busch Series, finishing fifth in 2005. He also finished fifth in the track's only IROC event in 2003.
Mr. Martin's 238 top-five career finishes have come on 21 of the current 22 tracks and at former Cup race sites - Riverside, Calif., North Wilkesboro, N.C. and Rockingham, N.C.
Mr. Martin has won at all of the current Nextel Cup tracks except for Daytona, New Hampshire, Pocono and Chicagoland.
Despite missing five Cup races as part of his limited schedule with Ginn Racing in 2007, Mr. Martin is 18th in driver points. The 01 Ginn Racing team is ranked ninth in owner points.