Monday, October 08, 2012

Martin Set For 850th Career Sprint Cup Start

Mark Martin makes his 850th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Only four drivers in the history of the sport have taken more green flags in NASCAR’s premier series, but Martin is entirely unimpressed with the milestone.
“That’s just a number,” said Martin. “It doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Martin said he prefers to focus on performance rather than frequency, adding, “It’s what you did in those starts that can be impressive, or not. The fact that I have started a lot of races doesn't stack up very high on the impression meter for me.”
Fortunately, Martin has accomplished quite a bit in those 849 starts. In that 30-year time span, the 53-year-old Martin has collected 40 Sprint Cup Series victories, 55 poles and 270 top-five finishes. In typical Martin fashion, however, he deflects any praise to the crew members who have worked with him over three decades.
“I have been very fortunate through the years to work with a lot of great people and drive some very fast race cars,” he said. “Not everyone can say that. I have really been blessed. I have (also) been blessed by the fans that have been so supportive through the years. They have probably meant more to me in the down years than when I was flying hot through the years. They seem to rally behind me when the going gets tough.”
Martin’s fans haven’t needed to cheer up their hero in 2012. In just 19 races driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, he owns four Top-5 finishes and four poles; the most of any driver.
“I love being part of MWR, working with everyone here,” said Martin. “I have great teammates in Martin Truex, Jr. and Clint Bowyer. This is really a fantastic organization and we are experiencing a lot of success right now. We are feeling good about what we have accomplished and are ready to accomplish even more.”
Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America

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