Lone Nationwide Start For Martin

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Mark Martin will make his only NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the season in the JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet Friday night in the Lipton 250 at Richmond International Raceway.

Last season Martin made five starts in the No. 5 and earned one win (Las Vegas). In three of those races he finished inside the top five. His most recent start came at Texas Motor Speedway last fall.

Richmond has always been a favorite of Martin's and his track record at the .75-mile Virginia track is stellar.

Martin won in his first Nationwide Series start at RIR in the fall of 1987. The race was his 23rd career start in the NNS and his third career victory. Since then, the 50-year-old has five victories – the most in the NNS at Richmond - 14 top-fives, 19 top-10s, one pole and has led 740 laps.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to get back behind the wheel of the Lipton Chevy this weekend," Martin said. "Anytime I can go back and race in the Nationwide Series, it means a lot to me. I spent a lot of time racing in this series and it's a lot of fun. It's a great combination of some of the older veterans mixed with the young talent. It makes for some really good racing, especially at Richmond."

Martin will be looking for his 49th Nationwide Series career victory this weekend at RIR. Currently, he owns the most NNS career victories at 48 (1982-2008).

"This weekend we really want to perform well in our Lipton Chevrolet," he said. "Lipton is also going to be the title sponsor of the race, and they're going to have a bunch of folks at the race. I know Brian [Campe, crew chief] and the guys will bring a great piece to the racetrack, so I'm hoping we get that opportunity to earn a solid finish.

"It's just a matter of keeping our nose fairly clean for 250 laps and being up front in the end. I can't think of anything better than putting the Lipton Chevy in victory lane after the Lipton Tea 250."

Martin will of course be behind-the-wheel of his Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevy in Saturday night's Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond.

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