Martin Ponders Pocono Win

Mark Martin is the ultimate bridesmaid at Pocono Raceway.

In 41 career NEXTEL Cup starts at the tricky, 2.5-mile speedway, Martin has six runner-up finishes.

Martin has never visited victory lane at Pocono, a stat he's hoping to change in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.

"Pocono is one of my favorite tracks, and it is hard to believe that we've never won there with all of the success that we've had there over the years," Martin said. "I know that we've finished second there a whole bunch, and hopefully we can go there and run well again."

Martin's stats at Pocono over the years are impressive, but it remains one of five tracks on the circuit where he has not won a Nextel Cup point race, joining Chicagoland, Indy, Daytona and New Hampshire.

Martin has those six second-place finishes and in fact has finished second at Pocono in three of his last nine starts. In addition, he has finished third on four more occasions. Martin has finished second or third in 25 percent of his starts and top five in almost 50 percent of the starts.

But yet he still is seeking that first visit to victory lane.

Martin scored a solid finish during the series' first trip to Pocono back in June, something he's hoping to build on this week.

"We had a pretty good car there in the spring, where we were able to get a top-10 finish in a race that was cut short by the rain," he said.

He's coming off a sixth in last week's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, an impressive finish for a car plagued with mechanical trouble.

"We had a great car at Indy last weekend and I kind of messed that up with the transmission," Martin said. "Maybe this week I can make that up to (crew chief) Ryan (Pemberton) and the guys and go out and try to put this team in victory lane where it really deserves to be."

This weekend will mark Martin's first time at Pocono as a member of DEI, following the merger with Ginn Racing last week. That transaction generated headlines and put Martin back under the spotlight.

"It's been a crazy couple of weeks with the merger with Ginn Racing and DEI, but now it's really time to put all that behind us, look to the future and get down to the business of winning races on the track," Martin said. "I know this team can do it, we just have to put it all together and finish the job."

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2007

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