Martin Still on the Mark

Mark Martin

Mark Martin enters Sunday’s FedEx 400 14th in the Sprint Cup Series standings. (Photo: Getty Images)

Mark Martin is hoping to end his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports with a spot in the Chase and a run to contend for a Sprint Cup Series championship.

Martin enters Sunday’s FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway 14th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings and the veteran feels good about turning in a solid performance at one of his favorite tracks on the schedule.

“Well, I love it,” Martin said. “I loved it the first time I went there, and I remember the track record being set at that first race 144 miles an hour. I think that's 25:40 or something like that, I think it was 25:40 was the lap time. And since then, we have seen lap times down into the 21-second bracket.”

Martin made his debut at the track in 1982 so has seen a lot of changes at the one-mile concrete track.

“Yeah, a lot of things have changed there, but one thing that's stayed the same is it's a wonderful place to race,” he said. “Wonderful racetrack, one of my favorite places to go. It's the only concrete track that I really love. And I loved it even more when it was asphalt, but I still love it. It's one of my top-of-the-list favorites.”

Part of the weekend for Martin is the possibility his Nationwide Series career win record of 49 could be tied by Kyle Busch in Saturday’s 5-Hour Energy 200.

“Yeah, it's an inevitable thing,” he said. “It's like Jack Ingram saw it coming when I was coming along; it's inevitable.

“And it's been fun. I've had a lot of great times and a lot of success in the Nationwide Series, and Kyle passing my mark up won't change any of that. He's going to pass it up and I think he's already talked to me about this weekend, this is a good weekend for that to happen. He's running Dover and Charlotte, so he stands a good chance. And he's already invited me, if he wins this weekend, he's already invited me -- he wanted me to come to victory lane.”

Martin hasn’t been to Victory Lane in the Sprint Cup Series this season and in fact only has a pair of top-10 finishes to show for his effort over the first ten races of the campaign.

However, despite sitting outside the Chase cut off at this point, Martin still believes his team can perform well enough to move up the standings and contend for wins.

“I don't think that -- you know, I don't think we are struggling,” Martin said. “We haven't had, you know, the best of luck and good fortune on the racetrack. We have had a couple of poor runs, but we have had a number of really good runs that we didn't get as good of finishes as we might have.

“We certainly are working hard to try to pick that up, pick the performance up. We are not where we would like to be, but we have shown great promise in a lot of races: Really fast car at Richmond, and Darlington, and you know, a lot of places. We've had good race cars. We are working to get better, just like everyone else. There's 40 cars out there that think they can run in the Top-10 and only ten of them can, each week, anyway.”

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Mark Martin

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