Mark Martin No. 55 Michigan Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit has been kinder to No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Mark Martin than Michigan International Speedway where he’ll race Sunday for Michael Waltrip Racing.

The 54-year-old Batesville, Ark. native has made 55 of his 869 starts on the two-mile, D-shaped oval in Brooklyn, Mich. He’s visited victory lane five times—the most for Martin at any track on the Sprint Cup circuit. He’s also earned two Nationwide Series victories and has led 965 laps.

He’s frequently asked why Michigan is one of the tracks he always wants to add to his racing schedule.

“I love Michigan. It’s like a big short track. The track lends itself to the guys who focus on the handling of their race cars. That’s always been my specialty. We’ve run well there over the years and last year we had a really good car.”

Martin led 54 laps in the June 2012 race before a wreck ruined his chances for victory. In June 2013 he climbed as high as third before an untimely caution followed by mechanical problems left him with a 26th-place finish.

“The cars are different this year. We ran well in June, but a caution got us. We got back up to 11th but our day ended early. It just needed to hold together 16 more laps. We weren’t the fastest that day but we were faster than a lot of other cars.”

Martin said this weekend’s goal is the same as it has always been.

“We want to run well and win the race. That’s why everyone is here. (Crew Chief) Rodney (Childers) and the No. 55 guys have given me good cars all year. They’ve worked hard of late to get better and I think you’ll see that work show this weekend.”

Martin finished third in the Daytona 500 in February. He owns four top-10s in 15 races in 2013 sharing the driving duties in the No. 55 with Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip. He’s led 75 laps this season.

NOTES

·     CHASSIS: Primary– 780 has not raced in 2013.

·         MICHIGAN: Martin owns five victories in 55 starts at MIS. He’s posted 18 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes while leading 965 laps. He became the oldest Michigan pole winner on Aug. 19, 2012 at – 53 years, 7 months, 10 days. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan was 32nd, by Martin in the spring of 2009.

·    CAREER STATS: Martin owns 40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series victories. He’s led 12,856 laps in Sprint Cup competition. Martin has started 867 Sprint Cup races, 236 Nationwide races and 25 truck events. The 96 combined wins is sixth on the all-time list. He also owns 13 IROC wins in 47 starts.

·    POLES: Martin owns five poles in 38 races with MWR. He is seventh on the all-time pole list with 56 poles including one in 2013 at Phoenix.

·    SOCIAL STOP: Make MWR’s “Social Stop” your second screen to follow all the racing and social media action when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend. MWR’s “Social Stop” goes live race morning allowing fans to view information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all on one page. Twitter feeds from MWR drivers, media members and NASCAR fans will populate the page. Visitors can also interact with fellow race fans and answer poll questions on the page. Visit www.facebook.com/michaelwaltripracing or click www.MichaelWaltripRacing.com/social

·    NO. 55 In 2014: Aaron’s, Inc. announced Tuesday it has reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Brian Vickers in the No. 55. Vickers has raced the No. 55 on a part-time basis the last two seasons for MWR posting several impressive performances including his third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14. Beginning in 2014, he’ll pilot the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine with a fresh new paint scheme. Aaron’s will sponsor each race during the length of the agreement.

·         CREW:

Crew Chief – Rodney Childers

Car Chief/7thman – Steve Channing

Front Changer – Ryan Langley

Rear Changer – Shannon Myers

Front Carrier – Chris Hall

Rear Carrier – Mark Kennerly

Jackman – Tony Cardamone

Gas man – Brian Dheel

2nd Gas Man – Kelly Johnson

Spotter – Jeremy Brickhouse

Engineer – Billy Scott

2nd Engineer – Scott McDougall

Tires – Kevin White

Eng.Tuner – Denny Chandler (TRD)

Shocks – Mike (Nook) McCarville

Front Mechanic – Jacen Johns

Interior Mech. – David Cropps

Truck Driver – Glenn Shano

2nd Truck Driver – John Murphy

Pit Coach – Greg Miller

Dir. Race Eng. – Chad Walter

Ex. VP Engineering – Tom German

Ex. VP Comp. – Scott Miller

 

·         TELEVISION:

Date                        Friday            Aug. 16

Practice                  12:00 p.m.        SPEED

Qual.                      3:30 p.m.          SPEED

 

Date                       Saturday          Aug. 17

Practice                  8:30 a.m.          FS1

Practice                  11:00 a.m.         FS1

 

Date                       Sunday            Aug. 18

Race                       1:00 p.m.          ESPN

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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