CORNELIUS, N.C. — Mark Martin doesn’t have a racing bucket list, but if he did Pocono Raceway might be at the top of the list. Pocono, Homestead, Indianapolis, Daytona and Kentucky are the only active tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where Martin has not won.
His 20 top-five Pocono finishes are the most of any driver and he’s finished second at the Pennsylvania track seven times including last year’s near victory.
At the June race, the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver made a daring pass on a restart to take the lead with just seven laps left. Joey Logano retook the top spot with three to go and beat Martin to the finish line by 0.997 seconds for the victory. The Michael Waltrip Racing team returns to the “Tricky Triangle” this weekend after finishing ninth last weekend in Dover.
NO WINS BUT SEVEN 2ND-PLACE POCONO FINISHES: “I don’t have a bucket list. I’ve always believed you are never owed this stuff. I’ve earned all those second place finishes, and I’m proud of that. You’re not entitled. You’ve got to go get ‘em. That’s what makes winning so rewarding. These races aren’t easy to win.”
WINNING THIS WEEKEND: “We struggled in May. We didn’t like how we ran at Darlington or Charlotte, but last weekend in Dover was a lot better. It was a great team effort. Obviously, until you are sitting in victory lane you have room for improvement but we think we should be pretty good this weekend at Pocono. “
POCONO: “I admit I wasn’t overly optimistic about the repaving last year but they did a heck of a job. The race was a great show. The restarts at Pocono are insane and you have to take full advantage of them. That was the biggest opportunity to make gains and definitely big gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit. Had to be on your toes for the restarts for sure.”
APPEARANCES: Mark Martin will sign autographs Friday at 2 p.m. behind victory lane and will appear at the Sprint Unlimited Experience 10 a.m. Sunday.
CHASSIS: 759 raced in Darlington and Fontana.
POCONO STATS: In 52 starts at Pocono, Martin owns seven second-place finishes. He has 20 top-five finishes. He’s led 448 laps and won three poles.
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 865 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 34 races with MWR. He is seventh on the all-time pole list with 56 poles including one in 2013 at Phoenix.
-Michael Waltrip Racing PR