MARK MARTIN RECALLS MICHIGAN’S MIKE EDDY – MICHIGAN PREVIEW

MARK MARTIN RECALLS MIKE EDDY – ONE OF MICHIGAN’S BEST DRIVERS

CORNELIUS, N.C. — There are many late model and stock car drivers who raced against Mark Martin at some point in the last 40 years. His 30-year NASCAR career plus years of running the short tracks across the country make him a pretty good judge of driving talent.

He’s raced against the names all NASCAR fans know like Petty, Waltrip, Earnhardt, Wallace, Gordon, and Johnson. He’s also battled drivers whose talent exceeds their fame.

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Like Midland, Michigan’s Mike Eddy.

“He was phenomenal,” said Martin describing Eddy, a seven-time champion of the now defunct American Speed Association.

The ASA prepared NASCAR drivers like Martin, Rusty Wallace, Matt Kenseth, Dick Trickle, Johnny Benson, Ted Musgrave plus many others. Eddy won ASA titles in 1974, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1991 and 1992.

“That series was the training ground for many of us,” said Martin who won the 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1986 ASA titles. “Most of the races were long pit stop races so you learned the skills you needed to race in NASCAR. Plus, they had good television and print media coverage. You had to learn the whole package. They really prepared you well for moving into NASCAR.”

To win a title in the ASA you had to beat Eddy whose driving style and familiar black No. 88 was reminiscent of Dale Earnhardt’s aura in NASCAR.

“Mike knew his race cars, did his setup and tire staggers himself,” recalled Martin. “Like most of the greats at that time he was real, real aggressive. He would definitely put on a show and he was fun to watch.”

Despite winning nearly 60 races in the ultra-competitive ASA, Eddy never ventured into NASCAR, preferring the Midwest short tracks.

“That was back in a time when you could make a living running late models and racing in the ASA. He didn’t need to come to NASCAR, but he would have made a great NASCAR driver,” said Martin.

“He wasn’t your average driving personality. He was a bit different. Hard edged. He got the job done. He was just good. He was tough to beat no matter where he went. He was always one of the ones we needed to beat for sure.”

MARK MARTIN & MICHIGAN INT’L SPEEDWAY SHOULD BE ULTRA-FAST THIS WEEKEND

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Keep your eye on Mark Martin this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Both he and the racetrack should be very fast.

MIS became NASCAR’s fastest racetrack in June with a pole speed of 203.241 mph. After experiencing some blistering, Goodyear selected a new tire combination for the two-mile racetrack – a combination of the original tires from the April test and a slightly softer version of the harder tire used during the June race. About 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup cars returned to MIS on July 30 to test the tire combination and Martin’s No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota was at the top of the chart.

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver hopes a good run at MIS can push the No. 55 up from its 17th place in the owner points. All three MWR cars are in the top 13 in owner points in 2012.

MARTIN ON MICHIGAN: “I thought we ran really well there in June. We had some bad luck at the end of the race that cost us a seventh-place finish. I was hoping we would be good when we went back for the tire test and it seemed like we ran just as good this time. We are all excited about going back. It’s funny, but you never know what is going to happen. Sometimes you go somewhere and you are good but you aren’t when you go back. I’m as confident as I can be this weekend. Goodyear made a few changes from the last race. The left side is different but it’s a very subtle change. I think you’ll see some pretty high speeds but I think you’ll see some good racing as well.”

MWR SUCCESS: “I am really lucky to be driving such great equipment now. Toyota has done a great job. That’s one of the reasons why MWR’s cars are so fast now. Toyota has done a great job on our engines and our horsepower is way up there. These things are coming down the straightaways like you wouldn’t believe. I feel real fortunate. My crew chief Rodney Childers is sharp. I had no idea until I got a chance to work with him. This is as good of race team as I had in 2009.”

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Keep your eye on Mark Martin this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Both he and the racetrack should be very fast.

MIS became NASCAR’s fastest racetrack in June with a pole speed of 203.241 mph. After experiencing some blistering, Goodyear selected a new tire combination for the two-mile racetrack – a combination of the original tires from the April test and a slightly softer version of the harder tire used during the June race. About 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup cars returned to MIS on July 30 to test the tire combination and Martin’s No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota was at the top of the chart.

MARTIN ON MICHIGAN: “I thought we ran really well there in June. We had some bad luck at the end of the race that cost us a seventh-place finish. I was hoping we would be good when we went back for the tire test and it seemed like we ran just as good this time. We are all excited about going back. It’s funny, but you never know what is going to happen. Sometimes you go somewhere and you are good but you aren’t when you go back. I’m as confident as I can be this weekend. Goodyear made a few changes from the last race. The left side is different but it’s a very subtle change. I think you’ll see some pretty high speeds but I think you’ll see some good racing as well.”

MWR SUCCESS: “I am really lucky to be driving such great equipment now. Toyota has done a great job. That’s one of the reasons why MWR’s cars are so fast now. Toyota has done a great job on our engines and our horsepower is way up there. These things are coming down the straightaways like you wouldn’t believe. I feel real fortunate. My crew chief Rodney Childers is sharp. I had no idea until I got a chance to work with him. This is as good of race team as I had in 2009.”

NOTES:

· MICHIGAN: In 53 Sprint Cup starts at Michigan, Martin owns five victories (the most of any track), five poles, 18 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes. He’s led 911 laps.

· WINS: Martin owns 40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide and seven truck series victories. He’s led 12,663 laps in Sprint Cup competition. Martin has started 844 Sprint Cup races, 236 Nationwide starts and 25 truck events.

· POLES: Martin won three poles and posted five top 10s in just 14 races in 2012. He won his third pole of the 2012 season and 54th of his career at Dover on June 2. Only seven drivers have won more Sprint Cup poles in their careers. Martin also owns 30 Nationwide and three Camping World Truck Series poles.

· MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Cup Series drivers have scored a combined record of one win (Bowyer at Sonoma), 14 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes through the first 22 races.

· No. 55 IN 2012: Mark Martin has driven the No. 55 in 14 races in 2012. Brian Vickers in five (Bristol, Martinsville, Sonoma, New Hampshire and Watkins Glen) and Michael Waltrip in one (Kentucky.)

· AARON’S: Right now during Aaron’s 2000th Store Celebration you are pre-approved for up to $2000 in merchandise.* Aaron’s is your trusted source for quality lease to own furniture, electronics, appliances & computers at guaranteed low prices. Shop at your nearest Aaron’s store location or Aarons.com to view our lease-to-own products, including dining room tables, TVs, tablets, appliances, computers & more…*PRE-APPROVAL minimum requirements include, but are not limited to, a source of income, a place to live and 3 references.

· No. 55 2012 Driver Schedule

Aug. 25 Bristol – Vickers

Sept. 2 Atlanta – Martin

Sept. 8 Richmond – Martin

Sept. 16 Chicago – Martin

Sept. 23 NHMS – Vickers

Sept. 30 Dover – Martin

Oct. 7 Talladega – Waltrip

Oct. 13 Charlotte – Martin

Oct. 21 Kansas – Martin

Oct. 28 Martinsville- Vickers

Nov. 4 Texas – Martin

Nov. 11 Phoenix – Martin

Nov. 18 Homestead – Martin

· AARON’S: Right now during Aaron’s 2000th Store Celebration you are pre-approved for up to $2000 in merchandise.* Aaron’s is your trusted source for quality lease to own furniture, electronics, appliances & computers at guaranteed low prices. Shop at your nearest Aaron’s store location or Aarons.com to view our lease-to-own products, including dining room tables, TVs, tablets, appliances, computers & more…*PRE-APPROVAL minimum requirements include, but are not limited to, a source of income, a place to live and 3 references.

· TELEVISION:

Date Friday Aug. 17

Practice 12:30 p.m. SPEED

Qualifying 4:00 p.m. SPEED

Date Saturday Aug. 18

Practice 11:00 a.m. SPEED

Date Sunday Aug. 19

Race 1:00 p.m. ESPN

· No. 55 Crew

Crew Chief – Rodney Childers

Car Chief – 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- Greg Moore

Spotter – Jeremy Brickhouse

Engineer – Billy Scott

2nd Engineer – Scott McDougall

Tires – Kevin White

Eng.Tuner- Denny Chandler (TRD)

Shocks – Mike (Nook) McCarville

Interior/7th man- Jacen Johns

Truck Driver – Glenn Shano

2nd Truck Driver – John Murphy

Pit Coach – Greg Miller

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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