MARK MARTIN STILL HAS IT: ON AND OFF THE TRACK/ATLANTA PREVIEW

MARK MARTIN STILL HAS IT: ON AND OFF THE TRACK

Diecast Sales Fourth Among Active Drivers

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Mark Martin has proven his driving skills are as good as ever in 2012 as he celebrates his 30th-year in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing. The 53-year-old owns four poles—the most of any driver— while appearing in just 15 races this season. He’s led 133 laps and has raced in the top 10 in nearly every race he’s entered.

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The first-year Michael Waltrip Racing driver is also proving he’s still a fan favorite.

Martin’s diecast car sales are eighth overall, but the fourth highest among active drivers despite the 1:24 scale Aaron’s Dream Machine not arriving in stores until May. According to Lionel NASCAR Collectables mid-year report, Martin’s No. 55 Toyota diecast is a fan favorite among the Action Racing Collectables-branded die-cast.

2012 Top Die Cast Sellers

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88

2. Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1989 No. 3

3. Tony Stewart No. 14

4. Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1989 No. 3

5. Matt Kenseth No. 17

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88

7. Richard Petty 1986

8. Mark Martin No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota Camry

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88

MARK MARTIN: “That’s pretty awesome. I heard the news about our diecast sales. I couldn’t believe that. MWR gave me a really fast race car this year and Aaron’s and Michael gave us a really cool paint scheme to race. That combination must be appealing to the fans. I hope it’s something they enjoy. I hope we can start finishing like we’ve run and maybe we’ll make those diecast cars even more valuable. MWR and Aaron’s have made my dreams come true in 2012.”

Click here or visit www.nascar.com to order a No. 55 diecast.

MARK MARTIN STILL HAS IT: ON AND OFF THE TRACK

Four Poles Are Most of Any Driver In 2012

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Even the most ardent Mark Martin fan probably didn’t expect the success the 30-year veteran would enjoy in 2012 during his first year at Michael Waltrip Racing.

The 53-year-old Martin owns four poles—the most of any driver– and is now tied for seventh with Bill Elliott for the most career poles (55). This weekend the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota returns to action at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Martin owns two victories, two poles and led 929 laps.

MARTIN ON WHETHER HE IS SURPRISED WITH 2012 SUCCESS: “I am surprised — I am surprised. I was surprised in 2009 at what we were able to accomplish — very similar kinds of things that we’ve accomplished this year. I was surprised in 2011 when we were not able to accomplish anything special. I was surprised again this year to be able to accomplish what we’ve been able to.

“In this business I don’t expect results, I expect effort. The one thing that you’ll get from me is every ounce that I can find and you get that no matter what the result may be. For me, I feel a little bit of the magic that I felt in 2009 working with Rodney Childers (crew chief) and working with my teammates and all the incredible staff at MWR. I just really feel like this is a very, very lucky time in my career and in my life because I get to race on my terms and do things the way I want to do them.”

ON WINNING WITH THE NO. 55: “I know how hard these things are to win and I know that not only does the fastest car not always win the race, but it just takes a whole lot. I believe this race team is up to the challenge of contending and winning a race somewhere along the way.”

NOTES:

· MWR 2013 ANNOUNCEMENT: Michael Waltrip Racing, driver Martin Truex Jr. and NASCAR President Mike Helton will participate in an announcement regarding the 2013 season in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center on Friday at 1 p.m. 2013 car unveiling and photo opportunities will follow.

· MARTIN APPEARANCE: Martin will appear at the Aaron’s Display in the track’s midway 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

· ATLANTA: In 51 Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta, Martin owns two victories and two poles, 14 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. He’s led 929 laps.

· TESTING: Martin and the No. 55 team participated in the Goodyear tire test at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday.

· WINS: Martin owns 40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series victories. He’s led 12,663 laps in Sprint Cup competition. Martin has started 845 Sprint Cup races, 236 Nationwide starts and 25 truck events.

· 2012: Martin owns four poles, two top-five and five top-10 finishes in just 15 races in 2012. He won his fourth pole of the 2012 season and 55th of his career at Michigan on Aug. 17. He is tied with Bill Elliott for seventh in all-time poles. Martin also owns 30 Nationwide and three Camping World Truck Series poles.

· No. 55 SCHEDULE: Mark Martin has driven the No. 55 in 15 races in 2012. Brian Vickers in six (both Bristol, Martinsville, Sonoma, New Hampshire and Watkins Glen. Michael Waltrip in three: Talladega, Daytona (July) and Kentucky.

No. 55 2012 Driver Schedule

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

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

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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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