CORNELIUS, N.C.— No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin’s last visit to Pocono Raceway might have been his best performance in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Martin made a daring pass on a restart to take the lead with just seven laps left in the track’s first 400-mile race. Joey Logano retook the top spot with three to go and beat Martin to the finish line by 0.997 seconds for the Toyota sweep of the top two spots.
The Michael Waltrip Racing team returns to the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania triangle this weekend with the same driver, crew, car and Goodyear tire compound in a bid to finish one spot better. Pocono is one of a handful of active Sprint Cup tracks where Martin has not won but owns seven second-place finishes. Last week at Indianapolis Martin’s 11th-place finish increased his streak of consecutive top-11 finishes at Indy to eight years.
MARK MARTIN: “We are all motivated by winning. That’s why we are racers. We know we can win this weekend at Pocono. When you know that it makes you want to get to the track that much sooner.”
MARTIN ON TOYOTA: “They gave us awesome motors at Indy and throughout the year. They’ve been very, very helpful with us at MWR for sure. This is my first experience with them. And there are a lot of racers that help us with the engines and the technology, and I really enjoy them. And they’ve embraced me, and that’s been nice. They have really made me feel welcome.”
NO WINS BUT SEVEN 2ND PLACE POCONO FINISHES: “You’re not owed this stuff, man. 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.”
POCONO: “I’m fine with running 400 miles there. I think the fans saw a great show in June. I couldn’t tell the race was shorter. They did a great job with the paving. I wasn’t too optimistic but we put on a great race. I didn’t think it would be possible to have a first race that good. That was just absolutely the best I can ever remember for new pavement. The Goodyear tires were fantastic as well.”
- CHASSIS: 720 – finished second at Pocono in June. Also ran at Kansas and Las Vegas. Backup – 732 has not raced in 2012.
- POCONO: In 51 starts Martin owns 20 top-five finishes, 34 top-10 finishes and three poles. He’s logged 10,028 miles around the Pennsylvania oval. Martin has led 448 laps.
- SHORT LIST: Pocono, Homestead, Indianapolis, Daytona and Kentucky are the only active tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where Martin has not won.
- WINS: Martin owns 40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide and seven truck series victories. He’s led 12,663 laps in Sprint Cup competition.
- POLES: Martin owns three poles and five top 10s in just 13 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.
- CAREER: Martin owns 843 Sprint Cup starts, 236 Nationwide starts and 25 starts in the truck series.
- 2012 MWR: MWR’s three fulltime Sprint Cup teams are within the top 12 in owner points. Martin Truex’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota is tied for sixth in driver and owner points, Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota is 10th in driver and owner points and the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine is 12th in owner points.
- No. 55 IN 2012: Mark Martin has driven the No. 55 in 13 races in 2012. Brian Vickers in four (Bristol, Martinsville, Sonoma and New Hampshire) and Michael Waltrip in one (Kentucky.)
- BUSY WEEKEND: In addition to racing at Pocono this weekend, Martin will film a commercial for Sunoco and make an appearance for Sprint on Sunday.
- QUALIFYING: Martin’s 2012 average starting position of 8.7 is third best of the regular Sprint Cup competitors. Only Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle’s 8.3 starting positions are better.
- 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 at Pocono
Date Friday Aug. 3
Practice Noon SPEED
Practice 3:30 p.m. SPEED
Date Saturday Aug. 4
Qualifying 10:30 p.m. ESPN2
Date Sunday Aug. 5
Race 1:00 p.m. ESPN