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Martin eager to return to Loudon, site of his last Cup win

Martin eager to return to Loudon, site of his last Cup win

LOUDON, N.H. – Mark Martin’s past success at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gives him confidence as he heads to this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the challenging short track.

The 1.058-mile oval is the site of Martin’s last Cup victory.  In September 2009, the driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet led 68 laps to pick up his first win at New Hampshire. The victory left Martin with only five active tracks on the Cup schedule where he has yet to win.

“This was always one of those tracks that I just couldn’t get the wins at,” Martin said. “I liked the track. I liked racing here, and I love the area. It would just seem like we would get so close, but never take the trophy home.

“In 2009, when we won that first Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) race, I couldn’t believe it. That was such a big win for me personally. To win the first race of the Chase and to knock another track off the list where I hadn’t won, were both pretty big for me.”

In 28 Cup starts at the short track, the veteran driver has earned one win, nine top-five finishes and 14 top-10s. His average finish of 11.7 is his personal third-best average finish at an oval track.

“New Hampshire is a tough racetrack,” said Lance McGrew, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet. “It’s very difficult to get your car to turn in the center, and when you finally get it, and then you struggle with forward bite. It’s always a compromise. Track position is extremely important and more often than not fuel economy becomes an issue during the race, too.”

Tune in to TNT at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday to watch Martin and the No. 5 team compete at the New England oval.