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Fitness key for Martin in Charlotte's 600-mile event

Fitness key for Martin in Charlotte's 600-mile event

CONCORD, N.C. – Mark Martin hopes that the time he routinely dedicates to maintaining his physical fitness will benefit him this weekend during the grueling 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“This is one of those races where I can really say that being in good physical condition is so important,” said Martin, driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST Auto Parts/ Chevrolet. “Every race is hard on your body. Every race takes a lot out of you. A lot of it is more conditional on the weather. If it’s super-hot and humid, like it’s been this week, then Sunday is going to be real, real hard on all of us. It’s more about that than it is about the extra 100 miles.”

Martin went to Victory Lane at the 600-mile Charlotte event on May 26, 2002, after starting 25th and leading 44 laps. Martin has made 27 Cup starts at the spring event and, along with his one win, he owns eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. The veteran driver finished fourth in last year’s 600-mile race after starting 11th.

Crew chief Lance McGrew has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-646 for Sunday’s race. This is the same chassis that Martin drove last weekend in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Although the car suffered right-front damage from contact late in the race, the team made the necessary repairs this week so the Chevy is ready to go for this weekend.

“This is our newest and most up-to-date car in the shop,” McGrew said.  “I know, without a doubt, that it is 100 percent the best car that we know how to build today. The competition out there is so tough right now that you have to bring your best piece to each and every event. So there was quick turnaround involved, but we knew after last weekend that we had to bring this car back.”

Tune into FOX at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday to watch Martin and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates compete in the 600-mile Cup event.