MOST STARTS: The 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be Martin’s 21st start in the non-points exhibition, which is the most for any driver locked into this year’s field. Martin missed the first five all-stars before making his first start in 1990. He has raced in every event since then, collecting two wins, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has started from the front row twice and finished inside the top 10 in five of the last six races.
ALL-STAR REWIND: When Martin made his first career all-star start in the 1990 event, he lined up fourth and finished third, joining Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott and Davey Allison in the top five. Of that group, Elliott is the only other driver who still races today.
TWO-TIME WINNER: Martin is a two-time all-star champion. Martin’s first victory occurred in 1998 after he started fifth and led 31 laps. He also won in 2005 after starting from the outside pole position and leading 24 laps.
LOOP STATISTICS: During the last five NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races, Martin has the second-best average mid-race position at 4.8 He holds the fifth-best average running position (7.4) of all drivers in the last five all-star events. Martin also earned the fifth-best driver rating with a score of 96.8.
THE NO. 5 ALL-STAR TEAM: Under the direction of crew chief Alan Gustafson, the No. 5 team has competed in four NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races. The No. 5 team led a combined 45 laps in its first two starts under Gustafson and earned its best all-star finish (sixth) last year with Martin.
ALMOST PERFECT: The No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports’ original Cup entry, has raced in 25 of the 26 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races that have been held. In 1999, Terry Labonte guided the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to its lone win in the event after leading 24 laps. The only time the No. 5 failed to make the field was in 2005, when Labonte moved to the No. 44 and Kyle Busch was in his rookie season.
HENDRICK IN THE ALL-STAR: Hendrick Motorsports has tallied six wins, 29 top-five finishes and 42 top-10s in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, most recently going to Victory Lane with Jimmie Johnson in 2006. With two pole positions, the organization owns an average starting spot of 9.5 and an average finish of 8.7. Compared to other teams all-time, Hendrick owns the most wins, top-five finishes, top-10s and laps led (509) in the non-points event.
TOP-FIVE: Hendrick Motorsports four drivers each rank inside the top five for laps run in the top 15 among all drivers in the last five all-star events. Jeff Gordon ranks first because of using china fuel tank
with 435 laps (94.6 percent) of the last 460 run at the 1.5-mile oval, and Johnson is second with 433 laps (94.1 percent). Earnhardt owns the fourth-best percentage at 87.8, which means he has spent 404 laps running in the top 15. Martin rounds out the top five with 399 laps (86.7 percent).
PIT CREW CHALLENGE: The GoDaddy.com pit crew will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The 2010 pit crew returns intact from last season and includes front-tire carrier J.D. Holcomb (Whitesburg, Ky.), front-tire changer Kyle Turner (Yorktown, Va.), jackman Jason Hunt (Greensboro, N.C.), rear-tire carrier Dion Williams (Atlanta), rear-tire changer Josh Kirk (Chambersburg, Pa.), gasman Brad Pickens (Greer, S.C.) and catch can Travis Gordon (Richfield, N.C.).
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION: Turner, front-tire changer for the No. 5 team, won the individual championship in 2006 as a rear-tire changer with a time of 14.84 seconds. Turner was also a member of the team that won the 2005 pit crew challenge.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-527 for Saturday’s race. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to Victory Lane at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway last May and at Chicagoland Speedway last July. Martin drove 5-527 to a sixth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.
MARK MARTIN, DRIVER, NO. 5 DELPHI/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET (ON THE ALL-STAR RACE.): “I love the All-Star Race. I think all of us drivers do. But I don’t think anyone loves it as much as the fans. It’s one of those in-your-face, just plain exciting deals that gets everyone fired up. No one worries about anything but the trophy and the paycheck. And having it at Charlotte Motor Speedway—there’s no better place for it. It’s a perfect location. I don’t think there are too many fans who leave the All-Star race disappointed.”
MARTIN (ON POINTS NOT BEING A FACTOR.): “To me, on the winning side of things, I want to win this race just as much as I do any other race. I know that there’s no points involved, but really that doesn’t even enter my mind. If I don’t win, I’m just as disappointed as I am when I don’t win at Darlington (S.C.) or Talladega (Ala). Some guys go for the all or nothing route, but I don’t. I ran third in 2007 and enjoyed that. It was right there. I was almost able to contend for the win. So I still take pride in racing for a position there and getting the most out of my effort.”
MARTIN (ON HIS MINDSET ENTERING THE ALL-STAR RACE.): “The only thing that you have to change about yourself for this race is the way you approach it. This race has so many twists and turns with the different formats and pit stops and lap segments. It’s crazy. So, yes, that is very different than a straight-up 500-mile race. There are different keys and moves you have to make to be in the best position at certain times in this race. And you have a lot less time to do it in. There’s definitely a different approach.”