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October 10, 2001

Martin Prepares For Final Restrictor-Plate Race Of The Season

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Mark Martin does not look forward to racing at Talladega Superspeedway twice a year, but he is prepared with the best restrictor-plate car in his Roush Racing stable. The team is returning JR-59 to action next weekend, the same Viagra( Taurus that Martin raced at Talladega in April, as well as at Daytona in July and the Budweiser Shootout in February.

"JR-59 is one of the best restrictor-plate cars we've ever run," Martin said. "We ran it at all four restrictor-plate races last year and we were lucky enough to have the car in one piece after each race. That is not an easy thing to do at those races. Luckily we ran a different car in this year's Daytona 500, which was pretty much totaled after that race."

Last year, JR-59 posted two top-five and four top-10 finishes between Daytona and Talladega. Martin finished fourth and fifth at Daytona and sixth and seventh at Talladega in 2000. This year he finished eighth in the Budweiser Shootout, fourth at Talladega in April and a somewhat disappointing 18th at Daytona in July.
"We were running in the top 10 most of the race in July until we got caught in an eight-car accident with about 18 laps to go. Luckily, it was just sheet metal damage, but by the time we repaired it under caution, we were on the tail end of the lead lap in 24th place with 10 laps to go. I drafted up as far as I could with the little time I had left in the race. That was our worst finish with this car in two years, so hopefully we can pull out another top finish next weekend for the final restrictor-plate race of the year."

Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Roush Industries and operates eight teams; four in NASCAR Winston Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch; two in the Busch Series with Burton and Greg Biffle; and two in Craftsman Truck with Jon Wood and Kyle Busch.