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Mark Martin may be NASCAR's new Mr. Friday...now if he can just have some better Sunday luck


Mark Martin says crew chief Alan Gustafson is the key to his success (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   BRISTOL, Tenn.
   For a guy who's 50, in a sport dominated by men half his age, Mark Martin still has the touch, and Friday he won his second straight NASCAR pole, taking the top starting spot for Sunday's Food City 500.
   However Martin, also on the pole at Atlanta the last time out, hasn't had great racing luck this season, his first year back in a seat full-time.
   At Atlanta he crashed when a tire blew. And at Las Vegas and California his engines broke.
   In his Daytona debut with new car owner Rick Hendrick Martin qualified on the front row and finished 16th, in the rain-shortened event.
   There were 45 cars vying for the 43 spots, and new team owners Tommy Baldwin (with driver Scott Riggs) and Jeremy Mayfield (owner-driver) both missed the field again, for the third straight time.

Yes, Robert Glen Johnson Jr. -- The Last American Hero, out for one last Bristol ride (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



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