After 12 Years, Can Mark Martin Benefit From No. 13 in Las Vegas?

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IFebruary 25, 2010

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Mark Martin, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, looks on from pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 21, 2010 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

When Mark Martin last won a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. had just taken his black and silver No. 3 GM Goodwrench sponsored Chevrolet to one of the most memorable wins in the history of the Daytona 500.

Martin, who won the inaugural race in back 1998, also had one of his best seasons while driving in the Winston Cup Series with seven wins, 22 top fives, and 26 top 10 finishes, finishing a distant second in the point standings.

"That day was so cool. It was the first time the Cup Series raced at Las Vegas. I don't think the win really sank in at first. I'm trying to really appreciate wins more because you don't know if there will be a next one," said Martin.

Martin also added that, “And that night, after all the post-race stuff was over, we helicoptered out of the track. The Strip was all lit up, and it was just an incredible sight. I remember sitting in the helicopter and letting that win sink in. I just really appreciated that one."

The 39 year old Martin, who was beginning his 17th season in the NASCAR series, never stood a chance against Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, who lit up the win column with 13 victories, while cruising to his third Winston Cup championship in only his sixth season in the series.

It’s been a long 12 years since Martin led 82 laps for his one and only victory in "The Entertainment Capital of the World,” and with his new sponsor, along with his black and bright green paint scheme, Martin is hopeful that the No. 13 will be his lucky number.

"I love this city. It's probably my favorite place we go. I don't know what it is, because I'm not a real 'go-out' kind of guy,” said Martin.

Martin also talked about the character of the city itself when he added, “But the atmosphere is so great here. You can do anything at any time of day. Its open 24 hours. There are shows and great food. It's just an exciting place to be."

Martin, who started the 2010 season by becoming the oldest driver to win the pole for the season opening Daytona 500, followed up his pole with a 12th place finish, and this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA., he brought home a fourth place finish, which lifted him to sixth in the point standings.

"After our fourth-place finish last week, I was so relieved. It's such an opposite starting point from what we had last year,” said Martin.

“The communication between Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and I is on a whole new level. At this point last year, we were still getting to know each other. Now, it's like he just knows me and he knows what I want out of the race car,” said Martin when talking about how much the team has progressed since last season.

Martin also added that, “There's no telling what this team is capable of, but it's definitely nice to not be in a hole this early in the season."

Martin will also participate in Go Daddy's first ever social media contest that asks fans to create their own Go Daddy commercial.

Commercials 15-30 seconds in duration now are being accepted at .

Martin, along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other Go Daddy celebrities, will choose their favorite spots, which will be featured online at after the contest ends.