[picapp align="left" wrap="true" link="term=mark+martin&iid=7811179" src="4/4/2/5/Daytona_500_Practice_a7bc.jpg?adImageId=9954998&imageId=7811179" width="234" height="156" /]Mark Martin
2009 Stats: Points Finish 2nd, 7 Poles, 5 Wins, 14 Top Fives, 21 Top Tens, Average Finish 13.7, Average Position 11.4, Laps Led 805, Driver Rating 100.3
2009 was a very, very good year for Mark Martin. I don’t think anyone would’ve expected him to win 5 races and 7 poles. The season got off to rough start for him but once his early misfortunes were out of the way he was a title contender.
Strengths- Mark Martin is strong everywhere. He’s a driver who can win on any given Sunday. Martin is a skilled veteran who takes care of his equipment in the long races better then anyone.
Weaknesses- One important thing to remember about Mark Martin is that he’s unlucky. There’s a reason why he’s finished 2nd in the points so many times.
Intermediate Track Grade- A+, Last year Mark Martin won at 3 intermediate tracks (Chicago, Michigan & Darlington). In my opinion there’s three types of intermediate tracks. There’s the 1.5 mile cookie cutters (Chicago), the big 2 mile intermediates (Michigan), and Darlington (Other Intermediate Track type, and I include Dover in this group).
Flat Track Grade- A+, Martin scored the 2nd most points on the flat tracks last year. He won at New Hampshire and Phoenix (smaller flats). He’s never won at a big flat track in his entire career. Statistically his worst flat track is Indy and he came pretty close to winning there last year. Just to give you a perspective on how good he’s at the flat tracks here’s his career average finishes at these tracks
New Hampshire- 10.7
Restrictor Plate Track Grade- B-, As I mentioned previously Mark Martin is unlucky. I would never pick him to win on these tracks. His unluckiness is magnified at restrictor plate tracks and he’s usually collected up in the big one.
Short Track Grade- A-, When Mark Martin was in partial retirement he choose to avoid the short tracks. That’s a telling sign how much he likes them. Last year these were among his best tracks. If he didn’t perform like he did at these tracks last season he probably would’ve missed the Chase. The worst he finished on the short tracks last season was 8th (best in the series). His average finish on all three of them was 5.3.
Road Course Track Grade- B+, Martin performed poorly on these tracks in 2009. I personally don’t expect that trend to continue. He’s a great road course driver who I think you can pencil in for at least a top ten at both of these tracks.
How to use Mark Martin from a fantasy racing perspective in 2009?
Focus on using Martin at the intermediate tracks. They have always been his best tracks. Martin is also a reliable pick on the flat tracks and I would be confident using him at the road courses. Personally I wouldn’t pick Martin at a short track despite how good he was in 2009. Using him at a restrictor plate track is a big no-no in my book.
Click HERE for more Mark Martin stats