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From the Pit Box: Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Gil Martin

Gil Martin, crew chief for the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, started his NASCAR career as co-owner and crew chief of the No. 81 FILMAR Racing team with Filbert Martocci in 1989. In 1999, Martin went to work with Bill Davis Racing and driver Dave Blaney before making his way to RCR in 2000 as a NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief. Throughout the years, the Nashville native has worked with current and former drivers Clint Bowyer, Mike Dillon, Kerry Earnhardt, Robby Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.

So far this season, Martin has led Harvick and the No. 29 team to two victories, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.

Q: How do you set the car up for Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
A: “Most of the time we will focus on pure down force. This week it’s a cross between a speedway and a down force track, so we’ll try to get the best of both worlds. We’ll try to set things up to get low drag and a lot of down force.  We’ll put a lot of concentration on the drag factor of the car.”

Q: How does the track change during the race?
“It gets slicker toward the end of the race, because the track builds up a lot of rubber. So you have to factor in the fact that you’re going to tighten up the car as the race progresses, because the racing surface gets slicker when the rubber builds and the sun comes out.”

Q: What is the key to success at “The Brickyard”?
“Maintaining track position, just the same as it is every week.”

Q: What is your favorite race memory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
“My favorite racing memory at Indy is winning the Brickyard 400 with Kevin Harvick back in 2003. We were the first team to ever start from the pole and win the race.”

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