• Martin scores a nifty and popular win
  • Martin scores a nifty and popular win
  • Martin scores a nifty and popular win
  • Martin scores a nifty and popular win

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    Martin scores a nifty and popular win 6 Shooter's Avatar
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    Default Martin scores a nifty and popular win

    Mark Martin, driver of the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, waves the checkered flag after winning
    the NASCAR Spring Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International
    Raceway on April 18, 2009 in Avondale, AZ.

    AVONDALE, Ariz. – Mark Martin’s long wait to return to Victory Lane is over.

    It took nearly four years, but only eight races driving for team owner Rick Hendrick for Martin to end his 97-race winless streak as he used a dominating performance to win Saturday night’s Subway 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Martin passed Ryan Newman with six of 312 laps remaining to take the lead for the final time and held off Tony Stewart for the win. Kurt Busch finished third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Greg Biffle fifth.

    “This is unbelievable, unbelievable,” said Martin’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson. “How about that Mark Martin?”

    Martin received a call from team owner Rick Hendrick as he arrived in Victory Lane.
    Asked what Hendrick had told him, Martin said, "He just congratulated me, man.

    "He makes dreams come true. I remember watching Tim Richmond win after he was sick. This is as big a deal to me. It just means so much."

    Speaking of his wife, Martin said, "Arlene, thanks for letting me do it."

    Among visitors to Victory Lane to congratulate Martin were former teammates Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, Stewart, NASCAR president Mike Helton and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon and Gordon's crew chief, Steve Letarte.

    Martin had last won on Oct. 9, 2005, at Kansas Speedway in his final year with Roush Fenway Racing.

    Martin, who turned 50 in January, is the oldest race winner in the Sprint Cup Series since Dale Jarrett won at Talladega, Ala., on Oct. 2, 2005, when he was 48. The last 50-year-old race winner was Morgan Shepherd, who was 51 when he won at Atlanta in March 1993 – 548 races ago.
    Only three drivers have won past age 50 – Harry Gant (eight times), Bobby Allison and Morgan Shepherd.

    Martin, who started from the pole, dominated early, leading 78 of the first 79 laps. Even during the race’s first caution on Lap 55 brought out by Sterling Marlin's spin, Martin was the first one off pit road.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., however, was not as lucky. He had to make a second pit stop because of loose lug nuts and fell to back into the field.

    Martin lost his lead during the second caution, for debris, on Lap 102, when Kurt Busch beat Martin off pit road. On the restart on Lap 109, Busch led, followed by Martin, Greg Biffle, Hamlin and Johnson.

    A spin by David Stremme on Lap 138 brought out the race’s third caution and rookie Joey Logano returned to the lead lap by virtue of the free pass. On the restart on Lap 144, Busch continued to lead, followed by Martin, Martin Truex Jr., David Reutimann and Stewart.

    AJ Allmendinger wrecked on Lap 151 to force the fourth caution. Only some of the lead-lap cars pitted and on the restart on Lap 156, Busch and Martin still led the way.

    Only 11 laps later, Robby Gordon plowed into the Turn 4 wall after getting hit by Michael Waltrip to bring out another caution. Some additional lead-lap cars pitted this time, but five stayed out.

    On the restart on Lap 172, Earnhardt took over the lead, followed by Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Gordon, Stremme and Bobby Labonte.

    After 200 laps, Earnhardt continued to lead, but Stewart had moved into second place, followed by Kyle Busch, Martin and Gordon.

    Stewart made his way around Earnhardt on Lap 200 to take the lead for the first time.

    On Lap 227, Earnhardt was the first among those who had stayed out during the caution on Lap 167 to make a green-flag pit stop. Jeff Gordon followed him onto pit road on Lap 234 but had to make a second pit stop under green for missing lug nuts.

    Martin made his way around Stewart to retake the lead on Lap 239 and Stewart then hit pit road for his green-flag stop.

    When green-flag stops were complete on Lap 246, Earnhardt returned to the lead, followed by Martin, Greg Biffle, Stewart and Kyle Busch. On Lap 256 Martin made his way around Earnhardt to regain the lead.

    Martin’s four-second lead over Stewart evaporated when Earnhardt wrecked on Lap 302 to bring out the sixth caution. Martin's was the first car off pit road, but Ryan Newman stayed out and held the lead briefly when the race restarted with six laps to go. Then it was between Martin and Stewart.

    "I knew Tony was good for a while," Martin said. "I knew I had the opportunity to lose it right there (on the restart). Tony would race me clean, but he would race me crazy, too, to get a win. I knew I had to go.

    "I went one way. That didn't work. So, I went another way."

    ThatsRacin.com Article

  2. #2


    I fell asleep twice during that race . Not much going on. Seems like whoever got out front in clean air could pull away and not get passed. I still dont like those COT cars.

    Jr. ran as normal again. Problems all night long.

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