One For The Old Guys

April 20th, 2009 by admin


The 50-year-old polesitter streaked away from Tony Stewart after a restart
with six laps remaining to win Saturday night’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR
Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin became the oldest driver to win in the series since Morgan Shepherd
won at age 51 on March 20, 1993 at Atlanta. Martin’s victory was his first
since Oct. 9, 2005 at Kansas Speedway and his first since joining Hendrick
Motorsports to start the 2009 season.

Stewart ran second followed by Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., David Reutimann, Sam Hornish Jr. and Carl
Edwards completed the top 10, as a late caution for an accident involving
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears scrambled the finishing order.

“The thought went through my mind — 1989 with Jack Roush (Martin’s former
car owner) — when I got my first win at Rockingham, I said, ‘My life is
fulfilled,’” Martin said in victory lane. “I thought about saying that again
tonight, but I’ll stop short of that.

“But it means that much. It means just as much as getting that first one to
me. We made a couple of early adjustments, but after that we never made
adjustments. There were cars better than us in the middle of the race, but
it came to us. At the end, nobody could run with us.”

Martin took the lead from Earnhardt with a pass off Turn 2 on Lap 256 of 312
at the 1-mile flat track. He increased his advantage over Stewart to more
than four seconds before Earnhardt and Mears tangled in Turn 4 on Lap 301.

Stewart’s teammate, Ryan Newman, stayed out on old tires and took the green
flag in the lead on Lap 307 but quickly faded. Martin was back in front
before the cars got back to the start/finish line and began to pull away. He
was .734 seconds ahead of Stewart at the finish.

The race left Stewart still seeking his first victory as an owner/driver at
Stewart-Haas Racing, but the runner-up was encouraged by his progress.

“We’re so close,” Stewart said. “We’re going to win one of these soon. (But)
I’m glad to see Mark get this win. He deserved it. He had the fastest car.”

Notes: After his late accident, Earnhardt dropped to 31st at the finishÅ 
Kyle Busch beat Stewart out of the pits on the final stop under caution on
Lap 302 but was penalized for speeding on pit road. He finished 17th.

2 Responses

  1. Dan Munroe

    Earnhardt is sooo overrated, i am very happy for the old guy to get a win. He ( mark Martin) is such a class act and clean driver, I have always had respect for Martin and am glad to see him get a win.

  2. ned mark

    mark martin is a class act!

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.