The Monster Strikes Back; Martin Finishes 23rd at Dover DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2008) -- During his career, Mark Martin has gotten the best of the Monster Mile of Dover International Speedway. Buton Sunday, the Monster fought back as Martin posted...
The Monster Strikes Back; Martin Finishes 23rd at Dover
DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2008) -- During his career, Mark Martin has gotten the best of the Monster Mile of Dover International Speedway. Buton Sunday, the Monster fought back as Martin posted a 23rd-place finish at the all-concrete oval.
Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team nevergot a handle on theirChevy Impala SS during the 400-mile Sprint Cup race, and a flat left tire coming out of the pits on Lap 231 effectively put an end to any chance of a competitive finish for the No. 8 team.
"That was a tough day out there," said Martin, who started the race 30th. "The car was extremely loose early on and we never really got a handle on it. The leaders were really fast.We were just trying to hang on to a reasonable finish and then we had a flat leaving the pits and that really put us behind the eight ball."
A multicar accident on Lap 19, which Martin avoided,forced the race to be red-flagged for 16 minutes. Once the red flag was lifted by NASCAR, Martin came downpit road for a massive set of track bar and air pressure adjustments.
Martin climbed to as high as 18th by Lap 73, but eventually dropped back to the mid 20's by the halfway point.
After exiting pit road following a Lap 231 stop under green, Martin's left rear tire went flat. Hecame backtopit road for new rubber and returned four laps down in 31st position. The team was ableto battle back tofinish 23rd.
"Sometimes that's just the way it goes," added Martin, whose career record at Dover includes four wins, 20 top fives and 27top 10s. "We struggled for much of the weekend and we had a hard time early on. We were able to come back and get the car running pretty well, but unfortunately by that time we were several laps down."
"We'll soldier onand see what we have at Pocono next week," added Martin. "That's all you can really do, is put this racebehind us, take what we have learned and move on."
The Army teamteam tested at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Martin running inside the top 10 in all three sessions and posting the second-fastest lap in the final session.