Veteran runs to fifth top-10 finish of season LONG POND, Pa. (June 8, 2008) -- Mark Martin battled all the wayto the final laps of Sunday's Pocono 500 to earn his fifth top-10 finish of the season. Martin and his No. 8 Steak-Umm Chevrolet ...
Veteran runs to fifth top-10 finish of season
LONG POND, Pa. (June 8, 2008) -- Mark Martin battled all the wayto the final laps of Sunday's Pocono 500 to earn his fifth top-10 finish of the season. Martin and his No. 8 Steak-Umm Chevrolet overtook the No. 43 car of Bobby Labonte withtwo laps remaining to cap a 10th-place run.
The team had employed an alternative strategy that saw Martin short pit on Lap 167 of 200 for four tires and fuel. The strategy paid off in the end, with Martin earning his record extending 30th top-10 finish at Pocono Raceway.
"These guys just never stop fighting," said Martin. "They just dig in andnever give up.Tony Gibson (crew chief) employed a great strategy and we were able to beat a lot of cars today that might have been a little better than us on speed."
"The Steak-Umm Chevrolet was good all day," added Martin. "But it just droppedoffthere at the end of a run. We'll keep plugging away at it and keep getting it better and better. It really is a pleasure to drive this No. 8 team's race car each week."
Martin started the race third after Friday's strong qualifying effort and ran the majority of thefirst 100 laps inside the top seven.
Martin came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a large track bar adjustment under caution on Lap 106 in hopes of tightening the car's handling. However, the move backfired, with Martin falling back to 15th by Lap 109.
Unable to move forward inheavy traffic, Gibson and the No. 48 team opted to go with an alternative pit strategy that saw the team come down pit road under green on Lap 137 for four tires and fuel. The team pitted again for four tires and fuel on Lap 167.
When the race's eighth and final caution was issued on lap 175, Martin stayed out and was able to hang on for a top-10 finish.
Martin and the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team remain in 15th position in the Sprint Cup owner standings, but pulled to within 22 points of 12th place and the cutoff point for the Chase for the Cup.