Richmond: Mark Martin race report

Martin Claims Third-Place Finish at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2008) -- Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team turned in their second consecutive top-five performance with a third-place run in Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 at ...

Martin Claims Third-Place Finish at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2008) -- Mark Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team turned in their second consecutive top-five performance with a third-place run in Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. It was also the best finish of the season for Martin and the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team.

"We had a great car out there tonight," said Martin, who ran inside the top five for the entire event. "If we can keep running like this, we will see the U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala SS in Victory Lane. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and these guys just are doing a great job each and every week and it's an honor to drive this team's race cars. I just have to thank the Army, the fans and everyone at Dale Earnhardt Inc.

The race ended under a green-white-checkered finish after the 11th and final caution of the night came out with only two laps remaining. Martin restarted in third place and came just a few feet of overtaking Kyle Busch for second place on the final lap.

Martin started the race on the outside of the front row after turning in his best qualifying effort in more than two years. The veteran was strong from the start, running inside the third position for the majority of the first half of the 410-lap Sprint Cup race.

"We got off there just a little bit during the middle of the race," said Martin. "That got us a little behind. We got caught up with some lapped traffic and the No. 07 (race winner Clint Bowyer) got around us. We were really close tonight, but I know if we can keep this going, we'll reach our goal and win in the soldiers' car."

The finish is Martin's third top-10 in his last three starts, and his fourth top-10 in the last five races. It is his best finish since April of 2007 at Texas. It was also his record extending 14th top-five and 24th top-10 finish at Richmond.

With the third-place result,the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team moves to 14th in the Sprint Cup owner points, just 31 points outside the top 12 and the cutoff point for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.Despite only running seven races, Martin has more top-10 finishes than 19 drivers who have competed in all 10 events.

Martin and the No. 8 U.S. Army Team will return to action Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where Martin won the famed Southern 500 in 1993 and boasts 16 top five and 25 top-10 finishes in 41 career starts.

-credit: dei

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Clint Bowyer , Mark Martin