Short night in Charlotte for Martin

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Finishes 42nd after engine expires on lap 80

Mark Martin, driving in place of the injured Tony Stewart, completed only 80 of the 334 laps in the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The engine in Martin’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet expired in a plume of smoke down the frontstretch of the 1.5-mile oval, leaving Martin with a 42nd-place finish.

Mark Martin, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Mark Martin, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

“We broke a valve spring and went down on seven cylinders and it ran along there for a little while before it self-destructed,” Martin said. “We tried to nurse it along to maybe catch a caution where we could possibly work on it a little bit, but we didn’t get that.

“When you run with a broken valve spring, a lot of times you wind up failing something else. Sometimes you can run all day with a broken valve spring, but a lot of times it self-destructs, and that was the case tonight.”

The DNF (Did Not Finish) was the first for the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team since Oct. 7, 2012 when Stewart was part of a multi-car crash at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, a span of 36 races.

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished eighth. It was his 10th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte and his 15th top-10 this season.

Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fifth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 73 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Charlotte still in 12th, 78 points behind Kenseth.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th. It was Patrick’s 41st career Sprint Cup start and her third at Charlotte. Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished seven spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

Brad Keselowski won the Bank of America 500 to score his 10th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Charlotte.

Kasey Kahne finished 1.022 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Newman, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were four caution periods for 20 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the sixth race of the 10-race Chase – is the Camping World RV Sales 500 Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race reports
Tags charlotte, chevrolet, martin, nascar sprint cup