Charlotte II: Mark Martin race report

Martin Brings Home 9th-Place Finish at Charlotte Veteran scores 11th top-10 finish ofseason CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2008) -- Saturday night's Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway was an up and down battle for Mark Martin...

Martin Brings Home 9th-Place Finish at Charlotte
Veteran scores 11th top-10 finish ofseason

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2008) -- Saturday night's Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway was an up and down battle for Mark Martin and the U.S. Army/Dale Earnhardt Inc.team. Martinbattled with the car's handling for much of the race, running as high as second and as low as 18th.

"Our run out there kind of came and went," said Martin, who finished ninth. "There were times when we werea top-five car and there were times when we were a 20th-place car. We wound up in the top-10, so that is somewhere in the middle. We were once again good Soldiers, we never gave up and fought to the end."

"We were pretty good on the last run andpassed a lot of cars," added Martin.bBut the run before that, we got way behind and it cost us a lot of track position. We were able to get most of it back on that last run, and it was a lot of fun out there."

Martin started the race 14th based on Sprint Cup owner points, as Friday's qualifying session was rained out. When his No. 8 Chevy Impala SS was good, it was almost untouchable, such as the run on Lap 202 of 334when he restarted in third, battled race leader Jeff Gordon for the lead.

However, when the car was bad it was almost impossible for Martin to handle. He restartedin third place on Lap 268, but could hardly control the car and fell all the way back to 12th in 10 laps.Martin was able to end the racewitha solid effort, breaking back inside the top 10 on Lap 307 and hanging on for the top-10 finish.

"Fortunately we were able to end the race with a good run," added Martin. "It was kind of an up and down deal all night with the car. Trying to get a gauge on the car's handling was really difficult, and it was a lot like chasing a moving target. Butwe were able to bring home a strong finish."

Martin has now scored a top-10 finish in 11 of his 21 starts in 2008 and top 20 in 17 of his 21 events.

Co-driver Aric Almirola will pilot the No. 8 car next week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, with Martin driving the ArmyChevy the following three races at Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix. Almirola will close out the season at the finale in Homestead, Fla.

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Aric Almirola , Mark Martin