Chicagoland: Mark Martin race report

Martin Rebounds to Finish 17th at Chicagoland JOLIET, Ill. (July 12, 2008) -- Mark Martin rebounded from a late mishap on pit road to finish 17th in the LifeLock.com 400 Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway. Martin ran as high as seventh in...

Martin Rebounds to Finish 17th at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. (July 12, 2008) -- Mark Martin rebounded from a late mishap on pit road to finish 17th in the LifeLock.com 400 Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway. Martin ran as high as seventh in the Sprint Cup race, but struggled late in the event to find the handling on his No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala SS.

Martin was running 13th when he came down pit road under caution on Lap 225 of 267. But he overshot his pit stall, which cost him valuable track position as he dropped back to 24th place. He would spend the remainder of the race battling his way back to the front at the 1.5-mile oval.

"I want to thank (crew chief) Tony Gibson and this No. 8 U.S. Army Team for an awesome job in the pits and a really nice race car tonight," said Martin. "I have to apologize to them for messing it up there in the pits. That was a really costly mistake on my part and I apologize to everyone, including our soldiers who inspire me every week.Our soldiers never quit and this Army team will never quit. We'll take our lumps and come back strong at Indy."

"We had a pretty good car tonight," added Martin. "The handling went away a little late and it got pretty loose. After starting strong it appeared that we were going to achieve a much better finish than we got."

Martin started the race 16th based on the Sprint Cup owner points after qualifying was rained out on Thursday. He powered his No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy all the way inside the top 10 by Lap 70, before advancing to as high as seventh on Lap 127.

The Army pit crew enjoyed a stellar night on pit road, posting several speedy stops of 13.30 seconds and under.

After an off weekend, the team will return to action in two weeks for the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Martin has posted five top-fives and nine top-10s in 14 starts in the Brickyard 400. He finished sixth last year.

-credit: dei

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin