Daytona Duel: Martin race notes

Martin Finishes 14th In Gatorade Duel Qualifying Race DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2007) -- Mark Martin finished 14th in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying race. Martin will join teammates Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin when the green flag...

Martin Finishes 14th In Gatorade Duel Qualifying Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2007) -- Mark Martin finished 14th in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying race.

Martin will join teammates Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin when the green flag drops for NASCAR's most famous race. A fourth Ginn Racing-owned Chevrolet, the No. 39 driven by rookie Regan Smith, came up just short of making the 500, finishing 19th.

"I'm ready for the (Daytona) 500," said Martin after climbing out of his No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "Now we are all getting primed for Sunday. That's what it's all about here and we want to make our soldiers proud of their car.

"With the car handling tight early in the race, the 01 team took four tires and made a suspension adjustment when the first caution flew on Lap 24 of 60. A quick pit stop by the U.S. Army crew put Martin in eighth place when green flag racing resumed.

Martin held at eighth for several laps, before being shuffled back to 18th when the second caution was called on Lap 50. Martin came down pit road and took four tires, returning to the track in 22nd position with only seven laps remaining. The Army Chevy did make a late charge, picking up eight spots to finish 14th.

The complicated qualifying format will have Martin starting 26th in Sunday' s 500. The race will be Martin's 44th at Daytona International Speedway and the first with Ginn Racing and the U.S. Army.

Sunday's race will be televised on FOX, beginning with a prerace show at 2 p.m. ET.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Regan Smith , Mark Martin