Martin Battles Back to 11th-place finish in Bizarre Brickyard 400 Tire wear wreaks havoc in competition caution-filled race at Indy SPEEDWAY, Ind. (July 27, 2008) -- After experiencing tire problems early in Sunday's Brickyard 400, U.S. Army ...
Martin Battles Back to 11th-place finish in Bizarre Brickyard 400
Tire wear wreaks havoc in competition caution-filled race at Indy
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (July 27, 2008) -- After experiencing tire problems early in Sunday's Brickyard 400, U.S. Army driver Mark Martin battled back to an 11th-place finish.
In one of the most bizarre races in recent NASCAR history, Martin and the rest of the field were unable to go past 10 green-flag laps before their right-side tires would wear to the cords on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Nobody is to blame, as everybody did the best they could," said Martin, who started on the outside of the front row. "It was just an unfortunate circumstance with the tire wear out here today. I hate it for this U.S. Army Race Team. We had a monster motor and a great race car today. We definitely had a top-five car. We probably didn't have anything for (race winner) Jimmie Johnson, so I wasn't going to be able to back up my prediction, but we had a lot better car than where we finished."
"We just pushed it a little too hard twice at the start, and we got caught twice under green. I didn't think that would happen to us, but I was wrong. After that it was just very hard to make your way back up to the front. We really had to keep taking four tires to keep the right sides on, so we were not able to get position in the pits.
"Still the team gave me a great car today. ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing) gave me a great engine and it's just unfortunate the way it all turned out. But like our brave soldiers who inspire us week in and week out, we will never quit.We will soldier on and keeping fighting for that win."
Martin's U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala SS was bit early by the tire bug, as he was forced to come down pit road twice under green, dropping the veteran as far back as 35th position by Lap 45 of 160.
The veteran would spend the rest of race battling back through the field, but with NASCAR being forced to issue competition cautions after 11 laps of green-flag racing, it would be a battle of two steps forward and one step backwards for Martin.
Eventually, Martin and crew chief Tony Gibson opted for right-side tires only after the final competition caution on Lap 149. Martin restarted in 14th position and was able to fight his way back to 11th.