Martin can't avoid Texas Track's bite

Martin can't avoid Texas track's bite By Matthew Leach FORT WORTH, Texas (March 28, 1999) Mark Martin was one of many driver to connect with the wall after losing a right front tire. Even "Mr. Consistency" isn't immune to trouble when the ...

Martin can't avoid Texas track's bite By Matthew Leach

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 28, 1999) Mark Martin was one of many driver to connect with the wall after losing a right front tire. Even "Mr. Consistency" isn't immune to trouble when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway. Mark Martin, who had won his last two starts at the 1.5-mile quadoval, joined the parade of drivers who wrecked after losing right front tires in Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500. Martin's incident followed similar wrecks by Jeff Gordon and Mike Skinner. Like Skinner, he lost a tire entering Turn 1 on lap 217 and hit the wall, knocking him out of the race. Unlike Skinner or Gordon, Martin was unhurt and did not make a trip to the QualityCare Network Infield Care Center. The No. 6 team was able to make repairs on the Valvoline Ford and Martin re-entered the race, but Martin returned to the track 80 laps down.

Martin won the 1998 PRIMESTAR 500 at TMS, as well as Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Coca-Cola 300. He also won the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Texas in 1997.

Martin said that despite the similar incidents, there is nothing wrong with the tires.

"The right front tire went down," Martin said. "Just one of those ol' race tracks that's mean on tires. I've been involved with Goodyear on development of the tire, testing the original tire for the original track. This place is just a tough nut.

"I didn't have time to slow down enough. I mean thank goodness it didn't go full speed into the corner. I was already backing off. Coming into the corner it didn't quite feel right and then it just (went) straight ahead."

Martin, who entered the weekend in 4th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, missed out on an opportunity to gain some ground in the points. Gordon, whom Martin has battled for the title each of the last two years, finished the race in 43rd after his wreck. Martin will advance some on both Gordon and 5th-place Skinner, but not as much as he might have.

Although he was frustrated with the finish, Martin was able to remain philosophical.

"You're gonna have days like this, but you wish you didn't," Martin said.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mike Skinner , Mark Martin