A savvy two-tire stop helped Mark Martin achieve the track position he needed to grab his first point win of the season. Once Martin got out front he denied the advances of teammate Greg Biffle to easily earn his 35th career win. "This is a...
A savvy two-tire stop helped Mark Martin achieve the track position he needed to grab his first point win of the season. Once Martin got out front he denied the advances of teammate Greg Biffle to easily earn his 35th career win.
"This is a really special day for me. I want to thank all the fans for the support I have had this year. And I want to thank Pat Tryson (crew chief) and the crew for giving me a great Ford today."
Martin, who has one previous win in 2005, the Nextel All-Star event (which does not award points), led a race-high 139 laps, "I always tell these guys if you give me the lead and four fresh tires you are going to get a fight from me. Today, I had the car to do it."
Biffle was out front for 47 laps, but once teammate Martin got by the No. 16 Ford just didn't have the juice to master a pass on the No. 6 car. He finished second.
"I was hounding him like a cat trying to pounce on him," said Biffle of the battle with Martin. "I was trying to put enough pressure on him to try and get him to make a mistake. I saw him sideways a couple of times but it is really hard to get Mark Martin to make a mistake."
A Roush sweep of the top-three spots is completed by Carl Edwards third place result.
"I wasn't patient enough," said Edwards. "They gave me the car it was there but you have to be so precise here.a 1-2-3 day for Roush Racing is awesome."
Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth complete the top five.
"Not to bad for a car that was a little off," said Stewart. "We threw an alternator belt early and we had to shut all the electrical switches off.late in the run there when all of the cars were getting a little better it was hard to keep up. So, for us to get a top five out of it I am really proud of these guys."
Kenseth brought the field to the green flag and was running the No. 17 up front when Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Brandon Ash and Ryan Newman made contact bringing out the day's first caution period.
The leaders came onto pit road for service with Kenseth taking two tires and getting off first on the restart at lap 20. Kenseth quickly pulled out to a two-second advantage on the rest of the competition.
All 43 cars were on the lead lap when a debris caution emerged at lap 40 bringing the entire grid in for service. Kenseth once again beat everyone off pit road retaining the top spot.
Kenseth remained the leader until lap 73 when teammate Biffle powered by the No. 17 Ford. Kenseth began to freefall through the top ten suffering a rear tire vibration. The No. 17 Ford team got a lucky break when a yellow flag for debris came out on lap 93.
Biffle led the field down pit road and emerged at the front once service was completed on the No. 16 Ford. Biffle led until a caution period saw the No. 6 Ford of Martin beat Biffle off pit road for the lead.
Martin continued to lead through green flag pit stops on lap 200. The leaders pitted again after Michael Waltrip blew an engine on lap 217. Martin continued to lead on the restart at lap 222 pursued by Stewart and Biffle.
With 44 to go, Bobby Labonte smacked the wall slowing the field for the seventh time but no one had anything for Martin. Martin at times was challenged by Biffle for the lead but in the closing laps of the event the No. 16 Ford just couldn't make any ground on Martin.
Tony Stewart continues to lead series standings. Ryan Newman (-75), Greg Biffle (-88), Rusty Wallace (-90), Jimmie Johnson (-92), Carl Edwards (- 95), Mark Martin (-113), Matt Kenseth (-116), Jeremy Mayfield (-157) and Kurt Busch (-224).
There were seven cautions for 27 laps and 12 lead changes among 16 drivers.