Martin uninjured in Michigan crash

Martin uninjured in Busch Series crash By Dave Rodman BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 18, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, plagued in recent years by accident injuries and back trouble, escaped unscathed Friday morning in a crash during...

Martin uninjured in Busch Series crash
By Dave Rodman

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 18, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, plagued in recent years by accident injuries and back trouble, escaped unscathed Friday morning in a crash during NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Bud Pole Qualifying. The accident in Turn 2 of the two-mile speedway on Martin's first qualifying lap for Saturday's NAPAonline.com 250 wiped out the back end of Martin's No. 60 Winn-Dixie Ford. Martin, however, said the crash was not a hard impact.

As a consequence of the accident, Martin -- the NASCAR Busch Series' career victories leader with 44 -- missed qualifying for his first NBS race since the 1999 Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. Martin, who is competing in his final, limited NBS schedule, was not fast enough to make that field.

"Going down into Turn 1 there was a mist on the windshield," Martin said to his PR representative after leaving the infield care center Friday. "Going into Turn 2 the drops started to get bigger."

Later, he elaborated, blaming himself more than the track conditions.

"We're extremely disappointed to not make this race," said Martin, who won the event in 1993 and 1995. "I let it get away from me. I thought we could do it. I'm a big supporter of saying 'the show must go on.' I'm usually the last guy to throw in the towel on a damp track and it got us today."

A light, but persistent mist of rain plagued the one-hour morning NBS practice session and the early part of qualifying. There were no other incidents either in practice or qualifying. Martin, who turned the fifth-fastest lap in practice at 183.589 mph, was the 10th car to qualify.

At the time of Martin's accident, Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Harvick was on the pole with a lap of 183.744 mph in the ACDelco Chevrolet. Buckshot Jones won the Bud Pole in the Cheez-It Chevrolet with a record-breaking lap of 184.786 mph.

After Martin's accident, qualifying was delayed by about 25 minutes. When the session continued, Martin's opportunity to make the race was over. While Martin's Jack Roush-owned team is 35th in NBS car owner points, he is too high in the NASCAR Winston Cup driver points to be eligible for a NBS provisional starting position.

The last provisional starting position was awarded to Team SABCO driver Ted Musgrave, whose team is 33rd in NBS owner points.

Martin's 1995 average speed of 169.571 mph is the race record for the 200-mile distance previously used. Saturday's race will be 250 miles. -nascar.com-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Buckshot Jones , Ted Musgrave , Jack Roush , Mark Martin