NO. 6 "BLUE CREW" COMES THROUGH IN CLUTCH The ViagraÂ® Racing Team over the wall crew key in Martin's Kansas Victory CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2005) * Mark Martin found himself in the front of the field at the half-way point of Sunday's Banquet...
NO. 6 "BLUE CREW" COMES THROUGH IN CLUTCH
The Viagra® Racing Team over the wall crew key in Martin's Kansas Victory
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2005) * Mark Martin found himself in the front of the field at the half-way point of Sunday's Banquet 400 at the Kansas Motor Speedway. Knowing his car worked perfectly in the clean air and with 134 laps remaining in the race the team knew the best way to end up front would be to stay up front. That task would fall not only on the talented driving skills of Martin, but on the performance of Martin's over-the-wall crew. Twice the team would be called upon to keep Marin in the front of the pack and twice they would fight off all challenges for the lead; thus helping to propel Martin to his 35th career Nextel Cup victory.
"I tell you what, those guys are my heroes," said Martin. "They help put me in front and then they kept me there. I asked each and every one of those guys to come back this year and they did and then on Sunday they put me in a position to win the race. They got me there and kept me there. All I had to do was drive that thing. I can't say enough about those guys that go over the wall."
The team first put Martin in the lead, when crew chief Pat Tryson 'two tired' the field on lap 121. The move and a solid stop put Martin in the lead for the first time on lap 122. Martin led for the next 58 laps and it would be up to the No. 6 Viagra® Team to keep him there when the team came into the pits on lap 180 for a green-flag stop for fuel and fresh tires. The team came through in the clutch, knocking out a near perfect 13.60-second stop and holding on to Martin's lead when the field cycled through its stops on lap 185.
The team would again be called upon when the day's sixth caution was called on lap 216. Knowing Martin could go the rest of the race on just one more stop, the team came into the pits on lap 222 for what would be its final stop of the day. With the pressure turned up to full heat, the team came through with one of its fastest stops of the year, a 13.20-second stop for four tires and fuel, that put Martin out in front for good when the field went green with only 45 laps remaining.
Martin was able to hold on to the lead and run out to the victory, his first point's win of 2005 and the "Salute To You" season.
"They got it done," said Martin. "It's hard to win a race and with all the pressure in the world on them, those guys were able to get in there and not only give us a good stop, but with the pressure at an all-time high, they gave their best stop and that's the mark of a championship caliber team. I don't know if we can come back and win this thing or not, but these guys are all champions in my book * no matter what."
The team will return to action this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which Martin commonly regards as his favorite track. Martin and the No. 6 Team won there in May in the Nextel All-Star Challenge and they'll be looking for a return to victory lane this Saturday night.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates ten motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.