Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mark Martin wins at PIR

Don’t tell Mark Martin he is old. On Saturday night, he won the Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Martin’s comeback didn’t come easy. Engine problems have plagued him early. Before Phoenix, he had won two poles and led laps in five of seven races.

Last night he started the race by leading the 102 of the first 103 laps. Despite a late caution, which deleted his four-second lead and brought the likes of Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and Jimmie Johnson--all former Cup champions--on his tail. When the green flag flew with six laps to go, Martin roared away from Stewart, looking every bit as strong as a 23 year old.

It’s been 20 years since Martin’s 1st Cup Victory, at Rockingham in 1989, and his 36th victory came last night. Between then and now, he’s finished in the top 10 in the standings 16 times, including four runner-up finishes.

Tony Stewart told the media last night, “The guy has been at the top of his game for 30 years. If I’m halfway as competitive as he is when I’m in my 50s, that would be an accomplishment”

Martin climbed to 13th in the standings, just nine points out of the top 12. This was his 4th straight top 10 finish.

Top 10:
1 Martin Martin
2. Tony Stewart
3. Kurt Busch
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Greg Biffle
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Martin Truex, Jr
8. David Reutimann
9. Sam Hornish, Jr
10. Carl Edwards

Other Notables:
11. Jamie McMurray
12. Reed Sorenson
17. Kyle Busch
19. Brian Vickers
25. Jeff Gordon
26. Clint Bowyer
31. Dale Earnhardt, Jr
33. Elliott Sadler
34. Scott Speed
35. AJ Allmendinger

The next race for the Sprint Cup Series is Sunday, April 26th at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. I’ll be at the race, so you’ll be getting a different perspective of the race. Coverage starts at 1pm/eastern time on Fox.