NASCAR & Auto Racing

Martin finds a bright side

Mark Martin led 55 laps in Sunday’s race, but missteps on early pit stops put him back in the pack a bit and then he wound up on the wrong side of the pit strategy in the final portion of the race.

Still, he finished eighth and went home bragging on his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team.

“That was an awesome car,” he said. “I hate it for these guys but I told them to be proud of what we did do, don’t be disappointed at what we didn’t do. We did some great things today.

“We finished eighth on two stops when all of the cars but one ahead of us made one. That’s pretty awesome. That is a lot of speed.”

Martin did not stop before the red flag on Lap 129 for rain. That meant he had to make two more stops after the race resumed. Only Kasey Kahne, who wound up seventh, wound up ahead of him on the same cycle.

“We were going for the win,” Kahne said of his team’s call. “If it keeps on raining, we win. We took a chance today and it just didn’t work out like we wanted it to.”

- David Poole