Gambling in Vegas: Mark Martin Wins the Sam’s Town 300

Most people on the street are worried about saving gas so they do not spend a lot of money, considering the price of fuel. During today’s Sam Town’s 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Mark Martin saved his fuel the best to get his 49th career Nationwide Series win.

“Well, Trent Owens deserves that one – all the credit for it,” Martin said in victory lane. “He made the right calls and the only chance we had was to save, save and I just decided that I wasn’t going to run out of gas. With 2 to go, I decided to step on it as I figured I was close enough to be able to do it.

[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]”I can’t believe it. I don’t care how hard you try, you can’t win this things.Then when its time, it just happens.”

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Coming the white flag, it looked as if Brad Keselowski would be able to make on fuel. However, he had a flat tire and ended up in the wall.

“He was slowling quite a bit so I knew he was having fuel trouble or something so I stepped on it and tried to catch him.” Martin said.

The win marked the first ever win for Steve Turner and Turner Motorsports, as Turner bought Braun Racing from Todd Braun last year. They were able to play the strategy card after they pitted with 62 to go to check the tires after being in the middle of a wreck.

“We know we got in the wall so we needed to pit and look at our tires,” crew chief Trent Owen said. “Mark did a great job saving the fuel there.”

Mark Martin’s teammate Justin Allgaier finished second.

“I can’t say enough about everybody at Turner Motorsports and the Hendrick power under the hood,” Allgaier said. “These Chevys are running strong. I can’t say enough for what these guys are building. This is the most fun series that I’ve ever been around. Congratulations to Mark. That guy has got a lot of knowledge and is really helping our team.”

Brad Keselowski, after getting into the wall, finished third.

“We were about four to five laps good for fuel and he came on the radio and asked if he needed to save and I said he was good,” Todd Gordon, crew chief for Keselowski. “We must have just run something over as we’d run two fuel runs in the right sides before. He came on the radio and said he had a flat as we came across the finish line.”

Finishing fourth was Danica Patrick, becoming the highest finishing women in NASCAR Nationwide Series history. She topped her best career finish of 17th that she got last week at Phoenix.

“Just we worked so hard on the car this weekend,” Patrick said. “Went from loose to tight to loose to tight with the same set-up at times. We had a lot of practice time, which was good, but kind of confused us along the way. Missed those lucky dogs and finally got one. I asked Tony Jr to take a big swing at it to make it tight, not a small one but a swing at it, and it wasn’t good at the beginning, but it was good at the end.”

After starting 17th, she worked her way to just outside the top 10, and then into the top 10, before employing the fuel strategy to seal a top five finish.

“Qualifying wasn’t perfect, practice was up and down,” she said. “I was like, okay, we got a new car. Hopefully we can learn something so that way me and Aric (Almirola) can run up front at the next mile and a half.”

“I mean, we’ve been really consistant – the finishes haven’t shown it,” crew chief Tony Eury Jr. said. “Its really easy for her to run in the top 15. If we can get everything right, we can run in the top 10 with this girl. Luckily we got luck with fuel milage and got a top five out of this.”

Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne finished fifth using the same strategy, after finding trouble earlier. Bayne’s teammate and pole sitter Carl Edwards finished sixth after running in the top five most of the day.

“For Mark to win on fuel milage, its real frustrating for Mike Beam and I,” Edwards said. “It’s just frustrating as we’re trying to find marketing partners for all three cars.”

Denny Hamlin finished seventh, after also running up front all day.

“Its tough,” Hamlin said. “Once I saw we weren’t going to win the race, I backed off incase a caution came to save the tires. We were so equal in the long run, but thats part of racing. You have the right fuel milage, the right everything to be able to win.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leftler and Kenny Wallace rounded out the top 10.

It looked to be another Kyle Busch show at the beginning as he led the majorty of the first half, though wrecked on lap 71 after getting stuck back in traffic.

“I had a really big run off the top,” Busch said. “I didn’t want to go to the outside. I came down to the white line as I wanted to be there going into turn 1 and never got there. The 22 came down to block and I went down to the grass to try to avoid hitting him and I looked pretty stupid going down there. I made a mistake. That’s why I run these races. I take what I learn here and carry it forward.”

Reed Sorenson, who finished 11th, leads the Nationwide standings now, 2 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. They are followed by Leftler (-5), Patrick (-13), Allgaier (-16), Bayne (-24), and Almirola (-26).

Unofficial Race Results
Sam’s Town 300, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 5, 2011 – Race 3 of 34
Pos. St. No. Driver Make Pts. Bon. Laps Status

1 – 32 Mark Martin Chevrolet 0 0 200 Running

2 – 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 42 0 200 Running

3 – 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge 0 0 200 Running

4 – 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 40 0 200 Running

5 – 16 Trevor Bayne Ford 39 0 200 Running

6 – 60 Carl Edwards Ford 0 0 200 Running

7 – 20 Denny Hamlin Toyota 0 0 200 Running

8 – 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 36 0 200 Running

9 – 38 Jason Leffler Chevrolet 35 0 200 Running

10 – 9 Kenny Wallace Toyota 34 0 200 Running

11 – 30 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 33 0 200 Running

12 – 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 32 0 200 Running

13 – 62 Michael Annett Toyota 31 0 200 Running

14 – 11 Brian Scott Toyota 30 0 200 Running

15 – 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet 29 0 198 Running

16 – 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 28 0 198 Running

17 – 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 27 0 197 Running

18 – 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 26 0 196 Running

19 – 99 Ryan Truex * Toyota 25 0 195 Running

20 – 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet 24 0 194 Running

21 – 1 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 23 0 193 Running

22 – 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Dodge 22 0 193 Running

23 – 97 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 21 0 193 Running

24 – 15 Timmy Hill * Ford 20 0 193 Running

25 – 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 19 0 190 Running

26 – 81 Donnie Neuenberger Dodge 18 0 189 Running

27 – 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 17 0 181 In Pit

28 – 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 0 0 168 Running

29 – 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet 15 0 165 Running

30 – 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 0 0 130 In Pit

31 – 79 Jennifer Jo Cobb * Ford 13 0 127 Running

32 – 141 Carl Long Ford 12 0 83 In Pit

33 – 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet 11 0 72 Out

34 – 27 J.J. Yeley Ford 0 0 25 Out

35 – 25 Kelly Bires Ford 9 0 14 In Pit

36 – 55 Brett Rowe Chevrolet 8 0 12 In Pit

37 – 24 Kevin Lepage Ford 7 0 11 In Pit

38 – 39 Josh Wise Ford 6 0 10 In Pit

39 – 52 Daryl Harr Chevrolet 0 0 8 In Pit

40 – 103 Charles Lewandoski * Dodge 4 0 6 In Pit

41 – 168 Tim Andrews Ford 0 0 4 In Pit

42 – 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet 2 0 2 In Pit

43 – 87 Kevin Conway Chevrolet 0 0 2 In Pit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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