Mark Martin Scores Runner-Up Finish at Dover; Team Chevy Drivers Hold Seven of Top-12 in Race to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Standings
DOVER, Del (May 15, 2011) – In what seems to be trending toward the norm near the end of a race, Mark Martin’s crew chief, Lance McGrew, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, took advantage of track position with a pit call to stay out when the final caution flew for the final time on lap 363 of the 400-lap race today at Dover International Speedway.
On the restart, Martin was the leader as the field took the green flag but had to give way to race winner Matt Kenseth with just 369 laps to go. The pair pulled away from the field and perennial fan favorite brought home the runner-up finish in the 400-lap/400-mile FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks.
Martin now sits 11th in the standings with 11 of 36 races in the record books.
Clint Bowyer powered the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet from the 22nd starting position to finish in sixth place. He was credited for leading once for a total of 29 laps and moved up one place in the standings to eighth position.
Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, led nine times for a total of 207 laps when the no-tires, two-tires, four-tires strategy played out on the final stop as the field came off pit road. Johnson is second in the standings, 24 points out of the top-spot.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, also took four tires on the last stop and finished in 10th place to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 finishers. Harvick remains fifth in points.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy Sugar-Free/National Guard Chevrolet, also had a strong run the majority of the race and finished 12th to remain fourth in the point standings.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is seventh in the standings after battling handling issues that put him 21st in the final order.
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, is 10th in points to give Team Chevy seven of the top-12 Chase contending drivers. He finished 29th in today’s race.
Next weekend, the series takes a mental break from running for points to compete in the Sprint All Star Race for a $1 million prize at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night, May 21, 2011.
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2ND
POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
THE MODERATOR: We welcome into the media center Mark Martin. Mark, this is your first top five of the season. Talk a little bit about the race today.
MARK MARTIN: It was another great race at Dover. Golly, I love this place. I always get excited about coming here to race. You know, we had a really fast racecar. Today we finally got a finish. Looked like we were going to get 15th again with a really fast racecar. We’ve had a racecar this good a lot this year. Seems like for some reason or another we wind up in the back of the pack and we just don’t have enough to climb our way back to the front.
This was a good race for us, great call by (crew chief) Lance (McGrew), great teamwork. We’ve had great teamwork all year. I’m proud of this race team. I’m proud of these guys.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll open it up for questions for Mark Martin.
Q. Mark, Lance made the call to stay out. How good was your car after the green flag compared to how you expected it might have been?
MARK MARTIN: It was good. I feel like it could contend. I had enough speed to be right there without tires. We’ve had great teamwork all year. I’m proud of this race team, I’m proud of these guys.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Mark, Lance made the call to stay out. How good was your car after the green flag compared to how you expected it to be?
MARK MARTIN: It was good. I feel like it could contend. Matt had two tires there and had a little advantage on us for a little bit. Then after a little bit, we seemed to start breaking even. I know he had a little bit left. But I had enough speed to be right there without tires. All the guys behind me were dropping off.
You know, we’ve had racecars this good this year. Every time we turn around, something goes against us.
It was nice to have things go our way.
Q. Did you have a chance to discuss the call or was it just his?
MARK MARTIN: Next question.
Q. Mark, talk about how hard it was to catch somebody who is out in front?
MARK MARTIN: Well, like I said earlier this week, all the cars are almost the same speed, so it’s incredibly difficult. This is the era of NASCAR racing that we have today. Twenty years ago, there weren’t so many cars the same speed and passing and overtaking was easy. Not so easy now because you have the world’s greatest drivers, 40 deep, 40 darn good racecars out there, too. That’s to be expected.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Thanks very much for coming in this afternoon.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
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