GORDON/BUSCH FEUD SIMMERS AFTER MARTINSVILLE Date: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:58 am Topic: DRIVER AND TEAM NEWS
MARTINSVILLE, Va.—Halfway through Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, you couldn’t blame Mark Martin for thinking, “Here we go again.”
On Lap 226 of 500, Martin smacked the frontstretch wall after a tap from AJ Allmendinger and lost a lap for repairs.
Then his fortunes turned. Martin finally regained the lost lap on the next caution as the first car one lap down on Lap 393. In the final 98 laps, he drove from 18th to second in a No. 5 Chevrolet that was the fastest car on the track during the closing green-flag run.
It has been a frustrating year for Martin, who missed the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season after finishing second to Jimmie Johnson last year.
“Lap 30, I started overheating my brakes, started having to baby them,” Martin said. “I thought there was no possible way we were going to run 500 laps. At Lap 150, 175, I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, it’s going to be a long, long day.’
“Then we had all the stuff tear up (in the Lap 226 wreck). I never really have much enjoyed this place, to be real honest with you. But that last hundred laps was fun. I’ve had guys pass me (in previous races), and I wondered how in the world they did that. Now I see how. What an incredible racecar that (crew chief) Alan Gustafson and everyone gave me.
“I feel darn lucky to have been in that seat today. … I ain’t mad we didn’t win. I’m glad we ran second, to be honest with you.” - www.sportingnews.com