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NASCAR Veteran Mark Martin is Series’ 15th Different Winner in Past 26 Races
February 20, 2006
Martin’s GM FlexFuel 250 win sets record … Although inactive since his Sept. 28, 1996 victory at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway until the final race of the 2005 season, Mark Martin (No. 6 Scotts Ford) nonetheless goes into the record book with the greatest number of seasons between wins at eight. Skinner broke a seven-season lull last August at Bristol. Martin’s Daytona win was a record-extending 38th for Roush Racing and first on the series for crew chief Mike Beam, who twice finished second in 2005 with Raybestos Rookie of the Year Todd Kluever. Martin became the 15th different winner in 26 races since the beginning of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck season. Jack Roush became the second series owner to win multiple Daytona races.
NASCAR's Loop Data Statistic Analysis from Daytona
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – GM FlexFuel 250
Mark Martin’s dominant run to victory is demonstrated by a close look at his loop data statistics. An examination of the box score shows that Martin never fell lower than 10th during the race and Martin needed only 58 green flag passes en route to victory, primarily because he led 42 laps. All of Martin’s passes were quality passes, which denotes each time a driver passes a competitor in the top 15.
Martin scored the highest driver rating of any NASCAR driver during the weekend, achieving an impressive 138.7.
Other indicators of Martin’s solid performance are finishing second among fastest drivers early in a run, first among fastest drivers in turn one, second among fastest drivers in turn three and third among fastest drivers in turn four. However, Martin was just 11th fastest in the frontstretch and just 18th fastest in the backstretch.
Martin’s solid performance in the turns and number one ranking in speed in traffic may give credence to those who say that Daytona is not all about horsepower, but is also about how well a car or truck handles.
Martin dominates in Daytona truck series victory
Martin was able to hold off a parade of Toyotas for second career truck series win.
Mark Martin and the #6 Scotts Racing Team
Daytona International Speedway/February 17, 2005
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – Mark Martin’s 2006 Craftsman Truck Series schedule kicked off with a bang on Friday night, with Martin starting first and finishing there as well, for his second career win in the series. Martin led 42 of the race’s 102 laps and was in control for most of the night. After a late caution Martin was shuffled back to ninth, before teaming with Roush Racing teammate Erik Darnell to move back to the front by lap 87 with only 13 laps to go. Martin looked in control before the race’s fourth caution on lap 97. The caution set up a green-white-checkered finish, with Martin out in front of a parade of Toyota trucks. However, another caution just seconds after the field went green foiled any plans to move around Martin, as the veteran was able to move on to the victory in the season opener.
“I just want to thank everybody, especially the Roush Racing guys and Scotts for supporting this thing and coming on board. I was really sweating at the end there, because I was afraid they were going to gang up on us. Still, it worked out there in the end and this was a lot of fun. I have to take my hat off to Mike Beam and this entire No. 6 Scotts team. They really did their homework and it showed out there tonight.”
Martin started the race first after winning the pole in Thursday night’s qualifying session, and battled for the lead for the first several laps of the race, before being shuffled out of the pack, just to come back and regain the lead on lap 47. He was again shuffled back to seventh place and out of the lead pack of trucks, before teaming up with a second group of trucks. The second group caught up with the lead pack by lap 53 and three laps later Martin was back in the lead.
He would lead the next 21 laps before pitting under the race’s third caution on lap 74. Martin would waste no time, retaking the lead again on lap 80. One lap later he was shuffled back to fourth place, before working the draft to retake the lead for good on lap 87.
The victory was Martin’s second in the Craftsman Truck Series, and his first since 1996. Martin now has two victories, three top-fives and four top 10’s in only four career starts in the series. He will return to action in the Truck Series next week at California Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Scotts Ford, crosses the finish line holding a checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series GM Flex Fuel 250 on February 17, 2006 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Mark Martin wins GM Flex Fuel 250 at Daytona
By Bruce Martin
SportsTicker Contributing Editor
February 17, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Just give Mark Martin a little time and he can win in just about anything. Martin proved that by winning Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series GM Flex Fuel 250 at Daytona.
It was the first NCTS victory in 10 years for Martin, whose last win in this series came at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina in 1996.
There is good reason for Martin's long layoff, as the 47-year-old is a fulltime Nextel Cup Series competitor and had only made two truck starts since then.
"It feels pretty good, that's a good way to start off the weekend," said Martin, who started at the pole in a Ford F-150. "That's a lot of fun. I was really glad to see some help out there at the end."
Martin was able to defeat Todd Bodine's Toyota Tundra in a race which finished under the yellow flag after Jack Sprague crashed on a restart for a "green-white-checkered flag" finish.
"It's the rules," said Bodine, who was frustrated at not having a chance to challenge Martin in the waning laps. "You have to play by them because it's their ball and their ballpark, so we have to play it the way they want."
Martin led 42 of the 102 laps in the race. Ted Musgrave's Toyota finished third followed by Mike Skinner's Toyota and Sprague's Toyota.
This is Martin's first career victory in 53 career starts in a points race at Daytona (Nextel, Busch Series and NCTS).
"The truck was really fast," Martin said. "It didn't handle as well as I would like for it to. I only practiced just a little bit. When I got shuffled back, I had to hurry up. I knew they were going to try to run me down, but they weren't going to do it just yet. I wasn't going to concede anything. We did what we had to do and it came out in our favor tonight."
With Martin easing out of the Nextel Cup Series and looking to race in more NCTS events, his competitors were not surprised to see him in victory lane.
"Mark's truck was especially built for this race," Musgrave said. "When Todd and I were in line, we could have passed him but it would have brought the mess with us. We didn't want to do that because it would have drug the rest of the field up front. Mark is going to be a tough competitor, but there are a lot of guys in that garage area that can win races in this series."
Martin and Erik Darnell, who finished sixth, drive for Roush Racing. It was the second win in this event in the last three years for Roush Racing, which sent Carl Edwards to victory lane in 2004. It is also Roush Racing's 38th win in the series, extending the team's record for wins.
Germain Racing had two drivers in the top three with Bodine and Musgrave. Bodine was attempting to win a fourth consecutive NCTS race.
"Not only did we keep in step, we picked it up," he said. "People have to understand, this is one race team with two drivers. We finished second and third here, so that's something to be proud of on our team."
There were several spectacular crashes in the race including a huge pileup in the third turn involving Aric Almirola, who ran over Mike Wallace's truck. The crash sent Almirola's truck airborne, but it landed on all four wheels. Those drivers were trying to avoid Kraig Kinser, who hit the wall to trigger the crash.
None of the drivers involved were injured.
Mark Martin (R) celebrates his win in the GM FlexFuel 250 Craftsman Truck Series race with owner Jack Roush (L) at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida February 17, 2006. Martin drove his number 6 Scotts Ford in the race, which leads up to running of the 48th Daytona 500 NASCAR race on February 19. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Martin gets rare Daytona victory
By Mark Long
AP Sports Writer
February 17, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- After so many Daytona disappointments, Mark Martin was prepared for another one.
Instead, he found rare success at his least favorite track Friday night.
Martin won the season-opening Craftsman Truck series race at Daytona International Speedway, picking up his eighth victory at the famed track in 111 races. Four of those wins were in the Rolex 24-hour sports car race.
``That's a good way to start the weekend,'' said Martin, who also will race in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Driving a partial truck series schedule, Martin took the lead with 13 laps remaining, got a fortuitous caution flag in overtime and cruised into Victory Lane.
Martin once gave away a Busch Series victory when he turned onto pit road before taking the checkered flag in a similar situation.
``I've messed this up before,'' Martin radioed while completing the final two laps under caution. ``This race isn't over with yet.''
Toyota teammates Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave finished second and third.
Musgrave, the defending series champion, said if the race would have finished under green, he would have teamed up with Bodine to run Martin down. Bodine closed last season with three consecutive wins.
``Mark got his Christmas present because we had a plan,'' Musgrave said. ``It's a last-lap deal where you just use the brakes real quick, let him shoot out, and then we come charging like a freight train.''
Martin somewhat agreed.
``I wasn't sitting too pretty there on that restart, but it did turn out,'' he said. ``I don't know how they were going to do it just yet, but I'm sure they were going to try like heck. And I know that I had my hands full, but I sure hadn't conceded the win yet. They were going to have to take it, pry it out of my hands.''
No doubt, especially given Martin had more experience at Daytona than the two of them combined -- just very few victories.
Martin's only other stock-car wins at Daytona came in the Budweiser Shootout exhibition race (1999) and in the IROC series (2003, 2005).
He had hoped to add to his total earlier Friday in the IROC event, but crashed out early and finished last. It gave him plenty of time to prepare for his fourth truck race in his long and storied career. He has won half of those starts in the truck series. His other victory came in his second start, at North Wilkesboro in 1996.
Martin led 42 of 102 laps and was in control until a late caution reset the field. Martin was shuffled back to ninth, then powered his way back to the front.
He was back in first when a caution came out with three laps to go, setting up a green-white-checker finish. The restart was for naught, as Ron Hornaday Jr. spun out and wrecked several other trucks. That instantly froze the field, meaning Martin only had to complete the final two laps under yellow for the win.
``Kind of made it easy on me here at the end without me having to fight for it,'' Martin said.
Ford Post Race Notes & Quotes - GM Fuel Flex 250 - Other Ford drivers at web site
Mark Martin Post Race Notes & Quotes - NASCAR Truck - GM Fuel Flex 250
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
"I just want to thank everybody, especially the Roush Racing guys, and Scotts for supporting this thing and coming on board. Those Ford drivers were awesome out there. Driver X Erik Darnell did a fabulous job and he got a chance to lead the race. We got a lot of help from the Ford drivers. I was really sweating there at the end because I was afraid they were going to gang up on us, the other brand. But, I had a little bit of help there at the end and everything just worked out. Mike Beam and everybody at Roush Racing has done their homework and it really showed today."
WHAT COULD YOU HAVE DONE IF THE RESTART WENT GREEN TILL THE END?
"You know Todd was really strong and he ran a really smart race. I just had to make sure that I kept him behind me and I didn't have to do that long because the caution came back out. Like I say, I had a lot of help from my friends out there, and these guys made my job a little bit easier with a great truck."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRUCK SERIES
"I loved it before, but I love it more now."
Martin takes a victory at Daytona
By Nancy Knapp Schilke - Motorsport.com
Racing series NASCAR-TRUCK
Mark Martin and Daytona International Speedway have not been the best of friends over the years and earlier this evening that looked like bad karma for the rest of the weekend. In the IROC race, the defending IROC champion Martin had an early exit.
Yet, in his Roush Racing No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150, Martin silenced the naysayers on his "jinx" at the speedway by taking the victory in tonight's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 2006 season opener.
"Well, you know, I was just really fortunate to be the benefactor of Mike Beam in the team," commented the race winner. "You know, having just an incredibly fast truck with unbelievable horsepower."
Martin will be running a limited number of NCTS races this season, sharing the No. 6 Ford with rookie David Regan. "I didn't know that I was going to race the truck during the test. Only spent about an hour in it. Got it driving, you know, what I thought was probably good enough for a rookie, David Regan, and turned it over to him."
Martin look to be out for a Sunday drive in the final laps to earn his fifth win at the famed Daytona circuit, on both oval and the road course. Two of his victories came in IROC competition (2003, '05) and his NASCAR win was in the Budweiser Shootout back in 1999. His road course win came with Paul Newman, Tommy Kendall and Michael Brockman in the 1995 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in a Ford Mustang dubbed "Nobody's Fool" in the GTS-1 class.
And yet, there was a moment of anxiety. The caution came out opening up the green-white-checker scenario. Last time that happened in a Busch series race, Martin pitted while in the lead. This time, he stayed out saying to his crew: "I've messed this up before, this race isn't over with yet."
This time it was Ron Hornaday who had the gremlin. The two-time NCTS champion spun out in his Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet Silverado and a multi-truck wreck occurred, freezing the field per NASCAR rules. The final two laps were under yellow.
The two Germain Racing teammates Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave came home second and third in their Toyota Tundras with Bodine edging out the defending champion.
"Kind of made it easy on me here at the end without me having to fight for it," said a relieved Martin as he admitted, "You know Todd was really strong and he ran a really smart race. I just had to make sure that I kept him behind me and I didn't have to do that long because the caution came back out.
"Like I say, I had a lot of help from my friends out there, and these guys made my job a little bit easier with a great truck."
While Musgrave commented: "Mark got his Christmas present because we had a plan. It's a last-lap deal where you just use the brakes real quick, let him shoot out, and then we come charging like a freight train."
Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague, two more NCTS champions, rounded out the top five, both driving Toyota Tundras.
Roush Racing's Eric Darnell came home as the top rookie, placing his Ford in sixth overall.
Daytona: Top three finishers, top rookie press conference - Complete press conference at web site
Mark, take us through your race this evening.
MARK MARTIN: Well, you know, I was just really fortunate to be the benefactor of Mike Beam in the team. You know, having just an incredibly fast truck with unbelievable horsepower. I didn't know that I was going to race the truck during the test. Only spent about an hour in it. Got it driving, you know, what I thought was probably good enough for a rookie, David Regan, and turned it over to him.
Really we didn't put as much time into getting it handling maybe as good as we could have. So short notice came up, Scotts came on board, you know, for the full season, so they want me to drive here at Daytona. So I knew it was going to be a fast truck.
But anyway, I was the benefactor of all of that. I didn't have a whole lot to do with it other than just strapped down in a rocket ship. I had some luck on my side there at the end. That 'green-white-checkered', I wasn't sitting too pretty there on that restart. But it did turn out (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mark Martin.
Q: There's a lot of tough talk up on the stage before you came in that they were definitely running you down. Is there any doubt about that in your mind? How were they going to do it?
MARK MARTIN: I don't know how they were going to do it just yet. But I'm sure they were going to try like heck.
You know, I know that I had my hands full. But I sure hadn't conceded the win yet. They were going to have to take it, pry it out of my hands to take it.
You know, as it played out, fortunate for me, I had some good Ford helpers to get me back in the lead. We really got shuffled back there with not too far to go.
How about Erik Darnell, Driver X, coming up through there, rebounding from being a lap down? You know, Crawford, even Compton, and all the guys kind of helped me back to the front.
But when I counted those dudes before the restart, I knew that the deck was kind of stacked against us. We do what we can do. It turned out in our favor tonight.
But, you know, I want to say that I did have a blast out there tonight. I love the Truck Series racing. It is just so much fun. These guys were spectacular. I mean, you couldn't find a better group of drivers to race with. What a great race. Just all these guys that were running up there in the top 10, I can't say enough for, you know, great drivers like are up on this stage here, as well as Mike Skinner, just all the guys. We had a great group of guys to race with. We had a good race. Everybody came out of it without too many scrapes.
Q: Mark, your thoughts on finally winning a race here at Daytona.
MARK MARTIN: Well, I've won two IROC races, a Bud Shootout and two or three 24-Hours. It's not the first time. But it certainly would be the first time I won a 500 if we could pull that off Sunday, so... I'm not sure they'll be able to find me in California when practice starts. If we win the 500, I may just get lost. I may be so happy I just don't even show up (smiling).
We have as good a car as I've ever had for the 500. I can't tell you what it would mean to win this thing. But realistically speaking, it would be pretty big to all the 42 other drivers starting the race, too. It's a tall order. I have a good car. We'll see what happens Sunday.
Q: Mark, it seems like you had a heck of a time tonight. We know you don't like this place too much. If you go back to the IROC race, look at the bump-drafts we saw in that race, do you have concerns for Sunday from what you saw tonight in the IROC race?
MARK MARTIN: This was a whole different race than anything I've run here in years and years and years. From watching it, I say the Truck Series racing is the best racing in NASCAR. Boy, I sure felt like it out there with them, too. I love watching 'em race. Always watch their races. Certainly being out there with them was just a blast. It's not quite like any restrictor plate race I've ever run, you know, because the trucks are pretty much unrestricted.
Just, you know, a really smart race by these guys. The trucks don't handle quite as good as the cars. It makes the drivers have to work for it a little bit more. That's a good thing.
Q: You seem a lot happier driving right now. What is the prospect of racing the trucks full-time next year?
MARK MARTIN: I'm driving the truck seven races this year because I know I have a lot to learn, and I want to try to, you know, learn as much as I can with the team, and also we really need to give Erik and David Regan, you know, a better shot at showing what they can do than I think what we did last year for Todd Kluever and Ricky Craven. We needed to step up the program. You know, I'm trying to, you know, do that and trying to help Erik and David show what they can do this year a lot more.
It's a busy schedule. I've got a lot on my plate. But my heart is in the Truck Series. I'm headed that way.
Q: Mark, what is your next truck start?
MARK MARTIN: That will be California next week. Here we go. Whole new deal.
Q: I don't know whether you believe in destiny or fate or any of that stuff. Last year was supposed to be your last year. You got talked back into coming back into Cup by Jack. In a way, if you end up winning the Daytona 500, you got to feel like there was a little bit of destiny involved in all that.
MARK MARTIN: You know, it's very possible. I mean, I don't know. The worst thing in the world that could happen would be I'd have, you know, a very disappointing year and have to finish off my Cup deal on a down note.
But the very best thing that could happen would be, you know, a Daytona, Brickyard win, something like that, a championship. I mean, it's very possible. We have the same people. We've got the same team that contended the last two years for the championship, finishing fourth.
You know, I don't know. We're going to get in there and dig and maybe things will fall our way. If they don't, we're going to fight tooth and nail anyway for everything we can get.
Mark Martin Post Qualifying Notes & Quotes - GM Flex Fuel 250
Ford Racing: News
February 16, 2006
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
"Mike Beam and the whole team there at Roush Racing has just done an incredible job with this F-150. We thought that David Ragan was going to drive it in the race, so I came over and spent about an hour with the guys driving it in the test and that was it. I didn't know that I was going to end up driving it, but then when Scotts came on board I told them that I would drive it here if they would commit to the whole season. For the seven races that I drive it will be sponsored by Scotts, but then for David Ragan, the whole rest of the season will be as well. So here I am, and I'm having a ball. I'm having a blast. You know, I didn't have anything to do with that at all. That was all Mike Beam and Roush Racing there."
WITH YOUR LACK OF PRACTICE AND DRAFTING IN THE TRUCK, ARE YOU CONCERNED FOR TOMORROW?
"I should be, but I'm not right now. But, I should be. There's a reason why I didn't choose this race, but I have the great fortune of having such a fast truck that my strategy is to try to stay real near the front with that truck. If we can do that then it will be all good. You have a lot of really great drivers in this thing, but it's not so much that, I think these things just don't handle as good as the cars. I know mine has been a little bit more of a handful than our car, so I think that's really what it is. You have some of the best drivers in the business and a lot of Cup veterans and all over here in this series. I'll have a blast racing with those guys and with the young, new guys, too."
Mark Martin romps to Truck pole, Lester second fastest
By Jim Utter
The Charlotte Observer
February 16, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Mark Martin hasn't wasted any time establishing himself in what will soon be his new full-time home.Martin used a lap at 178.628 mph Thursday night to win the pole for Friday night's GM FlexFuel 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway (8:15 p.m. Eastern, Speed).
Martin has only three career series starts, but earned a win in his second series start at North Wilkesboro in 1996, but Thursday was his first series pole.
"It's a real privilege to drive that truck. I hadn't planned on racing this race," said Martin, who will move full time to the Truck series next season after wrapping up his Nextel Cup Series career. Martin is running seven races this season in the No. 6 Ford for Roush Racing.
"David Ragan was going to drive and came here for the test and I helped David a little bit and took the truck out and drove it about an hour and then turned it over to David and left it up to him.
"It wound up a last-minute surprise."
Toyota driver Bill Lester, who qualified second, broke up what would have been an all-Ford sweep of the top three positions.
Stacy Compton was third and Jon Wood fourth in Fords. Mike Skinner was fifth in a Toyota. Reigning series champion Ted Musgrave qualified 17th with his new Germain Racing team.
"We were feeling pretty good there, but in the back of our minds we saw Mark Martin had done in qualifying (practice) and he was pretty much head and shoulders above the field," Lester said.
"We were concerned what Martin would be able to do. Sure enough, he backed up what he did earlier. We were pretty good in drafting practice so we are very optimistic about (the race)."
The Truck series had a record 12 rookies attempt to make the field for Friday night's race, with Joey Miller posting the fasting speed.
Miller, 21, will start ninth in the No. 12 Toyota. Rookie Kraig Kinser, who won the October Automobile Racing Club of America race at Talladega, Ala., will line up 11th in the No. 47 Chevrolet.
2006 Mark Martin Track Notes - February 17, 2006
GM Flex Fuel 250 - Daytona International Speedway
#6 Scotts Ford F-150
February 8, 2006
MARTIN TO KICK OFF TRUCK SCHEDULE IN DAYTONA
Martin will kick off his 2006 Craftsman Truck Series campaign at Daytona International Raceway, where he will be making his first career start in the series at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Martin plans to run seven races in the series in 2006, sharing the seat of the No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 with up and comer and Driver X finalist David Ragan. Martin plans to move to the series full-time in 2007.
No. 30 – The team will use the same chassis that Todd Kluever used last year at Daytona and Texas.
MARTIN IN THE CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Martin has only three starts in the Truck series. The first two came in Sept. of 1996 and the third last year in the season finale at Homestead. Martin started his first race in the series on Sept. 5 1996, where he started fourth and finished third. Later that month on Sept. 28 he registered his first and only win in the series, starting second and taking the checkered flag in the Lowe's 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He finished eighth last year at Homestead, in a weekend where he competed in all three of NASCAR's premiere series.
While this will be Martin's first start in the Truck Series at Daytona, he is certainly no stranger to the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Martin has started a total of 52 races at Daytona International Speedway in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series, running to 11 top-five finishes and 21 top 10's. In addition, Martin has started 18 Budweiser Shootouts and Daytona, running to a win in the all-star event in 1999 and he has two wins and seven top five finishes in 10 career IROC starts at DIS.
QUOTING MARK ON THE TRUCK RACE AT DAYTONA
“I can't wait to get out there in the Truck and see what we can do. We had a whole lot of fun testing and I've had my eyes on this series for sometime now. We originally hoped to be running full time in the truck this season, but decided to put that off for a year. We'll still be running a total of seven races this year and I can't wait to get out there and just have a lot of fun and hopefully go and win some races. Mike Beam and the guys have done a great job with the trucks and they were really fast at the test, so I think we are going to be competitive when we go back out there in a few days for the race. It should be a whole lot of fun and we are really looking forward to it."
MARTIN IN THE CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Date, Event, Start, Finish, Laps, Led, Reason:
11/18/2005, Ford 200, 14, 8, 134/134, 1, Running
9/28/1996, Lowe's 250, 2, 1, 124/124, 15, Running
9/5/1996, Fas Mart Truck Shootout, 4, 3, 150/250, 73, Running
Races - 3
Wins - 1
Top 5 - 2
Top 10 - 3
Laps Led - 89
Poles - 0