Martinsville – Post Race Report
Martin Scores Top-10 Finish for FedEx Racing in Relief Role at Martinsville
Mark Martin finished 10th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, subbing for injured driver Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota.
Martin started 35th on the tough, half-mile 'paper clip' and overcame early contact on the track and a pit road miscue to log the FedEx team's second top-10 finish of the 2013 season in the event won by Jimmie Johnson.
"We overcame a lot in the race, but this team never gave up," said Martin. "We just kept working on the car and it kept getting better. We were tight for most of the race and Darian (Grubb, crew chief) and the guys made great changes. It was an honor to drive this #11 car."
Battling a tight race car in the middle of the corner throughout the early portion of the 500-lap race, Martin settled in near the top-20 before sustaining left-side damage after being collected in a wreck in front of him. Luckily, the damage was not severe, and Martin came into the pits for minor repairs.
After the race's midpoint, Martin had moved into the top-20 during a long green-flag run and held off the leaders coming through lapped traffic before another caution.
While in the pits for service, the #11 car came off the jack before the left-side tires were secure, causing more damage and a penalty for repairs outside the pit box, and the team lost a lap to the leaders.
However, a pair of quick cautions allowed the team to take advantage of the wave around to get back on the lead lap and then get fresh tires for the final dash to the checkered flag.
The car was at its best for the final 100 laps, where Martin moved towards the front to take the checkered flag in 10th.
Martin's finish moved the #11 car into ninth in the NASCAR owner's standings after six of 26 regular season races.
The Series returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 13, where Brian Vickers will take over the #11 Toyota.