HAMPTON, Ga. (Army News Service, Oct. 29, 2007) - An accident forced Mark Martin to take an early exit from Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500 Nextel Cup race.

The incident was triggered when David Gilliland lost control of his No. 38 car on Lap 64 of 327. As Gilliland's machine was spinning down the banking, it took out Martin's U.S. Army Chevrolet.

The front-end damage to Martin's car was not repairable and the 01 team left Atlanta Motor Speedway with a frustrating 43rd-place finish.

"The spotter radioed that he (Mr. Gilliland) was spinning," said Mr. Martin. "I really wasn't comfortable driving into the smoke, so I tried to go low and I just got collected."

"Those things happen," added Mr. Martin, who was running in the low 20s prior to the accident. "Actually we've been pretty lucky this year. This is the first wreck I've been in all season and we are pretty late in the year to be saying that. We'll come back here tomorrow for a couple of days of testing with the COT and then we'll regroup and see what we can do in Texas next week."

The 01 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team remained 17th in owners points.

The race winner was Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top five in order were: Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton.

The Army team will spend Monday and Tuesday testing the Car of Tomorrow at Atlanta, before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for next weekend's Cup race.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16