By U.S. Army RacingApril 23, 2007
PHOENIX (Army News Service, April 23, 2007) - Despite problems Mr. Mark Martin encountered in his Car of Tomorrow debut Saturday night, the savvy U.S. Army driver still managed to pull off a respectable 12th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway.
Mr. Martin, who missed NASCAR's previous two COT races (Bristol and Martinsville) as part of his limited 2007 schedule with Ginn Racing, is 10th in the Nextel Cup driver standings. In the six races in which he has competed, Mr. Martin has averaged a 6.16 finish. In owner points, the 01 Army team is ranked fifth.
"That was a pretty hard race tonight," said Mr. Martin. "We never really did get a handle on the car, and we just weren't able to get going all night. I couldn't get the Army Chevy to hook up coming off (turn) four like we were able to do during Friday's practice. We still have work to do on our Car of Tomorrow program, but we'll keep plugging away and get better."
"Still, Ryan (Pemberton, crew chief) did a great job calling the race and the pit crew was once again awesome," added Mr. Martin. "When you don't have it all together and still finish 12th, that says something about the quality of this team. We're like our Soldiers, we never give up."
Mr. Martin started the race 20th, but was never able to get his U.S. Army Chevrolet dialed in on the one-mile oval. He ran in the mid to high teens for the majority of the 312-lap event before gaining track position late in the race to finish 12th. It was the first time in six races that he failed to post a top-10 result.
Mr. Martin will take off next weekend's race at Talladega. He will return to action the following week in Richmond. Regan Smith will pilot the 01 car at Talladega Superspeedway in the Aaron's 499 Sunday.