By U.S. Army RacingJuly 9, 2007
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Army News Service, July 9, 2007) - Mark Martin battled back to finish 17th after picking up 13 positions in the closing laps of Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
The Ginn Racing driver restarted his No. 01 Principal Financial Chevrolet in 30th position after being forced to pit with a cut right-rear tire just moments before the race went green on Lap 147 of 160.
"We just didn't have a lot of luck out there tonight," said Mr. Martin. "But we were able to dig down and fight back at the end. It might not have been the finish we were looking for in the Principal Financial Chevy, but it sure could have been a lot worse. As always, I'm proud of this No. 01 team for not giving up."
Mr. Martin was running in 16th position when the night's seventh caution was issued on Lap 143. The team opted to stay out, but moments before the field was set to resume green-flag racing Mr. Martin noticed that he had a tire going down. Mr. Martin's spotter was able to confirm the tire was flat and the 01 car entered the pits just as the rest of the field went green.
Mr. Martin was able to take on right-side tires and stay on the lead lap. The race's eighth caution just a few laps later allowed Mr. Martin to catch up with the field for the final restart and battle for track position.
Mr. Martin started the race ninth based on owner's points after qualifying was rained out on Saturday. The veteran fought a tight-handling racecar in heavy traffic for the majority of the race.
"It just didn't click for us tonight," said Mr. Martin. "We were able to come back, but we have a much better team than we showed."
The 01 Ginn Racing team remained ninth in the owner point standings. Despite missing five races, Mr. Martin is 18th in driver points.
Mr. Martin and the team will return to action next week at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Chicagoland is the only track on the Nextel Cup circuit where Mr. Martin has never finished in the top five. He does boast a trio of top-10 finishes in six starts.