The Pit Stop

March 1, 2008 7:55 PM

Mark Martin steels the win.

Tony Stewart comes into today looking to be the first driver in Nationwide Series history at the Sam’s Town 300 to win the first three races of the year. Jeff Burton though is looking to win this race for the third time in a row.

"Hopefully we give old spice a win today," said Tony Stewart.  "Grip is incredible," said Mark Martin.  Kyle Busch said that he was trying a bit too hard on his qualifying lap.

In qualifying earlier today Kyle Busch had the third fastest lap but crashed on his second qualifying lap putting him in a backup car and starting dead last.

The first half of the race included a whole bunch of cautions. The first one occurred on lap 3 for the spinning cars of Brad Baker, Derrike Cope, and DJ Kennington. One on lap 26 occurred for DJ Kennington as a tire blew out. This one brought in all the leaders. Tony Stewart got sent to the back for entering pit road too fast, Patrick Carpentier got sent to the back for exiting pit road too fast.

The next caution came out on alp 31 for Brad Keselowki. Tony Stewart came back onto to pit road in order to remove the driver side brake blower duck. After that it was straight to the front for Tony.

At lap 45 Steven Wallace and Mike Bliss got together. “Tires so hard here, said Steven. He also said it was a stupid thing to do.

Another caution occurred on lap 73 as Bobby Labonte spun out. “Just lost it,” said Bobby. “Really no excuse.” This finally led to the longest green flag run so far of the day that finally got Tony Stewart back into the lead of the race on a pass on Kyle Busch.

The first caution during the second half of the race belonged to Kyle Busch on lap 103 as a tire blows out putting him into the wall. “Right front tire went down,” said Kyle Busch “Bummer day.”

On lap 126 Brad Baker bring out another caution for a bad tire. After pit stops Mark Martin took the lead of the race. After the green flag dropped it went back to yellow pretty quickly for the spinning car of Marcos Ambrose who somehow does not wind up hitting the wall.

Racing went green for a few laps and then on lap 139 the cars of David Reutimann and Tony Stewart spins out. He led around 61 laps at the time of the accident.

“It got from underneath me,” said Tony Stewart.

With 50 laps left it was Mark Martin in the lead with Jeff Burton in second place. A few more laps go by and the engine in the Jeff’s car goes to junk. “Oil pressure regulator,” said Jeff Burton.

With 30 laps to go Mark Martin had around a 1 second lead over Greg Biffle. Green flag pit stops for the leaders were about to occur for cars with 15 laps to go and then the race tying twelfth caution for debris showed up.

Brad Keslowski and Dario Franchitti stay out to lead the race. Carl Edwards was the first car off pit road. At the drop of the green flag it was ten laps to go. It took a couple of laps and Carl was able to move into second place. A battle for the lead occurred with seven laps to go.

At the end of the next lap a slight tap by Mark Martin sends Carl Edwards into Brad Keslowski to bring out the caution. This brought out the green/white checker finish. “Really disappointing,” said Brad. Carl Edwards said that he wants to get mad but feels that Mark made a mistake.

After the green flag dropped it was smooth sailing for Mark Martin as he takes his 48th win in the Nationwide Series. His last win occurred in 2005.

"I've got to apologize before we do anything else," Martin said "I ran into the back of Carl. I hate it. I just hate it, really, because we could have had a 1-2 finish with JR Motorsports." He also stated how great it was to race for the Dale Jr. team.

“Great job in the pits,” said Greg Biffle. “Short run just killed us.” On the late accident Greg said, “Probably just nudged him(Carl) a little bit”

Even with the crappy finishes by Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch they are still the top two drivers in the points. Tony though is not going to be racing next week.

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