NASCAR’s 2009 Top 12

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. I’m reviewing the finishers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Finishing in second place is #5 Mark Martin. Mark retired several years ago. Or, so he said he was going to. He was driving for Jack Roush and decided he was going to retire at the end of the season.  He was going to retire, along with Rusty Wallace. Wallace went on to form his own Nationwide Series teams. Martin stayed another year with Roush. Then competed in a part time schedule with Dale Earnhardt Inc. At the end of last year, Rick Hendrick talked Martin into joining his organization. Martin felt this would be his best chance to drive a great car and win races, if not Championships.

With four wins going into the chase, tied with Kyle Busch for most wins, Mark starts the chase in first place. At 50 years old, Mark would be the oldest Champion. And is considered to be a serious threat for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. He has 39 career wins, four appearances in the Chase and one win in the chase. Mark has won at all the Chase tracks except the opener at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

So, what does Mark do in that first race? Win, of course! Followed by three top tens, two being top fours. A little trouble at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, with a 17th place finish. And a flip in the final lap at Talladega, with a 28th place finish, were his only bad races in the chase.

Again, Mark has never won at Homestead-Miami, but if he could have done it this year, he might have won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Sadly, for all Mark Martin fans, he only finished 12th. He was the only driver heading into that last race who still had a chance to win the title.

Mark finished second for the fifth time in his long career, 141 points behind this year’s winner, Jimmy Johnson. Mark will be competing with Hendrick at least until 2011, so maybe he can win next year.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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