Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mark Martin Wins Sylvania 300 to Kick Off 2009 Chase for the Cup

For this 5th win of the year, Mark Martin took his #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory lane for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Speedway.

Dominated in the early going by #42 Target Chevrolet of Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet, Stewart fell from contention due to repairs on an axle cap found to be loose midway through the event ultimately resulting in a 14th place finish. Also strong in the New Hampshire Sprint Cup event for much of the race was Dale Earnhardt Jr driving his #88 Chevrolet through an unlucky 2009 season. His misfortune continues to reign as David Reutimann #00 Toyota's overreaction to Denny Hamlin's half-hazardous braking sent the #00 up to the #88 resulting on Earnhardt losing his car slamming the wall hard on lap 283. Earnhardt finished 35th on the day expressing displeasure in Reutimann explaining that "he ran out of talent".

Using some late race strategy and taking advantage of a debris caution in the final stages of the New Hampshire event, Mark Martin was in first place position for a restart after a caution for AJ Allendinger bracing for a double file race to the checkered flag with 3 laps to go. Holding off a vibrant effort from polesitter Juan Pablo Montoya and the #11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin, Martin broke into sole position of the lead to win as caution fell in the final few hundred feet of the race.

By winning the first race inside the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Mark Martin takes the point lead by 35 points over Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson.

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