Tag Archives: Mark Martin

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover

A week after winning the pole in Charlotte and driving home with a top-15 finish, Aric Almirola showed once again that Richard Petty Motorsports is a team on the verge of a breakthrough year. Almirola drove the No. 43 to a sixth-place result at the Monster Mile on Sunday, while teammate Marcos Ambrose finished 10th. That made RPM the only multi-car organization to see each of their entries finish inside the top 10 at Dover; it's also the first time the team has done it all season. Mike Ford continues to work wonders since becoming Almirola's crew chief; they haven't finished lower than 19th in four starts together.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Capital City 400 at Richmond

Everyone knows by now that the next Sprint Cup win for Hendrick Motorsports will be the organization’s 200th, but another driver is looking for a career milestone as well. Ryan Newman’s next pole will be the 50th of his career. Pole number 50 will move Newman, a driver known throughout his career for his qualifying ability, into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time pole winners’ list. Newman currently ranks third among active Sprint Cup drivers for pole positions, behind Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix

Chalk one up for the crazy old man. Not only did Mark Martin take the pole for Sunday’s race, he backed it up with a very competitive ninth-place finish, and Michael Waltrip Racing had two of its three cars in the top 10 at the end of the day, with Martin’s teammate, Martin Truex Jr. finishing seventh. Despite Clint Bowyer’s mechanical woes, it was a strong showing for Martin and MWR. Could this be the promise of better days ahead for the team?

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega

After the chaos that is Talladega, a pair of shoutouts go out this week. One goes to Dave Blaney, who worked all day with Brad Keselowski, hanging back for much of the race only to close at the end and finish third. The finish was a career best for Blaney, who runs for a small-time team in Tommy Baldwin Racing. Speaking of the smaller teams, two others made some real noise at Talladega as Casey Mears and Landon Cassill raced at the front of the field all day until the late-race mess destroyed their hope for a great finish. These are three drivers fighting for the sponsorship just to race, and they showed this weekend that they can get it done when the playing field is truly level.

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Bowles Thinks Out Loud For Matt: 2011 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol

Brad Keselowski beat Jeff Gordon off pit road during the race’s final caution, blew by two-tire Martin Truex, Jr. on the final restart and made the rest of the Bristol field look like they were the ones driving drunkenly impaired on Miller Lite. Gordon tried to catch him, but alas, Bristol is the new half-mile Fontana: fresher tires made little difference while aero and track position took center stage – even at 15 seconds a lap.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan

2011 has been a disappointing season for Greg Biffle, but it looked like this week would signal a turnaround when Biffle grabbed the pole on Friday. The No. 16 looked strong in the early going, but by the end, faded to 20th. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Roush Fenway team, whose sponsorship is up in the air after 2011. Really, it was a disappointing day for Ford teams in general, with just Matt Kenseth able to score a top-10 finish at the end. This after the manufacturer and their new FR9 powerplants looked to dominate the intermediate tracks earlier this year.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

While David Ragan was collecting his first win (anyone else see that coming after his near-miss in the Daytona 500?), a longtime friend and competitor of Ragan’s was racing amid a swirl of rumors about his future and came up big this weekend. Joey Logano showed that his win on Friday in the Nationwide Series was no accident, finishing third on Saturday night for the weekend’s best average. Logano and Ragan grew up racing together, starting in Legends cars, and both find themselves at a career crossroads, subjects of intense speculation about their futures in the series. Both delivered at a critical point this week.

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