Mark Martin Race Summary: No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin finished 35th in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver earned the pole for the fourth time in 2012 and 55th time in his 30-year Sprint Cup career. Martin dominated the race leading 56 of the first 65 laps only falling out of the lead during a pit stop sequence. The Aaron’s Dream Machine pulled out to a several second lead and seemed to be cruising at lap 65 when he came upon Juan Pablo Montoya. As Martin prepared to put Montoya down a lap, Montoya and Bobby Labonte began to spin. Second-place driver Kasey Kahne made contact with Martin as the pair attempted to avoid the spinning cars. Martin slid off the track and made heavy contact with the end of a pit wall opening. The wall speared the side of the No. 55 causing severe damage behind the driver’s seat. Martin was uninjured, but the car could not continue. The No. 55 returns to action Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway with Brian Vickers behind the wheel. Martin returns to the No. 55 Sept. 2 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
- Started first and finished 35th.
- Led 54 laps only giving up the lead during a pit stop sequence.
- Tapped by Kasey Kahne as they attempted to avoid two cars spinning.
- Made heavy contact with the end of a pit wall opening; Martin was uninjured.
- Martin’s pole on Friday was his 55th career pole tying him for seventh with Bill Elliott.
- 3M Lap Leader Award winner.
MARTIN: “I just want to thank all the race fans because I wouldn’t get an opportunity to drive something like this if Aaron’s wouldn’t sponsor me — Aaron’s and Toyota behind me and MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing). Michael Waltrip (team owner) gave me a chance to drive awesome race cars and this is just the coolest thing in the world. I’m disappointed that we got tore up, but man, what a hot rod. Big steam under the hood from Toyota and Rodney Childers is such an awesome crew chief. Driving stuff like that — that’s what it’s all about. I’m glad I’m okay and I’m glad I got to drive that thing — it was awesome. I wish we could have finished the day off, but I’m so grateful to have a chance to drive race cars like that.”
- Greg Biffle won the race after Jimmie Johnson blew an engine with less than five laps remaining forcing a green-white-checkered finish.
- Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race took two hours and 47 minutes.
- The race featured 26 lead changes among 13 drivers.
- Eight cautions slowed the race for 35 laps.
- NASCAR estimated the attendance at 83,000.