Martin survives crash as Biffle wins Michigan - Nascar Notes - Tucson News Now

NASCAR NOTES: Martin survives crash as Biffle wins Michigan

Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
BROOKLYN, MI -

Mark Martin will go down in NASCAR history as one of the most competitive drivers to strap into a race car. At age 53, he continues to defy the laws of aging and run competitively at NASCAR's highest level. In Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, Martin paced the field for 54 of the first 65 laps in dominating fashion until a scary crash ended his day.

Martin credits a strict workout routine for his ability to compete with drivers half his age and that conditioning was put to the test as his car was practically cut in half after colliding with the blunt end of a pit wall opening.

"It was not as bad as it looked," Martin said of the impact. "I was concerned right before I hit it. I thought this could be one of those sudden stops."

As crewmen scurried to take cover, Martin's car came to rest with the wall buried three quarters of the way through his Michael Waltrip Racing's Toyota.

"I really feel that was a freak accident," Martin said. "I'm not sure you can ever completely fix something like that. It could have been really bad if I'd have gotten in that hole a little deeper, where it caught me in the door instead of the crush area back there."

As he reflected on what had just transpired, an unusually excited Martin was just thankful to still be competing at this level of the sport that he loves.

"I'm so grateful," continued Martin. "I'm not even supposed to be able to get a ride anymore."

With Martin out of contention, former Roush/Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle was making adjustments to his car in preparation for a late race run for the win.

"We struggled with it throughout the weekend," said Biffle. "It was super good at the beginning of the race when the track was kind of green. Once I got in traffic, I wasn't that good. I kept working on it, trying different things but, I told Matt, if we get out front, I know we can win with this race."

It was Biffle's18th career victory and third at the Michigan International Speedway. However, more important, it was his second win this season, which moved him to the top of the Cup Series point race.

"I know that a lot of people don't expect us to win the championship," continued the race winner. "They don't expect us to compete for the title. I don't care what they say or who they want to talk about or what they talk about. We will be a factor when it comes down to Homestead, I promise you that."

Biffle has always been a streaky driver and if Sunday is any indication, he might be peaking at just the right time of the season to launch him into his first Cup Series title.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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