Fuel Issues Help Martin Rally for Michigan Victory



BROOKLYN, Mich. — Mark Martin was third with two laps to go in Sunday’s Sprint Cup LifeLock 400, behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson, and the second-place driver, Greg Biffle.

Mark Martin moved into eighth place in the Sprint Cup Chase standings with his victory in Sunday’s LifeLock 400.

Mark Martin moved into eighth place in the Sprint Cup Chase standings with his victory in Sunday’s LifeLock 400.

Johnson, Martin’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, was the first to go. He ran out of fuel as the cars took the white flag, signifying one lap to go in the 200-lap race.

About halfway around the two-mile track, Biffle’s No. 16 Ford sputtered and slowed.

Martin was there. Nobody had to point him to the checkered flag.

“I had been racing for the points, because those guys were running too hard for us to save gas,” said Martin. “But when Jimmie ran out, I told my crew, ‘I’m going to run hard.’

“We made it, but I ran out coming out of four.”

Martin’s win moved him into eighth in Chase points.

“I think we saved a little too much fuel,” said Jeff Gordon, the second-place finisher. “We were running a slower pace than those first couple of guys. I hate to see those guys run out, but that’s just the way racing is sometimes.”

Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.

“The racing got too intense and caused me to use up too much fuel,” said Biffle. “The 48 came up there and was driving like we weren’t on a fuel mileage run and ran us down. I messed with him there for a few seconds, but he made me use up too much throttle and gas.”

Juan Montoya, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer were the remaining top-10 finishers.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was never able to run with the leaders and finished 14th.

Johnson led 146 laps and finished 22nd.

Top 12 Chase contenders after 15 of 36: 1. Stewart-2,189, 2. J. Gordon-2,142, 3. Johnson-2,047, 4. Kurt Busch-1,961, 5. Newman-1,934, 6. Edwards-1,927, 7. Biffle-1,913, 8. Martin-1,868, 9. Kyle Busch-1,860, 10. Hamlin-1,849, 11. Kenseth-1,848, 12. Burton-1,810.

For more sports stories, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

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