March 5, 2011
Great finishes for Martin, Danica
By DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency
Mark Martin made history at one end of the NASCAR spectrum, winning his 49th race in the junior series while Danica Patrick made history at the other by finishing fourth in the Nationwide Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Martin extended his own Nationwide win record by one, driving the No, 32 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet while Patrick — driving the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet — became the highest-finishing female in NASCAR history.
Both Martin and Patrick, however, benefitted from Kyle Busch crashing his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the final third of the race and Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse both running their Roush-Fenway Fords out of gas with less than 10 laps to go.
“We really worked hard on the car this week,” Patrick said. “Once Tony (Eury) Jr. got the car right after the final pit stop we just wanted to be consistent and we were.”
Patrick said she still has lots to learn.
“We are not quite perfect yet,” she said. “But he learned a lot today about these 1.5-mile tracks.”
Justin Allgaier finished second in he No. 31 Chevrolet and Keselowski was third in the No. 22 Dodge.
Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five in he No. 16 Ford.