Mark Martin Wins at Las Vegas

Martin pulls off surprise victory

In a fuel-mileage race that saw Danica Patrick post the best-ever result for a female driver in one of NASCAR’s top three national series, Martin took the checkered flag Saturday for the 49th time in the Nationwide Series, holding off — at least temporarily — Busch’s assault on Martin’s career wins record.

Martin got the most out of his final tank of fuel and cruised to the finish line after Brad Keselowski, then the race leader, cut a tire and slammed the outside wall on the final lap of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Justin Allgaier ran second, with Keselowski limping home in third.

After falling two laps down earlier in the race, Danica Patrick rallied to finish fourth. Patrick’s previous best finish was 14th last month at Daytona.

Martin got the opportunity to extend his career wins lead to five races on Busch when Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., running 1-2 late in the race, pitted for fuel on Lap 189.

Martin’s fourth victory in six Las Vegas starts was the first for Turner Motorsports, which fields four cars in the Nationwide Series. That seemed more important to Martin than keeping his series lead on Busch.

“Kyle will pass me, probably by midseason, and that will be that,” Martin said. “It’s been a good ride — Jack Ingram was the man when I was coming. That record is going to fall soon. I’m sure it’ll fall this year, based on the incredible job they do.

“We got us another trophy. That’s all I care about. I don’t care how many I ever won before. This one’s the one that’s special, ’cause this one’s today. And more important than me. This is Turner’s and [crew chief] Trent [Owens’] first win. That’s the coolest. The last time we won here [2008], it was Dale Jr.’s [first win as a car owner] as well.

“Those are the kinds of milestones that I look at with pride.”

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