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Martin pulls off surprise victory at Las Vegas

Nationwide Series
Saturday, March 05, 2011

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Mark Martin
Getty Images for NASCAR
Hold on, Kyle Busch. In an unlikely finish Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Mark Martin stretched fuel mileage and simultaneously stretched his career wins lead in the Nationwide Series.

After race leader Brad Keselowski cut a tire and hit the wall on the final lap of the Sam's Town 300, Martin cruised to the checkered flag, posting his 49th Nationwide victory. Busch, who dominated early but later fell out of the race, is second with 44 Nationwide wins.

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

After falling more than two laps down earlier in the race, Danica Patrick rallied to finish fourth, posting the best result ever for a female driver in one of NASCAR's top three series. Patrick's previous best finish was 14th at Daytona in February.

Busch had opened a lead of more than 10 seconds after a round of green-flag pit stops early in the race, as Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Keselowski all had issues on pit road. NASCAR, however called a caution on Lap 65 because of fluid on the race track, and Busch's lead evaporated.

His winning chances likewise disappeared on Lap 130, when Busch made an aggressive move off Turn 4, clipped the infield grass as he tried to avoid Keselowski's Dodge and slid through the tri-oval. Ultimately, the left front of Busch's Toyota smacked the inside wall at the entry to Turn 1, and his race was over.

"I had a really big run off the top, and I didn't want to go to the outside," Busch said. "I wanted to kind of get down and be on the bottom, so I could get down on the white line in Turn 1. I didn't even make it that far. I got to the bottom of the 22 [Keselowski], and I guess he came to block a little bit.

"I didn't want to run into him, so I went into the grass, and I know the grass typically doesn't work, so I looked kind of stupid doing that. Tried to hang on to it, and just couldn't get it back straight in enough time and got into the inside wall."

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 5 32 Mark Martin Chevrolet Dollar General 0 200 Running
2 10 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt / Monterey AgResources 42/0 200 Running
3 11 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 0 200 Running
4 22 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 40/0 200 Running
5 7 16 Trevor Bayne Ford As Seen On TV HD Vision Aviators 39/0 200 Running
6 1 60 Carl Edwards Ford Roush CleanTech 0 200 Running
7 9 20 Denny Hamlin Toyota Interstate Batteries 0 200 Running
8 3 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford As Seen On TV Easy Feet 36/0 200 Running
9 26 38 Jason Leffler Chevrolet Great Clips 35/0 200 Running
10 15 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota Federated Auto Parts 34/0 200 Running
11 8 30 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Rexall 33/0 199 Running
12 6 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet Tapout 32/0 199 Running
13 12 62 Michael Annett Toyota Pilot Flying J Coffee 31/0 199 Running
14 13 11 Brian Scott Toyota Shore Lodge 30/0 199 Running
15 14 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 29/0 198 Running
16 17 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 28/0 198 Running
17 19 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 27/0 197 Running
18 36 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Imperial Bedding Company 26/0 196 Running
19 16 99 Ryan Truex * Toyota Pastrana Waltrip Racing 25/0 195 Running
20 20 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds 24/0 194 Running
21 18 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet HalfOffDeals.com 23/0 193 Running
22 33 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Dodge Wildlife Conservation Society 22/0 193 Running
23 38 97 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet NEMCO Motorsports 21/0 193 Running
24 35 15 Timmy Hill * Ford Rick Ware Racing 20/0 193 Running
25 34 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet ThePrevention Plan.com 19/0 190 Running
26 41 81 Donnie Neuenberger Dodge Eagle Convenience Stores / IHOP 18/0 189 Running
27 23 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet RaceDaySponsor.com 17/0 181 Fuel Pump
28 4 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating 0 168 Running
29 29 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Race Fuel Energy Drink 15/0 165 Running
30 2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 0 130 Accident
31 30 79 Jennifer Jo Cobb * Ford 2nd Chance Race Parts 13/0 127 Accident
32 37 141 Carl Long Ford Rick Ware Racing 12/0 83 Wheel Cylinder
33 32 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Key Motorsports 11/0 72 Engine
34 24 27 J.J. Yeley Ford Baker Curb Racing 0 25 Engine
35 21 25 Kelly Bires Ford RaceDaySponsor.com 9/0 14 Vibration
36 27 55 Brett Rowe Chevrolet Salvation Army / Imperial Bedding Company 8/0 12 Handling
37 25 24 Kevin Lepage Ford RaceDaySponsor.com 7/0 11 Electrical
38 28 39 Josh Wise Ford Cajun Industries 6/0 10 Accident
39 43 52 Daryl Harr Chevrolet WestWorld Computers 0 8 Overheating
40 40 103 Charles Lewandoski * Dodge North Texas Pipe 4/0 6 Clutch
41 39 168 Tim Andrews Ford Fleur-de-lis Construction 0 4 Transmission
42 31 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 2/0 2 Vibration
43 42 87 Kevin Conway Chevrolet NEMCO Motorsports 0 2 Overheating

* Denotes Rookie

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