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NASCAR Winston Cup CMT 300 Report: #6, Mark Martin

15 September 1997

 #6 Mark Martin, Valvoline/Cummins Ford Thunderbird
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 CMT 300 Race Report
 New Hampshire International Speedway
 September 14, 1997
                    MARK MARTIN RACE RECAP: CMT 300
LOUDON, NH - Mark Martin qualified his Valvoline/Cummins Ford 17th for
the CMT 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Martin went out
late in the qualifying order which was good since the track seemed to
get faster at the end of qualifying.

"I'm happy with that lap," Martin said. "We're locked into the top-25
and now we can focus on our race set-up for Sunday. Qualifying doesn't
worry me as much as it used to since I know I have the car to move up
during the race."

The first 200 laps of the 300-lap race seemed to go well for
Martin. His car was good on long runs and there were only two cautions
in the first 200 laps. He gained three positions on his first pit stop
on lap 69, moving him up to sixth place. By his third pit stop on lap
198, he came out in third place. The last 100 laps, Martin spent more
time dodging accidents than racing for position. By lap 252, the
Valvoline/Cummins Ford was starting to come in, but an accident on lap
264 caused Martin to check up and fall back to eighth. There was some
smoke coming from a tire rub, but the team decided to stay out because
they would have lost 14 spots if they had pitted. Martin never got the
long green flag run he was hoping for since there were seven cautions
in the last 100 laps, including three in the last 15 laps. Martin
finished ninth while Jeff Gordon went on to win his tenth race of the

"We had a great car," Martin said. "We had a third place run going,
but I got run over three times in one lap. We could have finished
better and I'm not happy about that. We lost some points to Gordon and
Jarrett gained a few on us. We still have seven races left to make it

Martin remains second in the Winston Cup point standings, 139 points
behind Gordon. Jarrett is third, only 49 points behind Martin. The
next Winston Cup race is Sunday at Dover Downs.

By Roush Racing Public Relations