Lifelock 400 at Michigan Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com
Mark Martin is making a name for himself all over again this season with Hendrick. Luckily for him, some guys didn’t strategize too well, even teammate Jimmie Johnson. A few guys ran out of fuel in the closing laps, allowing Mark Martin to drive away from everyone and pull into victory lane at Michigan.
Martin pulled ahead to an almost 3 second victory over his other teammate Jeff Gordon as they both conquered the fuel-mileage race at Michigan. This track always turns into a fuel-mileage battle, which means guys like Jimmie Johnson, who should theoretically win the race, write checks that they can’t cash. Unfortunately, their machines did not conserve the fuel they thought that they would, leaving those guys with worse than mediocre finishes. Sorry, Chad Knaus, you can’t always have the best strategy.
Although Johnson ran hard and built up leads of more than 7 seconds on more than one occasion, he ran out of all that fuel on the last lap. Unfortunately for him, he had to fuel up and cross the stripes to get credited with a 22nd place finish, the last car on the lead lap. Johnson also led the most laps at 146 of 200.
Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson ended up basically baiting each other into running out of fuel as they battled on the final fuel run after David Stremme crashed at the entrance of pit road. Unfortunately for both of them, they managed to race hard enough that they both ran out of fuel. Fortunately for Mark Martin, that’s exactly what he wanted to see.
Martin sat back in the cat bird seat, watching those guys battle it out. As an old-school driver, Martin knew exactly what he was watching. He was watching his chance of victory fall into his lap, knowing Michigan is a fuel-tight track and knowing that these young guns are going to race hard. Nowadays, it’s all about the win, but for Martin, it’s about the big picture.
Here are your top 10 finishers from Sunday’s race at Michigan:
1. Mark Martin
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Carl Edwards
5. Greg Biffle
6. Juan Montoya
7. Tony Stewart
8. Kurt Busch
9. Brian Vickers
10. Clint Bowyer
Because of his victory, Martin jumped back into the top 12 in points, rightly so, battling again for the Cup. Here are your current top 12 in the points:
1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kurt Busch
5. Ryan Newman
6. Carl Edwards
7. Greg Biffle
8. Mark Martin
9. Kyle Busch
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Jeff Burton
The cool thing about this season seems to be the fact that no one team and no one driver is dominating. Martin is tied with Kyle Busch at 3 wins for the season, the most so far this year. Stewart is leading the points with a few Hendrick’s guys close behind. There are also some Gibbs guys thrown in there with some Roush drivers. It’s shaping up to be a pretty diverse chase and one that is going to be awesome given that so many drivers and teams are represented this year around.
Stay tuned this weekend as we head to our first road course at Sonoma for the year.