400 Review – Mark Martin Wins! 400 Review
by Virginia Vroom of

Chicagoland proved to be nothing short of excitement in Saturday night’s LifeLock 400 as Mark Martin pulled into victory lane for his 4th win of the year after a green-white-checker finish. Martin dominated the race, which was full of crazy moves, bad luck, and bump-drafting nonetheless at the intermediate track.

The race got pretty dicey towards the end when Jr. managed to cause a multi-car pileup ending the nights of Scott Speed and Jeff Burton after he clipped the rear quarter-panel of Paul Menard’s car. Kyle Busch managed to blow an engine, causing the seventh caution of the night after dropping oil on the track.

The funny thing about Saturday night was that it was a combination of bump drafting like on the super speedways and crazy driving trying to get through traffic, beating and banging like the short tracks of Bristol and Martinsville. Johnson and Hamlin suffered pretty bad damage just trying to get through traffic. Jeff Gordon, who fought his way to second and made a run for the win mentioned how slick the track was and how guys were just sliding all over the place. Having donuts on the doors was normalcy for the drivers on Saturday night. It had to be a full moon.

It seemed to work out well for a couple who was entered into the million dollar sweepstakes, though. This is why I love NASCAR. The fans are so involved in the races, the drivers, and it almost feels like we are buddies with these guys. For picking the correct first and second place finishers, the couple won the million dollars. Not too shabby for a sport dominated by hard-working fans.

In other notes for the night, Kasey Kahne made another great run for Petty finishing third. Tony Stewart, being his consistent self this year, came home fourth, with Denny Hamlin rounding out the top 5 despite issues getting through traffic.

With their strong finishes, Kahne and Martin made significant moves within the points. Here are your top 10 finishers from Saturday night:

1. Mark Martin
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Tony Stewart
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Ryan Newman
7. Brian Vickers
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Juan Montoya

Here’s a look at your current top 12 after Chicago:

1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kurt Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Carl Edwards
7. Ryan Newman
8. Kasey Kahne
9. Juan Montoya
10. Kyle Busch
11. Mark Martin
12. Matt Kenseth

It’s interesting because I was reading an ESPN article from the beginning of the season rating the drivers and the points winners. It was a consensus that Edwards would be taking home the title and that Jr. would be about 5th or 6th in the standings. I’m not saying that it’s still impossible, but I think that this year has proven that you can’t rely on hearsay or even last year to determine who’s going to be awesome this year. There are so many factors that come into play. I don’t think that anyone would’ve guessed Jr. would be struggling as badly as he has or that first-time owner-driver Stewart would be atop the points standings and extending his lead week in and week out.

In a couple of weeks from now, we are going to one of the most historic tracks in racing. It’s time for the Brickyard, folks! Let’s see how the points shape up after Indianapolis.