Army 01 Driver Mark Martin Places 17th in Nextel Cup Race Sunday
The Army 01 car placed 17th May 6 at the Nextel Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Photo by Mike Strasser (NASCAR; "NASCAR Races into RIR")


RICHMOND – In perhaps their toughest race, Mark Martin and his Army teammates refused to give up during Sunday’s Jim Stewart 400 Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin battled an ill-handling Car of Tomorrow for most of the 300-mile event. He went a lap down halfway through the race and fell as far back as 26th on the three-quarter-mile oval.

Still, the team never lost confidence as the hard-driving Martin fought his way back to the lead lap with just 23 laps remaining. He went on to claim a 17th-place finish.

Despite the result – his worst of the seven races he has competed for Ginn Racing in 2007 – Martin gained three spots in the driver standings and currently stands in 14th place. In the owner point standings, the 01 Ginn Team is ranked sixth.

“We weren’t really able to get a grip on our Army Chevrolet,” said Martin, who averaged a 6.16 finish in his first six races. “We had a hard time with the car’s handling, especially how it rolled through the center. But we kept soldiering on.

“Ryan (Pemberton, crew chief) and this Army team were like our Soldiers – they never quit. They kept on battling and we were able to fight our way back to the lead lap and to a respectable finish. I’m so proud of these guys,” he said.

The next Nextel Cup event for Martin and the 01 team will be Saturday night in Darlington, S.C.

– U.S. Army Racing