Martin Hunts For Elusive Daytona 500 As Day 2 Of Daytona 500 Testing Continues

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2008) – In last year’s 49th annual Daytona 500, Mark Martin came about two feet short of capturing his first triumph in “The Great American Race.”
Martin’s No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet was nosed out by Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet by .020 seconds, the closest Daytona 500 finish since the advent of computer scoring in 1993.
For the upcoming 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17, Martin will try for the 24th time in his career to win the Daytona 500 as he will drive the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
He hopes that his Dale Earnhardt Inc. crew will give him the opportunity to raise the gold Harley J. Earl trophy.
“This is the crown jewel of a NASCAR driver’s career,” Martin said. “It was a tough pill to swallow to let it slip out of my fingers last year on one hand. On the other hand, it was really a privilege to have a shot at it. I want to thank everybody on that team for giving me a crack at it.
“To ask for that to happen on the one hand again this year wouldn’t be too much to ask for on the other hand it’s an awful lot to ask for. So if I can have a chance at it, that would be great. To pull it off, I can’t describe what it would mean.”
            Fastest of the day: Jimmie Johnson was the fastest once again in single-car testing runs on Tuesday. Johnson turned a fast lap of 184.763 mph in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet followed by Jacques Villeneuve (184.456), Travis Kvapil (184.143), Casey Mears (184.053) and A.J. Allmendinger (184.049).
            Johnson, a two-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 2006 Daytona 500 winner, was also the fastest of the day on Monday with a speed of 184.782 mph.
Tuesday afternoon’s session was the first opportunity teams have had to draft during the three-day test and J.J. Yeley was fastest with a lap of 187.359 mph.
Garth Brooks and NASCAR Foundation: With country singer Garth Brooks on hand, the NASCAR Foundation announced that it will celebrate “Five Years of Caring” May 16

during the fifth anniversary of NASCAR Day. As part of his role, Brooks will appear in a print, radio and television advertising campaign.
3M Donates Paint Schemes to Red Cross: 3M, in partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, will donate the No. 16 Ford’s full paint scheme to the American Red Cross for two races during the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 3M will also donate space on Greg Biffle’s ride on the rear quarter panel of the car where the Red Cross logo will appear in eight other races during the year.
NASA on site: NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel took part in NASCAR’s Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Tuesday. His appearance was in celebration of NASA’s 50th anniversary and DIS’s 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. Feustel participated in “hot laps” around the Speedway and met NASCAR driver Kurt Busch.
First on track: The first car on track Tuesday for the second day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing was Joe Nemechek in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.
Craftsman Truck Series on the way: Following Wednesday’s final day of Cup testing, The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series invades “The World Center of Racing” Friday, Saturday and Sunday in advance of their season-opening Chevy Silverado 250 on Friday, Feb. 15. NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest for the Craftsman Truck Series is set for Saturday. Sprint FANZONE opens at 9 a.m. Tickets to the event are $10.
Quotable: Matt Kenseth on the 50th running of the Daytona 500: “It’s the biggest race of the year.  I think as anybody growing up being a stock car racing fan or especially aspire to be a driver, the Daytona 500 is the biggest race.  That’s what you dream about as a kid, so the 50th running is obviously probably gonna be the biggest Daytona 500 there’s been and we’re putting a lot of work and effort to try and bring a competitive car and, hopefully, we’ll have a chance at it.” 
Tickets: Race tickets for all DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events at Daytona International Speedway are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Speeds:
Tuesday morning testing speeds from the first wave of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500:

style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">1. 48A, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 48.711, 184.763
2. 27B, Jacques Villeneuve, Toyota, 48.792, 184.456
3. 28B, Travis Kvapil, Ford, 48.875, 184.143
4. 5B, Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 48.899, 184.053
5. 84B, A.J. Allmendinger, Toyota, 48.900, 184.049
6. 96B, J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 48.951, 183.857
7. 24A, Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 48.964, 183.809
8. 18B, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 48.973, 183.775
9. 5A, Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 49.020, 183.599
10. 18, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 49.056, 183.464
11. 00A, David Reutimann, Toyota, 49.129, 183.191
12. 1A, Martin Truex, Jr., Chevrolet, 49.142, 183.143
13. 84A, A.J. Allmendinger, Toyota, 49.146, 183.128
14. 00B, David Reutimann, Toyota, 49.167, 183.050
15. 96A, J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 49.242, 182.771
16. 17B, Matt Kenseth, Ford, 49.265, 182.685
17. 24B, Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 49.296, 182.571
18. 16B, Greg Biffle, Ford, 49.316, 182.497
19. 16A, Greg Biffle, Ford, 49.321, 182.478
20. 78A, Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 49.331, 182.441
21. 98A, Jason Keller, Dodge, 49.337, 182.419
22. 8A, Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 49.344, 182.393
23. 7A, Robby Gordon, Ford, 49.344, 182.393
24. 45A, Kyle Petty, Dodge, 49.362, 182.326
25. 07A, Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 49.362, 182.326
26. 41A, Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 49.380, 182.260
27. 42B, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge, 49.393, 182.212
28. 27A, Jacques Villeneuve, Toyota, 49.410, 182.149
29. 19A, Elliott Sadler, Dodge, 49.420, 182.113
30. 42A, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge, 49.446, 182.017
31. 28A, Travis Kvapil, Ford, 49.449, 182.006
32. 2A, Kurt Busch, Dodge, 49.478, 181.899

style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">33. 70A, Jeremy Mayfield, Chevrolet, 49.499, 181.822
34. 2B, Kurt Busch, Dodge, 49.511, 181.778
35. 99A, Carl Edwards, Ford 49.524, 181.730
36. 7B, Robby Gordon, Ford 49.545, 181.653
37. 19B, Elliott Sadler, Dodge 49.552, 181.627
38. 33, Kirk Shelmerdine, Chevrolet, 49.576, 181.539
39. 17A, Matt Kenseth, Ford, 49.609, 181.419
40. 41B, Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 49.643, 181.294
41. 48B, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 49.702, 181.079
42. 07B, Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 49.758, 180.875
43. 70B, Jeremy Mayfield, Chevrolet, 49.795, 180.741
44. 1B, Martin Truex, Jr., Chevrolet, 49.840, 180.578
45. 8B, Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 49.942, 180.209
 
Tuesday afternoon testing speeds from the first wave of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500:
1. 96A, J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 48.036, 187.359
2. 2B, Kurt Busch, Dodge, 48.047, 187.317
3. 18B, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 48.090, 187.149
4. 78B, Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 48.093, 187.137
5. 17A, Matt Kenseth, Ford, 48.094, 187.134
6. 41A, Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 48.095, 187.130
7. 00B, David Reutimann, Toyota, 48.121, 187.029
8. 1A, Martin Truex, Jr., Chevrolet, 48.129, 186.997
9. 48B, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 48.157, 186.889
10. 7B, Robby Gordon, Ford, 48.181, 186.796
11. 1B, Martin Truex, Jr., Chevrolet, 48.217, 186.656
12. 24B, Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 48.240, 186.567
13. 8B, Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 48.240, 186.567
14. 16A, Greg Biffle, Ford, 48.315, 186.278
15. 42A, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge, 48.321, 186.254
16. 8A, Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 48.330, 186.220
17. 19A, Elliott Sadler, Dodge, 48.332, 186.212
18. 5A, Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 48.368, 186.073
19. 99B, Carl Edwards, Ford, 48.446, 185.774
20. 70A, Jeremy Mayfield, Chevrolet, 48.474, 185.667
21. 27A, Jacques Villeneuve, Toyota, 48.686, 184.858
22. 28A, Travis Kvapil, Ford, 48.734, 184.676
23. 48A, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 48.780, 184.502
24. 18, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 48.794, 184.449
25. 27B, Jacques Villeneuve, Toyota, 48.809, 184.392
26. 28B, Travis Kvapil, Ford, 48.810, 184.388
27. 96B, J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 48.928, 183.944
28. 00A, David Reutimann, Toyota, 48.961, 183.820
29. 5B, Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 48.990, 183.711
30. 45B, Kyle Petty, Dodge, 49.050, 183.486
31. 84A, A.J. Allmendinger, Toyota, 49.128, 183.195
32. 7A, Robby Gordon, Ford, 49.128, 183.195
33. 84B, A.J. Allmendinger, Toyota, 49.132, 183.180
34. 17B, Matt Kenseth, Ford, 49.190, 182.964
35. 16B, Greg Biffle, Ford, 49.240, 182.778
36. 99A, Carl Edwards, Ford, 49.250, 182.741
37. 98A, Jason Keller, Dodge, 49.250, 182.741
38. 78A, Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 49.261, 182.700
39. 41B, Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 49.308, 182.526
40. 07A, Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 49.317, 182.493
41. 42B, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge, 49.358, 182.341
42. 45A, Kyle Petty, Dodge, 49.446, 182.017
43. 33, Kirk Shelmerdine, Chevrolet, 49.515, 181.763
44. 07B, Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 49.586, 181.503
45. 2A, Kurt Busch, Dodge, 49.616, 181.393
46. 70B, Jeremy Mayfield, Chevrolet, 49.683, 181.148
 
 
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