Mark Martin, a Midwest racing icon, took the checkered flag with a dominating performance at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, October 9. Martin led 139 laps and finished over half a second ahead of teammate Greg Biffle for his first win in 2005.
Martin would take control on lap 220 after a caution came out for oil on the track. Biffle would try to gain ground with hard driving and if Martin made a mistake, he would jump at the opportunity. But with 25 laps to go, Biffle wouldn’t be able to pass Martin, sealing Martin’s win. However, the turning point for Martin came about 100 laps earlier when Boris Said would spin out on lap 121.
Drivers took advantage of the opportunity to make pits stops when the caution came out. On Martin’s stop, crew chief Pat Tryson decided to use tire strategy and take only two tires instead of four, giving Martin his first lead of the day. The moved proved to be brilliant as Martin was only out of the lead during pit stops.
In typical fashion, Martin would give credit for the win to his team.
“It was one that is well deserved by my team,” said Martin. “They deserve to win so much.”
Martin is no stranger to winning. Before returning to NASCAR full-time in 1988 for team owner Jack Roush, he would earn four American Speed Association (ASA) championships from 1978-1986.
Martin’s teammates Biffle and Carl Edwards would round out the Roush Fenway Racing trio by finishing second and third, respectively. Biffle and Martin would each move up two spots to third and seventh, respectively, in the point standings behind point leader Tony Stewart who finished fourth.
Stewart, a two-time Kansas Speedway winner, would maintain his lead over Ryan Newman by 75 points and would earn his second Sprint Cup championship in 2005.