Sunday, February 26, 2012
Martin, Stewart seeking 1st Daytona win
By Matt Willis
Jason Smith/Getty ImagesMark Martin hopes to take home his first win at the Daytona 500
Several drivers have had bad luck in the past at the Daytona 500. Here's a look at several veterans who are looking to break the curse.
Mark Martin Martin will be making his 28th Daytona 500 start on Sunday, rolling off from the 22nd starting spot. But for all Martin’s accomplished in his career, he’s never won a Daytona 500.
When you think Martin and the Daytona 500, you have to think of 2007, when he lost by the slimmest of margins to Kevin Harvick, as cars wildly spun behind him. But the heartbreak goes deeper than that.
The problems go deeper than just in the 500. Martin’s actually never won a Cup points race at Daytona, going 0-for-53.
However, he has seen Victory Lane at Daytona before, winning a Trucks race in 2006, the 1999 Budweiser Shootout and two IROC races.
Tony Stewart It’s easier, and probably very apt, to compare Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt’s Daytona record.
Those two have the most wins at Daytona, Stewart’s Gatorade Duel win on Thursday gave him 17, and only Dale Earnhardt has more with 34.
Sunday will be Stewart’s 14th attempt at the Great American Race. Dale Earnhardt won in his 20th Daytona 500 start, the most 500 starts a driver has ever made before winning it for the first time.
Kurt Busch Kurt Busch enters the season with a lot of questions, but while the main questions have been about the level of success he can have with Phoenix Racing and whether he can hook up with one of the power teams for next season, for this week at least, you can add in “Will he ever win a Daytona 500?”
Last year, Busch got his first wins at Daytona by taking the Shootout and his Duel, but he again came up just short in the 500, getting his fifth top-five finish in 11 career starts.