Life Lock 400 : | In The Rear View |

David PhillipsAnalyst IJune 14, 2009

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 14:  Mark Martin, driver of the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2009 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Long green flag runs and fuel mileage were the stories of the day in Michigan on Sunday; where we saw Mark Martin save just enough gas to win the Life Lock 400.

It all kicked off with Grand Marshall Kid Rock's version of "Gentleman, Start Your Engines," which, if I say so myself, was one of the best in quite a while.

We saw Coors Light pole sitter Brian Vickers not start as well as Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson. Busch would lead the first nine laps before Johnson took the top spot away.

By lap 25 the field fillers had taken theier cars to the garage, including the No.37 of Tony Raines, the No. 87 of Joe Nemecheck, the No. 09 of Sterling Marlin and the No. 66 of Dave Blaney.

It would seem like forever before the caution would fly for the first time, but on lap 72 NASCAR threw the caution for debris on the track.

It would not be until lap 121 before we would see another caution also for debris. To this point, Jimmie Johnson had domminated the race.

The next caution would be when David Stremme lost control of his car and hit the water barrels at the entrance to pit road on lap 150.

On lap 156, Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M Fusion Crew would beat everyone off pit road this is when fuel conservation would be discussed by all the crew.

With five laps to go, Johnson passed Biffle for the lead and looked like he would be crusing to a win.

Not long after Johnson took the white flag, his gas tank wouldn't hold, as he slowly coasted towards the start/finish line.  Biffle passed Johnson, then ran out of gas as well, as the two of them fought with no engine for position.  Martin then passed both Johnson and Biffle, overcoming an empty gas tank of his own out of turn four to coast to victory.

It was one of the better finishes we had this year and it was also the second straight race at Michigan that came down to fuel mileage.  Martin became the second Hendrick Motorsports car to win at Michigan due to other cars running out of fuel. It was Martin's third win of the season and 38th of his career.

Jeff Gordon would finish second after blowing a motor in practice and starting from the rear of the pack.  He battled traffic and manged to stay out of trouble all day.

Two big surprises to me was that there were almost no wrecks in the race and the "shootout style" restarts were much more exciting than a normal restart.

Tony Stewart maintained his points lead over Johnson, while Martin moved up from 13th to eighth.  David Reutimann fell to 13th yet is a mere three points behind Jeff Burton.  Juan Pablo Montoya had a great day at Michigan and closed the gap between him and 12th place to 43 points.

Earnhardt Jr. and Lance McGrew's first race was a success, finishing 12th and moving to 18th in the points.  The No.88 Hendrick Team should be happy with this weekend as it definitely gave them something to build on.

However, it was another big disappointment for Red Bull Racing's Scott Speed and his No. 82 crew, which failed to build points on the No. 34 team of John Andretti.

After the race in Martin fashion, he didn't do a burnout or even a victory lap like almost every other driver; he simply went to Victory Lane like old school drivers did.

Overall the Life Lock 400 was a good race.