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Mark Martin may be the driver that had to fight the hardest to earn the finish that he got. Martin ended the day in the 10th position, but it could have been a lot worse.
The 52-year-old Martin showed strength right from the drop of the green flag. He immediately hooked up with AJ Allmendinger, and the two of them had fought from their 15th and 17th place starting spots all the way to the lead by lap nine.
Then after a round of pit stops put him back in the middle of the pack, he got caught up in the big one at lap 29. It appeared that he sustained minor damages, but it was enough to keep him off track for three laps.
Then Martin was fortunate enough to be the only car down any laps, so when cautions flew, he was the beneficiary of the lucky dog. Eventually, he got in position to get all three of his laps when the caution flew yet again on lap 134.
Back on the lead lap, Martin again showed strength by pushing Kurt Busch all the way into the lead. He got as high up as fourth when the green flag waved for the final restart at lap 206. However, Tony Stewart had trouble getting up to speed in the outside line, which sent Martin backwards.
While Martin remains winless in 27 Daytona 500 starts, after the lap 29 incident, I think if you would have told him he could still get a top 10 finish, he would have gladly taken it.