On The Mark
October 9, 2005 | 5:12 P.M. EST
Mark Martin led a Roush Racing sweep Sunday at Kansas Speedway winning his first race of the season in the Banquet 400.
Martin took the checkered flag ahead of teammates Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards to score his first win in 53 races, since his victory at Dover in June of 2004.
Martin dominated the second half of Sunday's race to score his 35th career NEXTEL Cup win.
"This is a really special day for me," Martin said. "This car was incredible today. My guys want to win so bad and they believe in me. They made a winner out of an old man today."
Martin, who was caught in last Sunday's lap 18 wreck at Talladega and finished back, bounced back in a big way leading 139 of the 267 lap event.
"This is a really special day for me," Martin said. "I want to thank the fans for all the support this year. I want to thank crew chief Pat Tryson and the crew today. This reminded me of the old days in the Busch car. The car was so awesome. You'll never get a fight like you will from me and today I had the race car to do it."
Biffle, who also finished second in Saturday's Busch Series race behind Kasey Kahne, led 47 laps but didn't have enough to run down his teammate.
"It's really hard to make Mark Martin make a mistake," Biffle said. "Man, I was driving the wheels off the thing. That's all we had. It was a tough run. We wanted to gain more points than we did, but we're gaining on it."
Edwards was able to slip into the third spot late in the race to provide a solid ending to the homecoming weekend for the Missouri driver.
"Man it's kind of strange to be disappointed about a third place finish," Edwards said. "I really wanted to win here in front of what I consider a homecrowd crowd. It's cool to see this many folks here and how much support we've got. But third place is awesome."
Tony Stewart finished fourth with another Roush entry, Matt Kenseth, rounding out the Top 5.
Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Casey Mears, Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon completed the first ten finishers.
Stewart's fourth place finish coupled with Ryan Newman's troubles, which began when his team changed a transmission and was forced to start in the rear of the field, stretched out the lead in the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" standings. Newman wound up 23rd, after also suffering damage in an early race incident, and dropped to 75 points behind Stewart and the lead.
Biffle is now third 88 points back with Wallace and Johnson rounding out the Top 5.
The NEXTEL Cup Series now travels to Lowe's Motor Speedway for next Saturday night's UAW-GM 500.