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TBT: Mark Martin Wins Inaugural 1998 Race at Las Vegas

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In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we look at Mark Martin winning the first Winston Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 1998.

It was Dale Jarrett who started on the pole beside Geoffrey Bodine. However, after leading 40 laps Jarrett would have engine problems on lap 219.

Martin would lead a race-high 82 laps and hold off a hard charging Jeff Burton during the last 23 laps, but he was able to retain the lead and capture his 23rd Winston Cup victory and his the first for Ford in 1998 with the new Taurus car.

The race was a Ford dominated race. Dale Earnhardt who finished 8th in a Chevrolet was the only driver in the top-10 that didn’t drive a Ford.

In victory lane Martin called the win his “Biggest victory in the Winston Cup Series.”

Martin would go on to finish the 1998 season with seven victories and finish second in the points standings behind Jeff Gordon.

Martin is often described as “The best driver to never win a championship.” He retired from his Cup career with 40 wins, 453 top-ten finishes, 56 poles and would finish second in the points five times (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2009).

Martin was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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