Remembering Martin’s historic first Daytona victory
CONCORD, N.C. (Feb. 9, 2018) – Nineteen years ago this weekend, Mark Martin was celebrating his first victory at Daytona International Speedway.
Martin held off a hard-charging Ken Schrader in the final laps of the 1999 Budweiser Shootout, now known as The Clash.
“I can’t think of a better way to start a season,” Martin said. “We can win this thing when our cars are good enough, and I think they are this season. It’s really hard to get race cars that will run that fast at Daytona with restrictor plates. It’s a lot of horse power by Jack Roush and the guys that work on them.”
The driver of the No. 6 Valvoline Ford Taurus led the final 16 laps after taking the lead on a mandatory two-tire pit stop on Lap 10. Problems on pit road eliminated Jeff Gordon and Ernie Irvin from the race.
The victory marked Martin’s first of 73 career races at the Florida track. Following a runner-up performance in the 1998 performance in the championship race, the win started Martin’s season off strong.
“I just wish that was the last lap of the Daytona 500,” Martin said. “All that says is look at what this team has done from where we were a year ago.”
Roush Fenway Racing scored its first points win at Daytona in July 2000 with Jeff Burton.
Check out the thrilling victory below.