Martin Pessimistic of Title Chances

Mark Martin believes his NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship chances remain slim despite his dominant victory at Kansas yesterday

Martin Pessimistic of Title Chances

The veteran reckons that even though he climbed two positions in the standings following the win, and is now only 113 points behind leader Tony Stewart with six races left in the Chase, his Championship hopes effectively ended with his early crash at the previous race at Talladega.

Martin said: "The title probably slipped out of my hands last week, but winning the race is great. Leading the most laps and winning probably puts us back close, but it's gonna be a lot harder now than it was gonna be if we could have finished in the top ten at Talladega.

"The points gap is too far back, but we can go win us some more and you never know. We made the chase and unfortunately we had some trouble - big trouble - at Talladega and it may be impossible to dig out of."

The 46 year-old vaulted into the lead of the Banquet 400 at Kansas after stopping to change just two tyres midway through the race, and scored the five bonus points for leading the most laps. It was Martin's first Championship race win since his victory at Dover in June last year.

"I don't want to lose," he added. "I always tell these guys to give me the lead with four fresh tyres with the end in sight and you'll never get a fight like you're gonna get from me.

"I had the race car to do it. I ran as hard as I could run there in the beginning. I maybe saved it a little bit and then when Greg Biffle started coming I stepped it up. I could have drove maybe a little bit harder, but I might have wrecked. That's as fast as I could go and keep him behind me."

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