KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A day after NASCAR said it would end the collective success enjoyed by multicar teams, Roush Racing ganged up on everyone Sunday during the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Led by Mark Martin, the Roush camp finished one-two-three and had four of the top five cars in one of the most dominant performances of the year.
In all, Jack Roush-owned Fords led 258 of 267 laps, including a race-best 139 by Martin.
The show of force came after NASCAR said it will announce a plan to restrict the number of teams by a single car owner. Although Roush has three of his five teams listed under other people's names, the sanctioning body hopes to strip his power to help new teams enter the sport and single-car operations run up front.
But until then, Roush plans to get as many of his teams up front as possible.
"We didn't have a sweep because we didn't have all five (in the top five)," Roush said with a laugh. "Certainly we had a good spread. ... What happened here today is that our cars are well-driven, well-prepared by a hard-working team and the adjustments the crew chiefs made were excellent."
Roush's Matt Kenseth started on the pole and he led early for 71 laps. Another Roush car, this one driven by Greg Biffle, led for 47 laps during the middle of the race. Then Martin's team gambled on a two-tire pit stop with 146 laps to go to gain track position, and once Martin got his Viagra Ford in the lead, he stayed there for all for all but seven laps.
Biffle got within two car lengths of his teammate with 10 laps to go, but Martin pushed a little harder and ran away to a 50-yard victory worth $339,725.
Carl Edwards, yet another Roush driver, finished third, while Nextel Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart was fourth.
For Martin, who originally planned to retire at the end of this year but will return in 2006, the win was his first in more than a year. It also came a week after he wrecked and finished 41st at Talladega.
"This Ford was incredible," the 46-year-old winner. "It reminded me of the old days in the Busch (Series) car. They made a winner out of an old man today. I didn't want to lose. I always told the guys to give me the lead with four new tires, and I'm going to fight."
Martin improved two positions in the Chase for the Championship standings, but he's still seventh overall, 113 behind Stewart.
Reach Don Coble at email@example.com.
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