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NASCAR NOTEBOOK From Daytona International Speedway



Published: Sat, February 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Martin haunted by Harvick: Hours of hard labor got Mark Martin's car back in shape to race in the Daytona 500. Then Kevin Harvick smacked the side of it during Saturday's final practice and it was back to work again. "I don't know what his problem is," crew chief Pat Tryson said as he pointed out the fresh paint scrapes on the right front fender. "But we'll get it fixed. We're probably at 90 percent right now, we've got some more work to do and we'll be ready for [today]." Martin believed he had a solid shot to win the 500, his final chance before he retires from full-time competition at the end of the year. But the No. 6 Ford was damaged in Thursday's qualifying race in a wreck that Harvick caused. Martin was livid afterward, saying his backup car had no shot at winning. His crew used all day Friday to work on fixing the primary car, and NASCAR opened the garage to them an hour early Saturday to finish the job. With the work complete, Martin posted the 11th fastest time in Saturday's final practice session before contact from Harvick caused more damage.

Feeling ill: Joe Nemechek's Speed Weeks took another turn Saturday when he woke up feeling ill and skipped the final practice session. "Joe is a little under the weather and since our Army car ran strong in practice yesterday we felt it would be best to skip today's practice," crew chief Ryan Pemberton said.

Associated Press




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