Mark Martin estimates that over the course of his 25-year Cup career, he has run out of gas while leading in the final lap of a race some 25 times. But 2009 is shaping up as a magical season for the 50-year-old Martin (below), so it was fitting on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway that Martin, arguably the most snakebitten driver in NASCAR history, finally won a race on fuel mileage. After Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas with one lap to go in the LifeLock 400 and Greg Biffle went dry on the final lap, Martin swept past both to claim his third victory of the season—his most since 1998. Martin, a four-time Cup runner-up, is now eighth in points and a serious threat to win that elusive title.
EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES (MARTIN)