In the high octane world of NASCAR, rivalries between drivers fuel the type of racing fans love most.  For example: the newer feud between Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya.  The two Sprint Cup Series drivers traded paint and accusations at “The Magic Mile” last fall, making it one of several memorable battles that flared up between the big boys in the “20 years of motorsports magic.”   

Martin out-dueled Montoya at the 2009 SYLVANIA 300, due mainly to aggressive driving in the closing laps.  Martin held off pole- sitter Montoya on a three-lap sprint to win his first ever checkered flag at the track and his fifth of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with a little help from crew chief Alan Gustafson.

“Alan won that race for us, that’s all I got to say.  He took a driver that can’t drive Loudon and put a set-up in it that we could run along up front. I was able to stay in the lead but it was sure tough,” said Martin.

Both Martin and Montoya had pointed out remarks about the other’s efforts, trading words in the press about aggressive driving.  The two will have a chance to pick up right where they left off in a few weeks when NASCAR’s elite series returns to NHMS for the SYLVANIA 300.  Although the quarrel was last year, the two drivers have battled back and forth throughout the 2010 season, including a scuffle for 15th place last week at Chicago. 

But unlike 2009, when both men were charging toward a championship, Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya are on the outside looking in when it comes to the 2010 “Chase for the Sprint Cup.”  Martin is just outside the top-12, 14th in the point’s standings, and Montoya is even further behind in 21st.

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