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Martin second, Earnhardt seventh in second Gatorade Duel

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Mark Martin finished second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. took seventh during Thursday’s second Gatorade Duel at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Martin, who started the event in the top position, led a race-high 36 laps and appeared to be on his way to Victory Lane when he was passed by Kyle Busch with five laps to go. Martin battled for position, but was unable to climb back into the front spot and took runner-up honors.

Martin, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet, earned the pole position for Thursday’s second Gatorade Duel by posting the second-fastest time during the qualifying session on Feb. 8. He will hold onto the outside pole position for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Earnhardt, who won his Duel event in 2008, climbed from his sixth-place starting position to take the lead within the first lap of Thursday’s qualifying race. He led twice for 15 laps in his No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet before finishing seventh.