DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2000) Mark Martin said Tuesday he planned to attend Roush Racing's test session coming up later this month at Daytona International Speedway as well as the T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview on Jan. 15 in Winston-Salem, N.C., as he continues to recuperate from back surgery. Martin received the good news from his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Chuck Kollmer last week. After nearly six weeks of laying flat on his back for 22 hours a day, Martin's fusion surgery has healed and he is ready to resume many of his daily activities.
During a follow-up exam last Thursday the latest X-rays showed the bone in Martin's back was completely fused together.
"Dr. Kollmer was very pleased with my progress," Martin said. "He said I could be up and walking more now, and gradually increase my weight program. He said the bone had grown in and looked good. I finally have more freedom to move around and get back to work."
Martin has spent all of his time recovering at home here since his lumbar fusion on Nov. 22. He was only allowed to sit up for 20 minutes at a time since the surgery, but is now looking forward to resuming a more normal life.
"I'm anxious to start lifting weights again," Martin said. "I will be careful not to overdo it since I certainly don't want to jeopardize the progress I've made since the surgery. I feel great and I can't wait to see everybody at the Ford test in a few weeks."
Ford teams' first test at Daytona is scheduled Jan. 12-13 and again on Jan. 20-21.
Martin will still have Roush teammate Greg Biffle testing his Valvoline/Cummins Taurus in Daytona and Talladega this month. Martin will attend the Daytona test, but does not plan on getting in the car at this time.