Mark Martin To Make Final Run For Nextel Cup In '05 Veteran Announces plans for 'Salute to You" Tour for next season CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 14, 2004) - Roush Racing's Mark Martin announced today that next season will be his last racing for the...
Mark Martin To Make Final Run For Nextel Cup In '05
Veteran Announces plans for 'Salute to You" Tour for next season
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 14, 2004) - Roush Racing's Mark Martin announced today that next season will be his last racing for the NEXTEL Cup. Martin, who is currently in fifth place in the 2004 Chase for the Championship, will make one more run at it in 2005. Martin has been a regular on the circuit since teaming with Jack Roush in 1988, helping to turn the "No. 6" car into a staple of NASCAR racing.
"First off I have to be clear that I'm not retiring from racing," said Martin. "I'm too young to retire from racing, but I've been out here chasing this thing for a long time. I'm very proud of what we've been able to do over the years. There are a lot of guys out there who never got to win their first race in NASCAR and I've been fortunate to accomplish a lot of things. I never worry about the things that I haven't done, instead I focus on all the things that I've been able to do and that makes me very proud. For me it's just time to do something different."
Martin emphasized that the focus of his team for next year and the remainder of this year would be to not only contend to win races, but to once again seriously pursue the Nextel Cup Championship.
"Hey, the first time I ever got in a Cup car back in 1981 at North Wilkesboro, I was there to win the thing," said Martin. "Next year when we climb in that car at Homestead for the last race, I can guarantee you that we'll be looking to win that as well. I just wouldn't have it any other way. I don't race because I love going in circles at fast speeds, I race to win and that is what we are going to try and do.
"I have a great team and we've overcome so much to be where we are right now," added Martin. "The focus of the Viagra? Team will continue to be to win that championship and to win races. We'd like nothing more than to go out on top, and it's important to me that we go out that way."
Since teaming up with Roush Racing in 1988, Martin has driven to one of the most successful careers in NASCAR history. In a career that spans over 20 years, Martin has amassed 34 Nextel Cup victories, 213 top-five and 338 top-10 finishes, with most of his Cup success coming with Jack Roush. Martin, who has currently started 539 straight Nextel Cup races, will make his 600th Cup start in three weeks at Phoenix.
In addition, Martin announced plans to launch a "Salute To You" Tour for next year.
"Well I just want everyone to understand how grateful I am for the opportunities I've had over the years," said Martin. "And we are going to spend a lot of time next year just saying thanks and 'saluting' all the people who helped make it all possible for me.
"The Salute is to all those people," added Martin. "It's saying thanks to all of the NASCAR competitors that I raced against all of these years; the Richard Pettys and Bobby Allisions when I first started, the Rusty Wallaces, whom I competed against for so many years and the Kurt Buschs and Matt Kenseths of today.
"It's a Salute to the teams and the crews and all of the people that gave so much of themselves to put us where we are. It's a Salute to the sponsors we've had over the years, who always helped provide us with not only top-notch equipment but unending support.
"It's a Salute to my family, Arlene, Matt, Amy, Rachel, Heather and Stacy, who had to deal with a lot of things and give up a lot for me to chase my dreams around the country. It's a Salute to Jack Roush, who took a chance on me and really did give me to opportunity to live out my biggest dreams.
"And last but not least, it's a Salute to the fans out there," said Martin. "The Six Pfamily and all of the fans who have really made this all possible. Without the fan support we have we wouldn't be doing what we do, we'd all probably still be racing around some dirt track somewhere. The fans have been great over the years and we are going to do our best to thank them and everyone else over the course of my 'Salute to You'. We really do Salute the fans and we plan on some major efforts surrounding the fan club and the Six Pfamily that will incorporated into the 'Salute' campaign."
Martin went onto add that the "Salute to You" will feature a various array of promotions designed to commemorate the occasion of next season.
"We really aren't ready to talk about everything that we plan to do," said Martin. "But I can tell you that we have some really cool things planned that I think everyone can enjoy at least a part of. We are going to be working closely with Viagra?, Gatorade, Ford, Mattel, WinCraft and of course Team Caliber on some pretty neat projects that I'm looking forward to. I have a lot of people to thank and it's our goal to get around to all of them next year."
In addition to Martin's 34 Nextel Cup wins, his 45 wins in the Busch Series are a series record. He has amassed over 44 million dollars in winnings and has finished runner up for the Cup Trophy on four occasions and inside the Nextel Cup top-10 in 14 of the past 16 seasons. His dramatic climb back into the Nextel Cup top-10 in 2004 has been one of the biggest stories in NASCAR this season.