Martin steps into role of mentor

Martin Ready to Go Racing This Weekend Martin looking forward to Ricky Carmichael's debut in stock car racing Mooresville, N.C. (March 23, 2007) -- Mark Martin may not be taking his Nextel Cup point lead to Bristol this weekend, but that does...

Martin Ready to Go Racing This Weekend
Martin looking forward to Ricky Carmichael's debut in stock car racing

Mooresville, N.C. (March 23, 2007) -- Mark Martin may not be taking his Nextel Cup point lead to Bristol this weekend, but that does not mean he's not going racing. In fact, Martin will spend his first weekend in 20 years not at a Nextel Cup race, but will be at a race track. Only this time instead of chasing the checkered flag on his own, Martin will be overseeing the stock car debut of Motocross legend and Ginn Racing development driver Ricky Carmichael, as well as his son Matt Martin.

For Martin, the chance to help develop Carmichael, who is widely regarded as the Michael Jordan of Motocross, is as exciting as any race he has taken part in.

"Not everyone that follows stock car racing realizes the kind of impact that Ricky Carmichael has had in his career and is a huge force in motorsports," said Martin. "This is the first step in converting him from two wheels to four, and we're going to take it easy and not try to get in too deep at this first race. We'll let him kind of find out what it's all about and then kind of ramp it up with each additional event. But this weekend is all about getting comfortable in the race car and getting comfortable with the other cars. It's going to be a lot of fun."

Carmichael is equally excited about his transition and working with Martin.

"I'm really excited about this weekend," said Carmichael who competed in his final Supercross event last weekend in Orlando. "I'm nervous, but it's a good nervous. It's a great feeling that I haven't had in a long time, and all the talking is about to stop now, because it's time to start here.

"For me it's my first race, so I can drive the car now in a racing situation. I think it's really a great time for me to learn more, as every time I get behind the car it seems like I learn more and more. Being out there with some of the other drivers is going to be tough, and to be honest, I don't know what to expect. I just want to do my best and be in there. I'll have a better guideline of what I think my potential is as a racer after this weekend."

Carmichael will be glad to have the veteran Martin in his corner as he enters into the world of stock car racing.

"He's been incredible for me," said Carmichael. "It's a pleasure to work with him, I have a lot of trust in him and I listen to every word he says. It's just an honor. That's what I told everybody when I heard he was coming to Ginn Racing. I could not believe it, and it's simply been a pleasure. I'm blessed to have him in my corner, there's no doubt about it."

Both Carmichael and Matt Martin will take place in the Super Late Model division Saturday at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, Fla., with the feature being a 25-lapper. Columbia Motorsports Park is a half-mile semi-banked, asphalt track.

-credit: ginn racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Mark Martin , Matt Martin