Martinez Takes NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie Award Large Field Of Newcomers Battled for Rookie of the Year Title

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2010) -- NASCAR announced today that Luis Martinez Jr., has won the 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The 20-year-old go-kart champion and former open-wheel racer from Long Beach, Calif., won the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award in five of the 12 races this season. He finished seventh in the overall championship standings -- with a record of three top five and eight top 10 finishes, as well as one pole award. His best finish was at Colorado National Speedway near Denver, where he came away with a third-place finish after setting the fast time in qualifying.

Martinez, who drove the No. 6 King Taco/Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil Ford for car owner Bob Bruncati, topped a field of nine rookies who participated in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program this season. This year's freshman class was comprised of Michael Self, Todd Souza, Travis Milburn, Greg Rayl, Troy Ermish, Josh Combs, Taylor Barton and Justin Funkhouser.

Since he began racing in 2003, Martinez had competed in go-karts, Formula Renault 1600, Formula Renault 2000, Skip Barber and NASCAR Super Late Models. He came into this season with only two previous starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Past drivers to win the prestigious Sunoco Rookie of the Year honor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West include Derrike Cope, Chad Little, Bill Sedgwick, Rick Carelli and David Gilliland.

Martinez will be honored as part of the festivities surrounding the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Dec. 11 at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

-source: nascar