Mark Martin to Lose Major Sponsor

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2000) Mark Martin won't have Valvoline, or any of it's brands, as a primary sponsor in 2001. Roush Racing is losing the primary sponsor of the Mark Martin-driven Ford Tauruses the team fields in the NASCAR Winston Cup...

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 1, 2000) Mark Martin won't have Valvoline, or any of it's brands, as a primary sponsor in 2001. Roush Racing is losing the primary sponsor of the Mark Martin-driven Ford Tauruses the team fields in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The Valvoline Co., announced Thursday it will cease to be the primary sponsor on Martin's No. 6 Fords at the end of the 2000 season.

"We have had an excellent and rewarding relationship with Mark Martin and Roush Racing over the past 12 years," said Steven A. Kirchner, the Lexington-based company's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

Kirchner said the company is exploring other sponsorship possibilities within NASCAR, "and we are confident that we will continue to be a major sponsor in Winston Cup racing as we have been for the last 25 years."

Roush Racing is continuing to negotiate with Valvoline about remaining with the organization in a reduced sponsorship role, said Stephanie Smith-Marquez, Roush's director of sponsor operations.

"We are still hoping that we will have a relationship with Valvoline," she said, "and I am sure that we will."

Smith-Marquez said Valvoline's decision to end its primary sponsorship won't affect the remainder of the 2000 schedule for Martin.

"Everybody's hoping very badly that Mark wins the championship," Smith-Marquez said.

Martin is currently third in the standings, with one win, four top-5s and seven top-10s in 12 starts in 2000. He's finished second in the points three times in his career, and has finished no worse than sixth since 1989. He is the only driver to finish in the top-10 in points each year during the 1990s.

The Batesville, Ark., native has 32 career victories, all coming with Roush Racing. He joined Jack Roush's team in 1988, and collected his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory the very next season.

-nascar.com-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jack Roush , Mark Martin