Mark Martin Valvoline update

At age 41, Valvoline Ford Taurus driver Mark Martin has seen a lot on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. He says that's an edge the veteran competitors have over the 20-something crowd of Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and others...

At age 41, Valvoline Ford Taurus driver Mark Martin has seen a lot on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. He says that's an edge the veteran competitors have over the 20-something crowd of Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and others now threatening to steal the headlines. "We are trying to hold our own and they are trying to get there," says Martin, who finished 11th last Sunday at Texas and is second in points going into this Sunday's (April 9) short track shootout at Martinsville. "That's always the case in this sport. I remember there was a changing of the guard back in the late '70s and early '80s where no one penetrated the Benny Parsons and Buddy Bakers and Darrell Waltrips, Cale (Yarborough), (David) Pearson, (Richard) Petty. Finally, it happened, and you thought, 'Oh, my goodness. This is going to ruin the sport. All these new names, unknowns to some degree, it's going to be the downfall of the sport.' It wasn't, and it won't be when this group phases out. That's going to be the nature of the sport forever. "I think if we were racing Formula One or Indy Cars, we would be out of a job. That's a place where experience can't overcome enthusiasm and bravery that's associated with youth. In this racing, experience means more than bravery and youth, although that's pretty powerful stuff. You still can't totally overcome experience in Winston Cup."

Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $276,683. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will

Mark Martin will again carry the colors of MaxLife in this Sunday's Goody's Body Pain 500 at Martinsville, Va. MaxLife is a new motor oil from The Valvoline Co. intended for high-mileage vehicles.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Benny Parsons , Buddy Baker , Mark Martin