Martin has busy off season

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2000) A two-month break from NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing will be anything but down time for Mark Martin. Martin is scheduled to undergo outpatient surgery Dec. 6 so doctors can remove a box that was implanted to...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2000) A two-month break from NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing will be anything but down time for Mark Martin.

Martin is scheduled to undergo outpatient surgery Dec. 6 so doctors can remove a box that was implanted to stimulate bone growth during his back surgery last year. The next day, Martin and his family are to leave for New York to attend the Winston Cup banquet Friday night.

Martin is to return to his home Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla., before he leaves for flight safety school in Wichita, Kan., to update his pilot's certification.

On Dec. 13, Martin will fly from Wichita to Concord, N.C., to attend the Roush Racing holiday party. Two days later, he will make a stop in Livonia, Mich., to attend the Roush Industries holiday party.

"I missed so much last year because of my back surgery," Martin said. "I missed the banquet and all of the Christmas parties so I really want to make sure I get to as much as I can this year. I think this schedule might be as tough as when we are racing every weekend, but it is all stuff that needs to be done."

Martin will have a two-week break over Christmas before his January schedule begins. He has three days reserved to film commercials in Orlando, Fla., for Pfizer during the first week of January. From there he will head to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the annual Winston Preview.

After that, testing begins Jan. 8 at Daytona for the Ford teams. Following the test, Martin will return to North Carolina on Jan. 11 to be part of the annual Lowe's Motor Speedway media tour. The team also has a test planned at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the end of the month.

"This off-season goes by so fast," Martin said. "Before you know it, we are back at Daytona in February and you wonder what happened to the time off you thought you had after Atlanta. It will be busy, but I'm really looking forward to the 2001 season. We've got some great things planned, both on and off the track."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mark Martin