Martin to run select Nationwide, truck series races
Mark Martin won't give up his career wins record in NASCAR's Nationwide Series without a fight.
Martin, who hasn't run a Nationwide race since May 1, 2009, will try to add to his record total of 48 career victories this season; the 52-year-old driver will compete in four events in the No. 32 Dollar General Chevrolet fielded by Turner Motorsports, the team announced Wednesday.
Even with four events on his schedule--at Las Vegas, Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.), Michigan and Kentucky--it's doubtful that Martin will be able to hold off prolific winner Kyle Busch, who established a single-season mark in 2010 with 13 Nationwide victories.
Busch has 43 wins in the series, 32 of which have come since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing to start the 2008 season.
"I've got to get back to victory lane in the Dollar General car so I can keep Kyle from breaking my Nationwide Series record," quipped Martin, who chose the four races he'll run based on personal preference. Martin scored his last victory in the series March 1, 2008 at Las Vegas.
Martin also will make two Camping World Truck Series appearances for Turner, at Michigan and Pocono. Martin has seven wins in 23 starts in the series, with six of those victories coming in 2006, when he raced 14 times.
Team owner Steve Turner says there's more to Martin's involvement than simply running races. Turner sees Martin as a role model for younger drivers in his organization, such as Justin Allgaier and James Buescher.
"Mark shares my same passion for helping groom young talent and has expressed interest in helping get our young drivers to the NASCAR Sprint Cup level," Turner said. "I can't think of a better mentor than Mark Martin."
Martin is in the final year of his Cup contract with Hendrick Motorsports. At the end of the season, he'll turn over the No. 5 Chevrolet to Kasey Kahne, who will drive for Red Bull Racing under a one-year deal this season.
Turner Motorsports purchases its engines from Hendrick.