Friday, September 18, 2009

Mark Martin with Hendrick through 2011

Through an announcement that website and Internet infrastructure company was extending their contract with Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevrolet, a subtle hint was passed on the driver lineup for 2011 post-Brad Keselowski. For the second time in his career with Hendrick Motorsports, 50 year old Mark Martin is committing to the elongation of his glorious Cup series run. Based on the 4 wins this season and a Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship birth, it is quite understandable to see Mark Martin agree to stay with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team. What doesn't make sense is why did anyone expect Mark Martin to retire?

Initially planned a to step away from the Cup series in 2005 with his "Salute To You" tour, he has yet to make use of a rocking chair the Fox on NASCAR team had given Martin (In fact, Darrell Waltrip once inquired whether Martin should return to chair). Probably one of the fittest and most respected drivers on the NASCAR Circuit, Mark Martin couldn't apparently handle the part-time Sprint Cup schedule of two prior seasons as he jumped at the opportunity to drive for the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports organization. Intended to run the full 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season from the onset, Martin had 26 races for 2010 where the likelihood would have saw Brad Keselowski take over the #5 Chevrolet Impala. After some stumbles in the first races of 2009, Mark Martin returned to winning ways early at Phoenix. Convincing Mark Martin to commit to run a full season in 2010 also as three other wins followed, Hendrick Motorsports no vacancy sign led Brad Keselowski to Penske Racing leaving a full time replacement for 2011 difficult to locate for such a competitive team. Mark Martin staying with Hendrick through 2011 assures a solid foundation for the next two Sprint Cup seasons.

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