There is perhaps no other driver in the garage area of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who wants to win a championship more than Mark Martin. Martin has had an illustrious career but has had that elusive Cup Championship slip from his grasp on several occasions. Now Mark Martin will attempt once more to add the exclamation point to the end of his career and go after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship one last time as he joins the Hendrick Motorsports stable in 2009.
Martin, who has been racing on a limited schedule for the past two seasons has committed to racing a full season for Hendrick Motorsports in the number 5 Chevy in 2009 and will then drive on a limited time basis and help groom a new driver in 2010. Martin joins three of the best drivers in the sport of NASCAR at Hendrick Motorsports in what has been dubbed “The Dream Team.” Martin takes to the track in 2009 with 4-time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon (number 24), 3-time and reigning Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson (number 48) and NASCARs most popular diver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (number 88). Earlier this week, team owner Rick Hendrick referred to Mark Martin as “the missing piece of the puzzle.” Put simply, Rick Hendrick expects all four of his cars, including the one piloted by Mark Martin, to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2009 and has said anything less would be disappointing (source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/2017-kia-gt-to-debut-at-2016-detroit-auto-show-teaser/).
In his career, Martin has amassed an impressive 35 wins, 390 top-ten finishes and 41 pole positions. He has finished second in the point standings in 1990, 1994, 2000 and 2002. In 1990, Martin finished just 26 points behind the late Dale Earnhardt. That was probably his toughest pill to swallow as earlier in the season Martin was fined 46 driver points from NASCAR for using an illegal (though not performance enhancing) carburetor at Richmond international Speedway. He raced for 19 years with Jack Roush and though he has seen a couple of his Roush team mates win a title, he was never able to secure one in his tenure with Roush Racing (now Roush Fenway, source: Wikipedia.org).
Now Mark martin is back full time and has aligned himself with arguably one of the best teams in NASCAR today. If Martin fulfills his dream of winning the Sprint Cup Championship or even if he comes up short, none can say he didn’t go out trying. And don’t let Martin’s age fool you. He may have turned 50 earlier this month, but the rest of NASCAR better be on the lookout as this “old man” is coming and he is after one thing and one thing only; a NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.