Even with his semi-retirement looming around the corner, Mark Martin is busier than he has ever been in his 20th season of competition in NASCAR's elite divisions.
Martin was supposed to tighten the reigns on his storied racing career in 2005, but to help fill previous contract obligations the loyal Martin helped his car owner, Jack Roush, when Roush asked him to drive in the NEXTEL Cup Series for the 2006 season.
Martin announced plans to run a full schedule in 2007 in what he calls "the best racing in NASCAR," the Craftsman Truck Series, following his retirement in 2005, but has been forced to push his plans back one year.
"I'm too young to retire, but I've had enough of this full schedule," Martin said of his plans for the future. "It's been really tough on me and it's been tough on my family, and I look forward to opening the next chapter."
Martin's current chapter is filled with victories and championships, including 35 NEXTEL Cup wins, a series leading 47 NASCAR Busch Series wins, five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins, a record 13 Crown Royal International Race of Champions victories and series leading five titles and three American Speed Association championships. He hopes to add numerous Craftsman Truck Series victories to his newest chapter, which he hopes will help him start his withdrawal from racing.
"I'm not going to quit racing," Martin said. "I can't. I can't because I might short-circuit."
Instead of applying the brakes in what promises to be his last full NEXTEL Cup season, Martin is literally standing on the throttle, competing in NASCAR's top three series and the Crown Royal IROC series.
Competing in select Busch Series events throughout the season and running the first three Craftsman Truck races in 2006, Martin will then hand the reigns over to his Roush Racing teammate David Ragan who he will share the ride with for the rest of the year.
Martin has won both Craftsman Truck events so far in 2006 and sat on the pole for the season opener in Daytona, his first Truck Series pole. He plans on making it three in a row on March 17 when he takes the green flag for the John Deere 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Martin will take a break on Saturday during the Nicorette 300 NASCAR Busch Series event but will get behind the wheel again on Sunday for the Golden Corral 500 NEXTEL Cup race.
When asked about his busy schedule, his 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule and his last opportunity to chase the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Martin said; "I'm going to be a fierce competitor, but I really want to focus on having fun and being happy."
To see Mark martin try and win his third straight Craftsman Truck Series event and attempt to win the NEXTEL Cup race at AMS March 17-19 during the Golden Corral 500 race weekend, call 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), 770-946-4211, or by clicking here: Purchase Tickets