Martin extends Hendrick deal to 2011
|By Diego Mejia||Friday, September 18th 2009, 16:35 GMT|
Mark Martin is set to continue competing at least until the age of 52, after agreeing a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports through 2011.
The NASCAR veteran is set to run full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for yet another year, having already announced in May this season that he would run the full 36-race schedule again in 2010 - a change to his initial plan of just running a limited number of events.
Hendrick Motorsports has signed a sponsorship deal with leading Internet domain registrar GoDaddy.com, which will sponsor Martin's car in 20 races per year, starting with next season's Daytona 500.
"As long as I can have fun, compete at a high level and have the opportunity to win, I'm going to continue to do this," said Martin. "I'm having a blast, and that's always been most important to me and my family."
Martin currently leads the championship heading into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In his first season driving for Hendrick Motorsports, he is contending for what would be his first title in the series, having finished as runner up four times.
"Mark has been an unbelievable asset to our organisation," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "I can't overstate the contribution he's made or the kind of team-mate he's been, and we're excited that he'll race with us for the next two years.
"With his focus and dedication, he will continue to make all of us better."
Martin is thus set to break a number of records if his current level of performance carries on into his next two seasons. He already has a shot at becoming the oldest champion this year, and in 2011 he could break Harry Gant's mark as the oldest Sprint Cup race winner - set at 52 years, 219 days.
However, Dick Trickle is set to remain as the oldest winner in a NASCAR national level event, winning at 56 in the Nationwide Series at Darlington.