Martin not ruling out full 2010 season

Mark Martin says he has not ruled out running the full 2010 Sprint Cup season despite having announced previously that he would run a limited schedule next year

Martin not ruling out full 2010 season

The 50-year-old announced last July that he was returning to race full-time for Hendrick Motorsports on a part-time basis. Back then, he also revealed that he would contest 26 of the 36 championship events of 2010 plus the Bud Shootout.

However, Martin has hinted at possibly changing his plans for next year. He says his deal with Rick Hendrick runs out at the end of 2010 and that the number of races he will enter is not set in stone.

"I don't think right now anybody wants to hear about what I might or might not do in 2010," said Martin. "I expect to race in 2010. My deal with Rick Hendrick was through 2010. The number of races, we will worry about when the time comes. This is not the time to be talking about it.

"It's way premature and I really hate that it even got started, because what I really want to do is drive this car and try to win a race or some races.

"It's all I've ever done since I was 15 years old and I have not found anything else in life that gives me the same satisfaction, or even close to the same satisfaction, that I have experienced the last few weeks strapping into that #5 car."

Martin says he doesn't see himself leaving the sport just yet, as he is enjoying his return to a full-time drive in the Sprint Cup while being competitive and racing for one of the top teams in the series.

"I love what I'm doing and I just can't imagine quitting," he said. "There's nothing else in the world like this. If I was running 20th every week, I would say there's no way I could do that, but I love what I'm doing and I'm still pretty good at it.

"I have a chance to drive for one of the best race teams on the circuit and I am soaking it up right now. I'm just happy."

Despite a couple of engine failures and a tyre blowout over the first five races of the year, Martin currently has the best qualifying average of all drivers. He started from the front row at Daytona and then took back-to-back pole positions at Atlanta and Bristol.

Last week he scored a sixth place at the half-mile oval, which has been his best finish so far.

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