Martin: Title not a factor in decision

Mark Martin says his decision to run full-time again in 2010 has not been driven by a desire to have a further shot at winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title

Martin: Title not a factor in decision

The 50-year-old veteran was initially scheduled to run in 26 races next year but this week Hendrick Motorsports announced he would run the entire season again, after agreeing to review their original deal.

Martin has never won a Cup title, but talking to reporters on Friday at Darlington Raceway, he insisted that his decision to race full-time next year is purely driven by his love for racing rather than a desire to give himself another opportunity to win the championship.

"I would still appreciate if you wouldn't write that I am coming back for one more shot at a championship," said Martin. "I did this because I love racing with all my heart. I love this race team and I am having a blast driving the racecar. That is why I made the decision.

"I just wouldn't sign up for that. It is what Rick (Hendrick) wanted to do to start with a year ago and I just wouldn't sign up for something and then wish I hadn't. We have proven over the first five or so races that all of that was good.

"After Phoenix was the first conversation I had and that conversation lasted five minutes would be a stretch. That was it. I had the conversation with Rick and it was probably less than five minutes. It was more like 60 seconds, you know. He said that was what he wanted to do and I said that was what I wanted to do and so here we are."

The Hendrick driver added that in the past he used to race focused on the championship, but that ultimately led him to retire briefly from full-time racing in 2007 and 2008, before deciding to return with Hendrick this year to run the entire season with a different approach.

"In l999 in July, on Friday night before the 400 on Saturday, I broke my wrist, a rib and my knee and I raced Saturday night," said Martin. "Not to say that I wouldn't have because that is what I wanted to do. But I did that because I wanted to win a championship.

"I raced for a year and a half with excruciating back pain. I would have done that anyway, but I did it, I never missed a practice session, I never missed a test session, I never missed anything, because I wanted to win a championship.

"I allowed that points thing to affect how I felt about racing because I focused on that more than I really realised how much I was."

Martin has finished second in the standings four times and has won 36 races over a 27-year span at the top level. He holds the record for most career wins in the Nationwide Series but has only run the whole season once.

shares
comments
Martin to race full-time in 2010
Previous article

Martin to race full-time in 2010

Next article

Kenseth takes Darlington Cup pole

Kenseth takes Darlington Cup pole
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021