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  1. #1
    Rant Moderator Thunderfoot
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    Default Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Sunday, June 22, 2008
    Sources: Martin to leave DEI, replace Mears in No. 5

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By David Newton and Marty Smith
    ESPN.com

    SONOMA, Calif. -- Casey Mears and Mark Martin look to be on the move, and their futures might be linked.

    Mears' future with Hendrick Motorsports appears in jeopardy, ESPN.com has learned. Although Mears has one year left on his contract, team owner Rick Hendrick would not commit to the driver of the No. 5 car beyond this season.

    "I'm committed to him right now," Hendrick said on Sunday at Infineon Raceway. "I'm committed to him making that car run better right now."

    Earlier on Sunday, sources told ESPN.com that Martin would leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. Later, ESPN.com learned that he would replace Mears, making one last full-time run at a championship.

    John Story, the vice president of motorsports at DEI, said there are plans to put Aric Almirola into a full-time ride next season. Almirola currently is splitting the No. 8 with the 49-year-old Martin. He indicated the full-time ride would be in the No. 8.

    "Aric is ready for a full-time ride," Story said. "There's a lot of interest in sponsorship for Aric. He's a bright young guy and a hell of a race car driver.


    "He fits a lot of company's demographics with his age and Hispanic background. And first and foremost he can drive. We have to get him in a car full time somehow, someway."

    Martin, who has been running a part-time schedule the past couple of seasons, was unavailable for comment.

    Martin has been pivotal in mentoring DEI's young driving stable, especially Almirola and Regan Smith.

    "He's been very good to us and very helpful, and good to our other drivers, so we're working through what's best for Mark, for Aric and for DEI," Story said. "We have five guys we'd like to run full time, and Mark doesn't want to run a full-time schedule.

    "So he's looking at something very similar to what he has today. That's the challenge we have. We talk every day trying to make that work."

    Hendrick would not address whether Martin could replace Mears. He also would not give Mears a strong endorsement.

    "We're looking at everything right now," he said. "We're not ready to make any announcements. Guys, give me a break. What's there to tell? We just want to get in the Chase, we want to run good, we want to win races."

    Mears was 27th in points before Sunday's race. He has finished 17th or worse in the last six races and 26th or worse in five of six. In 51 races at HMS he has one win and only 12 top 10s.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., who joined the organization this season, has a win and 11 top 10s in 15 races.

    Mears has been confident in his return to HMS over the past couple of months. There was doubt in his voice on Sunday, before he went out and finished fifth at Infineon, his best showing this season.

    "I don't know yet," he said when asked if he would return in 2009. "Obviously, we haven't had a good season. I think anything could happen. Right now, I don't really have anything good to talk about."


    David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. Marty Smith covers NASCAR for ESPN.

  2. #2
    grumpydispatcher
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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Mears is dead weight anyway.
    ***IF MY POSTS PISS YOU OFF, CONTACT TILLERMAN. HE IS MY OFFICIAL PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR***

    No, I will not stop hijacking threads for my own entertainment.
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  3. #3
    Just-A-Buff svtcobra
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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Hopefully this is move will only better Mark martin. He just hasn't been the same since he left the old #6 Valvoline years ago. Although he was very close to the championship a few times. Hopefully this last run will be a championship run.

  4. #4
    Slim
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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Martin to the #5...in 2008? hearing that Mark Martin may get started on his ride a few races early and running the #5 Carquest/Kelloggs Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the final four races [Atlanta , Texas, Phoenix, Homestead] of the 2008 Cup season. Casey Mears currently drives the car. Martin is slated to drive the #8 US Army Chevy for DEI in 3 of the 4 final 2008 races, with Aric Almirola in at Phoenix.(8-6-2008)

    found this on jayski

    Slim
    When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. ~Edward F. Croker

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    So much for retirement.

  6. #6
    Laylee
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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Quote Originally Posted by STRAIGHTBORE View Post
    So much for retirement.

    You can't blame the guy for wanting that championship trophy.
    Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  7. #7
    Rant Moderator Thunderfoot
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    Default Re: Mark Martin to sign with Hendrick # 5 Ride

    Quote Originally Posted by Laylee View Post
    You can't blame the guy for wanting that championship trophy.
    Been wanting to see him win it since he was jipped by NASCAR in 1990 when he was penalized 46 points for an illegal carbourator spacer (even though it wasn't performance enhancing). That penalty led him to lose the championship by 26 points to Dale Earnhardt. I'll go on record as saying even though I was always a die hard Earnhardt fan and never could and still can't stand Jack Roush, I thought that penalty was BS, and have always wanted to see Martin win the championship.

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