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Racin’ Notes: Martin To Be A Three-Series Driver

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 12 2011

Mark Martin will be back in a Nationwide Series car and Camping World truck this coming season. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Racin’ notes for Wednesday, Jan. 12:

Turner Motorsports announced the addition of Mark Martin, to its 2011 driver line-up.

Martin will pilot the No. 32 Dollar General Impala in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway with crew chief, Trent Owens, calling the shots. He will also drive the No. 32 Silverado in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races at Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

“I’m excited to be running back in the Nationwide and Truck Series again,” said Martin. “Everyone at Dollar General and Turner Motorsports has been great and I’m looking forward to hitting the track with them next year. Working with Turner [Motorsports], I get to extend my relationship with Chevrolet and continue to have Hendrick horsepower under the hood which is really, really good.”

Martin has 40 wins in 794 Sprint Cup Series starts, holds the all-time Nationwide Series records for most wins (48) and most pole positions (30), and seven wins in 23 NCWTS starts. In 2006, motorsports media members acknowledged his accomplishments by naming him the greatest Nationwide Series driver of all-time. Martin continues to compete full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports machine.

“The races we picked for both series are personal favorites of mine. I’d love to win another truck race, and I’ve got to get back to Victory Lane in the Dollar General car so I can keep Kyle (Busch)from breaking my Nationwide Series record,” Martin joked.

Martin has had success at the tracks at which he will compete for Turner Motorsports. In five Nationwide Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Martin has three wins, four top-fives, five top-10s and two pole awards to his credit. In only two Nationwide starts at Auto Club Speedway, he has earned one win and a third-place finish. At Michigan International Speedway, he has two wins, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes and one pole position in his 11 starts. Martin will make his Nationwide Series debut when the team travels to Kentucky Speedway in July.

Team owner Steve Turner praised the with the experience that Martin brings with him and has high expectations for his organization in 2011.

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of Mark Martin to our stable of drivers,” said Turner. “Mark shares my same passion for helping groom young talent and has expressed interest in helping us get our young drivers to the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. I can’t think of a better mentor than Mark Martin. Everyone at Turner Motorsports knows the value and experience he brings to our organization and we are all delighted to have him join our team. We look forward to getting Mark [Martin] and Dollar General into the winners circle in 2011.”

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame announced the 2011 Class of Inductees on Wednesday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Ala.

The five inductees represent multiple forms of racing ranging from stock-car, Can-Am, sprint, and open-wheel. The Inductees, determined by a panel of 125 international motorsport media that will be enshrined to the Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 14, 2011 are: John Holman, Jan Opperman, Maurice Petty, Brian Redman, and Rex White. This year’s votes were tallied by Letson & Associates in Hoover, AL.

“Congratulations to these exceptional motorsports legends that make up the 20th Anniversary Class of Inductees,” said IMHOF Executive Director Grant Lynch. “This year’s class consists of world-wide talent, what they have accomplished is in fact amazing and they are true pioneers in motorsports history.”

About the 2011 Induction Class:

John Holman (1918-1975): One half of one of the most successful NASCAR owners, John Holman was partners with Ralph Moody, who formed one of the most successful NASCAR teams, Holman-Moody. One of the first teams to build “purpose-built” stock car racing chassis, Holman-Moody cars won 2 NASCAR Championships and 96 races with over 30 drives including numerous IMHOF inducted drivers and crew-chiefs.

Jan Opperman (1939-1997): From the sprint car world, Jan Opperman is known to many as one of the original “outlaw” drivers before the development of the World of Outlaw series. Not one to run for points or championship, Opperman would travel the country driving many tracks and different sanctioning body. One of his most prestigious wins would come in 1976; Opperman won the Hulman Classic at Terre Haute, IN which at the time featured many top sprint car drivers in the country and had several drivers in the field who would start the Indianapolis 500. He would also race twice in the Indianapolis 500 in 1974 and 1976.

Maurice Petty (1939 – ): Part of the famed Petty family, Maurice Petty is best known as the chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises. With Dale Inman turning wrenches and Maurice Petty providing horsepower, Richard Petty drove to 200 NASCAR victories during Maurice’s career. Petty also competed in a total of 26 NASCAR sanctioned races between 1960 and 1964, with a high of nine in 1961. He scored seven top-five finishes and 16 top 10s, with a best showing of third in 1961.

Brian Redman (1937 – ): Driving both Formula One and CAN-AM during his career, Brian Redman has driven for several championship teams as well as multiple types of cars ranging from open-wheel F1 cars to CAN-Am sports cars. Redman drove 15 points races in F1 as well as numerous times at the famed 24 Hours of LeMans. Redman continues to race in historic and vintage races as well as promoting these forms of motorsports.

Rex White (1929 – ): One of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, the 1960 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion was one of the original members of Chevrolet’s NASCAR racing team. White would win 28 races, record 163 top ten finishes and qualify for 36 pole positions with 233 stars. Driving mostly General Motors products during his career, White would not only win the 1960 NASCAR Championship but also win the Most Popular Driver award as well as the Driver of the Year award.

(This notes package will be updated as news develops today)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 12 2011
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