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Mark Martin

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I just read this on Fox's HSOforum.

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) - NASCAR championship contender Mark Martin will drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2011, an easy commitment for a driver at the top of his game.

Martin starts the Chase for the championship Sunday at New Hampshire International Raceway as the Sprint Cup Series points leader, a spot he earned through four victories this season.

"That shouldn't come as any big surprise," Martin said Friday of the contract extension. "Who would want to quit?"

Martin, in his 27th season of NASCAR, has repeatedly staved off retirement over the last several years. He ran a partial schedule in 2007 and 2008 and the time off re-energized him. Then came an offer to drive for elite Hendrick Motorsports, and Martin has thrived.

At 50, he's the elder statesmen of the 12-driver Chase field. But his high performance has made him a favorite for his first Cup title.

"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," Martin said. "I'm having a blast, and that's always been most important to me and my family."

Martin initially agreed to just one full season in the No. 5 car for Rick Hendrick, with an option to run at least a partial schedule in 2010. But he signed on for all of next year after a win in April at Phoenix — Martin's first victory since 2005.

He's also earned wins at Darlington, Michigan and Chicago, and the four wins this year equal the number of titles he won from 2000 to 2008. He's also won six poles.

Although he admits that 2011 is a long-term commitment, Martin said the sponsorship opportunity for HMS made the decision easy. will be the primary sponsor of the No. 5 for 20 races a season beginning next year.

"Rick, he had to make some decisions about some long-range things, and he really wanted it," Martin said. "With the success we were having, I don't see me falling off a cliff anytime soon. I hope that I'll be able to do the job. I understand that it works better for sponsor commitments and those types of things.

"So I am pretty comfortable. There is no place I'd rather be today than at the race track, and I didn't always feel that way, so I did something about it."

Greg Biffle, a teammate when Martin drove for Roush Fenway Racing, said the contract extension is not surprising.

"[PoorWordUsage] good equipment and it will be hard to hang your hat up, driving and winning races and performing at the level that he is," Biffle said. "So I certainly wouldn't be a betting man on when he is going to hang his helmet up."


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How would one quit now with a great team and a chance to win what Mark has not been able to in his great carrer.

I hope before its all over for Mark he wins the Cup title.

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I cant think of a guy I would like to win it all more than him.

Class act all the way. Some of the younger talented guys could learn a thing or two from this guy if they would actually check theyr'e ego and listen/watch. Can anyone name a more respected driver from thier piers still running?? That should say it all.

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Mark learned from his mistakes early in his career and has been thankful ever since. I would love to see him win the CUP!!! He is going to be sponsored for some races next year by Go Daddy. I wonder if they would change it to Grey Daddy or Grand Old Daddy? lol Oh, a good friend of mine, his dad raced against Mark in ASA. Nothng but good thing to say about him.

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Well there's doubt that he has had one of the fastest cars all year from the get go just some bad luck to start but just kept gettin better

i think that goes to mark building his own cars back in the day

but i also believe this alan gustason is very smart to

ya why quit when you still competive

i hope he does quit when hes not and doesnt hang around like waltrip and petty did

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