Skip to content

Mark Martin not planning to race next season

Nov 8, 2013, 10:38 PM EST

IRWIN Tools Night Race - Practice Getty Images

Longtime Sprint Cup mainstay Mark Martin continues to be competitive at stock car racing’s highest level. But the 54-year-old may be ready to move on.

Martin didn’t announce a retirement on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, where he’ll continue his role as substitute for the injured Tony Stewart. But he did say that he’s “shot every inquiry down” about racing next season in Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.

“I’ve shot them down because I haven’t been interested in doing that,” said Martin according to the Associated Press. Martin will do off-season testing for Stewart-Haas Racing until Stewart gets the green light to race again.

But while he’ll continue to remain involved in the sport that he’s been a part of for so long, Martin is looking forward to what his future holds.

“My life is going to change and it’s going to open a new chapter, and I expect to have a lot broader windshield and be a lot less wound tight and tunnel-visioned,” he said.

Should this season be Martin’s last, it will be the end of a career that he can be proud of. Going into his 881st career Cup start at Phoenix this weekend, he’s earned 40 wins and 56 poles in NASCAR’s top tier of competition. He is also a five-time champion in the old International Race of Champions series.

Martin has likely earned the accolade of being the best driver ever to not win a Cup title. He’s come close on numerous occasions, however, logging five runner-up finishes in the standings. The most recent of those runner-ups came in 2009, when he returned to full-time action for Hendrick Motorsports after driving in a part-time role during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

He drove for Michael Waltrip Racing part-time in 2012 and into 2013, but moved to Stewart-Haas following Stewart’s season-ending accident back in August during a sprint car race in Iowa. Shortly afterwards, MWR and SHR made a deal that enabled Martin to take over as Stewart’s primary relief driver.

  1. worknman24hours - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Mark Martin has been one hell of a competitor.

    And at the same time, Mark has been one of the fairest drivers on the circuit year after year.

    Mark wanted to beat his competitors with his skill and the speed of that skill.

    Mark would not take getting slammed either but he’d drive you fair if you drove with him on the track the same way.

    Every racer should look hard at Mark as he walks away from his race car for the last time.

    He left it all on the track and left the car with no enemies.

    Championship caliber man for sure.

  2. barkar942 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    I wonder if he ever gave back all of those retirement presents from his official retirement tour in 2005?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Video from NASCAR America

NASCAR America's 2014 blooper reel
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. D. Suarez (2014)
  2. M. Tifft (1962)
  3. K. Busch (1890)
  4. A. Self (1872)
  5. J. Boston (1872)
  1. C. Coughlin (1507)
  2. K. Larson (1269)
  3. S. Heckert (1267)
  4. K. Busch (1264)
  5. B. Vickers (1236)