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Happy 4th of July- Big Hendrick Announcement July 4, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, Drivers, NASCAR.
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Mark MartinImage via WikipediaHey all! Good morning. God Bless the troops – remember what 4th of July is really about – and God speed their safe return to America if they are serving overseas.

I arrived here in the media center at 8:00 a.m. and there was no one here. I’ts July 4th and I guess everyone figured the garage doesn’t open until 9:00 and it’s a holiday. I wanted to get in early and write you all a note and get some things done before everything starts cooking here.

The big Hendrick driver announcement will be today at 12:30 p.m. (I’ll have an update on the sports nation (Channel 144) during the breaking news update right after 12:30 p.m. – It’s funny – almost everyone in the garage has talked about Mark Martin joining Hendrick Motorsports in the #5 car -in a round about way.

Drivers on Mark Martin – as heard in the garage Thursday, July 3rd. (One day before the announcement):

Aric Almirola:

ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL THE LAST FEW PIECES OF ADVICE OUT OF MARK MARTIN BEFORE HE DOES WHATEVER HE IS GOING TO DO?
“Yeah, but I’ve talked to him about it and he is still the same Mark Martin. He’s going to be at the race track and if anything, it would almost be better because now weekends that I’m in the race car, he’s going to be in the race car too so I can walk over and grab him and speak with him for a second and ask him if his car is doing this or that or whatever. He’s been a big help for me this year with stuff on and off the race track, but I think he’ll be just as much of a help to me for the rest of my career. He’s a phenomenal race car driver and he’s taught me a lot and hopefully he doesn’t stop teaching me.

Dale Earnhardt Jr:

Q. (Question regarding Mark Martin.)
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: They haven’t announced anything yet. Mark’s a great racecar driver. He’s done a great job driving the No. 8 car this year. He’s a veteran that all the guys look up to. He’s a great tutor for the sport, for young guys. I think that anybody that gets a chance to work with him can learn a lot.

Q. (Question regarding retirement and keeping going.)
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: A lot of different reasons. You know, it’s really hard to put it down, I suppose. As tough as the schedule is, it’s pretty hard to just stop and not do nothing or do something else, I suppose.

Jeff Gordon:

Q. Is there still something you could learn from him?
JEFF GORDON: You know, I learn from everybody. But I absolutely will learn from Mark. Mark has amazing patience, but he has amazing drive and commitment. You know, you look at the shape that he’s in. You know, there’s not too many guys – I’m not saying he’s old – I’m just saying not too many guys are out there, you know, or have been out there in the past at his age that are as competitive as he is through all the changes that have gone on through cars, teams, everything else. You know, that to me is one of the many things I admire about him.

Tony Stewart:

Do you think Mark Martin is capable of winning a championship at his age?

“Oh, absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind. I think eight or 10 years from now he will still be able to win championships. He’s just that competitive. You look at how good of shape he’s in and how good of a job he does at taking care of himself. He’s a guy that could go as long as he really has the desire to go. You’re never going to lose that talent and that ability and as long as he stays healthy like he’s been doing, he realistically could do this for another eight or 10 years if he really wanted to.”

What is inside of an athlete that makes you want to keep doing this forever?

“The fact that you have that never quit attitude. It’s hard to walk away from something. I tried walking away from open wheel racing when I started my contract with Joe (Gibbs) and J.D. (Gibbs) in 1998. I quit running midgets and Sprint cars and that lasted about five months and I was back in a car. It’s hard to stay away when it’s something you spent your whole life and dedicated your whole life to it. It’s hard to just up and stop and do something different. I think it was nice for Mark (Martin) to be able to do a partial schedule this year and catch his breath a little bit. This series takes a lot out of you with all of the obligations and testing and everything that goes along with it. For him to not run the full schedule this year I think has kind of given him enough of a chance to catch his breath and get ready to go full-time again.”

And the race fans called “Dialed In” In droves Thursday to talk about Mark Martins choice. On Wednesday – almost all the fans called with critical comments about not retiring after he said he was going to. Thursday the Mark Martin fans called to support his decision saying that they were the kind of fans that settled their thoughts a little before calling. Here are some of the emails that I received:

EMAIL:

Hey Claire,

On the Mark Martin thing, If I remember correctly, he never said retire. Just cutting back some after all the years of 36 and 37 races.
Besides, if all the so called Mark Martin fans who called in yesterday bitching and complaining about him going to Hendrick, first they should be mad at Jack Roush for not working with him on cutting back, second it’s not even confirmed as of yet that he is going to Hendrick……………..ok so we all know that, that is what’s going to be talked about tomorrow.
Shoot, the man has the right to race where ever and for who ever he wants or will hire him. Any team would be foolish not to hire hime, part time or full time.

Just my 8 cents worth.

Happy 4th to you, be safe and careful in your travels.

Were going racing this weekend……………well all right tomorrow night in the Camping World West at Irwindale. Will keep you posted on the results.

Jack
Hauler Driver
Borneman Motorsports
Send the 8 car

Hey clair i agree (fans should) lay off mark. Go jr. Send the 5 + 88 around

mitch in. Nm

Hey Claire,
Maybe the reason that they are so hard on Mark is because if you listen to some of his interviews, he always say that he loves this team or that team that he is currently on. Fans like drivers to stay with one team for alittle while. It is hard to follow a driver if there only in the car half of the races and they don’t get to see there driver all the time. My personal feeling is that it doesn’t matter. Mark Martin is a great driver either way.

With Tony Stewart it might be alittle different because it Tony decides to change teams there is a real good chance that Home Depot would go with him. Fans would not have to change that much. Maybe only the number.

Lisa in New Jersey

HEY CBL I’M HAPPY FOR MARK MARTIN HE NEEDS TO
DO WHAT MAKES HIMSELF AND FAMILY HAPPY!!
HE WILL GO OUT ON HIS TERMS AND HIS TERMS ONLY!!
SO ADD ME TO THE LAY OFF MARK MARTIN LIST!!

A DALE JR FAN IN N.C.
🙂

I would be so happy to have Mark on any time I could not cheer him on because if he won so did Theresa. That just ticked me off
Go mark
Sent from my iPhone

I’m all for what Mark Martin wants to do……..I just hope he know’s and understands what he “signs on for” since Rick Hendrick’s record shows he dumps drivers when something else better comes along……….”driver beware”.

Sandy from Georgia

Miss Claire,

I just went out to listen to your show.Now what is your opinion. Same as Mark Martin. are you glad that Bret is talking about coming back? or should he just stay retired? Mark said he was done and now he is still out there racing. Is it money or just the drive to drive? I used to like Mark But his flip floping makes me want to puke. Or does money Talk and b.s. walk? Yes i want Bret Back. He is Packer Football. But i think he should just be done and go to the Hall of Fame in 5 years.

Bill A.

Gulfport, Ms.

OK, so here’s the deal…Mark RETIRED, but then said he HAD to stick around for Jack Rousch. Then he had to help younger drivers. Then he could pick whatever he wanted. 26 races per year isn’t part-time, it’s messing up who he is “sharing” with. Eric hasn’t got any better and Regan Smith didn’t either because they never got to race. I remember “retiring” like Rusty – did you hear retire or is it just me? I didn’t pay for any merchandise so that’s not it. I am just sick of Mark doing what Mark wants to do. Who is he helping this time other than himself…
OK, I won’t bug anymore on this, but who didn’t hear retirement? Yeah, it’s his decision and it’s a bad one.

I’ll be back later after the Hendrick announcement with details here. Or, if anyone sneezes in the garage (which opens in ten min) I will let you know.

Happy 4th of July- be safe and enjoy!

Claire B

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