Mark Martin is one of NASCAR’s most talented drivers. That’s why some of his fans did not complain too much when owner Rick Hendrick made some questionable moves to Martin’s No. 5 team over the offseason, moving engineers from Martin’s team to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr, who struggled in 2009.
Maybe if Martin’s knew how 2010 was going to turn out, the griping would have started earlier.
Martin has had an extremely disappointing 2010 season, he hasn’t found victory lane yet and hasn’t had back to back top ten finishes since Talladega.
Something even more surprising is that the runner-up in last year’s chase, won’t even race for the title this season as Martin was mathematically eliminated from the chase after a terrible 21st place finish at Atlanta on Sunday.
The 51 year old from Batesville, Arkansas will have to wait until next year to try and get his first Cup title.
Many people point towards the offseason moves as the cause for Mark Martin’s struggles.
Dave Moody has stated numerous times he thinks those changes have had an effect on Martin’s season.
Many drivers would have moaned and groaned about the changes, Mark Martin hasn’t. Deep down it has to bother the heck out of Martin to know his prime years of running for a championship in a Hendrick Motorsports car are dwindling down and in 2010 he won’t even have a shot at it.
Maybe Martin doesn’t care anymore? Some people might say. That is nowhere near the truth. Martin is one of the most passionate people in the sport. He would just sit home and not race if he didn’t care anymore. He’s made his money and his name. Yet, Martin wants that prize that has been o so close for many years.
Martin is a professional. That’s what it comes down to. He understands the team atmosphere at Hendrick Motorsports and understands why the move was made.
Yet his fans are livid. “I want my team back,” one fan screamed on a talk radio show earlier in the week. “We were good last year it wasn’t our fault so why,” the fan continued.
And Mark Martin continues his silence about the subject. Martin has had his share of distractions this season. Kasey Kahne rumors of taking over the No. 5 car were a distraction to him no doubt. The Jimmie Johnson/Jeff Gordon feud was a distraction as well.
Maybe Martin doesn’t want his comments to be a distraction towards Jimmie Johnson’s and Jeff Gordon’s fight for the championship this season. Maybe Martin’s too professional to blame someone else for his struggles.
Interesting! Maybe Martin doesn’t want certain fans to turn against him with comments like that. Whatever the reason may be it sure is a problem and Martin has been silent about it.
Mark Martin has always been called one of NASCAR’s classiest drivers. This season however, he has shown his classiest side yet.