Mark Martin sounded as if he career in NASCAR was coming to a close at Homestead when he spoke to reporters prior to the running of the Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
It is not the first time that Martin had implied that he was done racing stock cars and one of his biggest supporters is not ready to declare the Batesville, AR driver as retired.
“He’s still super-competitive, and I wouldn’t bet that he doesn’t show up again,” Rick Hendrick said via the Arizona Republic.
Hendrick went on to cite the difference Martin has made at his various stops during his NASCAR career.
“Everywhere he goes, he’s made a difference,” said Hendrick, whose current stable includes Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.”
“At his age (54), he deserves to take a break if he wants to, but he’s still an awesome driver. “I’m just telling you, I wouldn’t be surprised, as good as he is, if someone (team) gets in a jam and needs a driver, they’ll be calling him. And I bet he comes back.”
When asked about Hendricks comments, Martin admitted he could return to a racecar again under a few circumstances.
“I can’t imagine not getting called. I’m prepared to deal with that on a one-on-one basis. … I won’t be in the Daytona 500 under any circumstances.”