NASCAR’s ageless wonder, Mark Martin will be looking for a job in 2012.
Hendrick Motorsports made the decision last year to hire Kasey Kahne to replace Martin in the GoDaddy.com #5 car beginning next year. Kahne is currently a “lame duck” in the #4 for Red Bull Racing and his departure will leave a seat available. Could Mr. Martin be in that seat?
It is possible. Yes, Red Bull has some good young driving talent to go along with Brian Vickers. Cole Whitt, who has been impressive in the truck series, comes to mind. Does Red Bull want to move Whitt up this quickly? Maybe a year or two in Nationwide first? That would create an opening for Martin to keep the seat warm in the #4 until Whitt moves up.
Red Bull is a young team but Mark Martin is NASCAR’s version of Jack LaLanne. He is a health and fitness nut and is in incredibly good shape. Plus Martin’s biggest asset, other than being a heckuva driver and future Hall-of-Famer, is that he is a great influence on younger drivers. They will learn things from him that they will utilize their entire career.
Hiring Martin might seem out of character for Red Bull, but remember who is running the show.Jay Frye, formerly of Ginn Racing, is VP/GM at Red Bull. He hired Mark Martin to drive the 01 car for Ginn back in 2007 just before their merger with DEI. So there’s definitely a connection there.
Another possible perk for Red Bull, makers of the famous energy drink…no one is more “energetic” than Martin.
One thing is for sure, if Martin wants to drive in 2012, he will be driving somewhere. And whatever team gets him will be the fortunate one.