CONCORD, N.C. – official release — RFR photo — Mark Martin is back at Roush Fenway Racing.
Roush Fenway Racing announced Thursday that Martin is returning to the race team where he excelled behind the wheel for almost 20 years – this time as the team’s driver development coach. Martin was the first driver hired by team co-owner Jack Roush when he founded his NASCAR operation in 1988. The two went on to become one of the most successful duos in sports history, accumulating 83 NASCAR wins, four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship runner-up finishes and building Roush Fenway into the winningest team in NASCAR history.
“I’m excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I’m going home to where I belong,” said Martin. “I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning and it’s very humbling to be a part of Jack’s team again. When Jack first hired me in 1988 we didn’t talk about salary or benefits or perks, we talked about testing, tires and putting the right personnel into place to win on the track. That commitment is what stood out to me then and it’s still what stands out to me today.
“Nobody does a better job at developing young talent than Jack Roush,” added Martin. “Roush Fenway has an abundance of young, talented drivers and I’m looking forward to working with each of them going forward. I am very proud of what Jack and I were able to accomplish together and I am excited to expand on those accomplishments.
“I understand what it takes to succeed in this business and appreciate the hard work, dedication and focus required to compete at the highest level week in and week out,” added the NASCAR legend. “We have a great crop of young drivers in Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and Trevor (Bayne), as well as with the rookies Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed and of course the veteran leadership with Greg Biffle. It will be a key part of my job to help them develop their skills behind the wheel and get the most of their exceptional ability.”
“The thing that always stood out about Mark was his unmatched drive to win,” said Roush. “Mark put us on the map and I am pleased to have him as a part of our team again. Mark is not only a good friend but he’s also a fierce competitor and I truly admire his passion and dedication to racing. I have no question that you will be able to see his influence on our young drivers. He understands what it takes to win and to be able to do that on a consistent basis and he’ll, once again, be a great asset to have back within our organization.”
Martin piloted Roush Fenway’s flagship No. 6 Ford from 1988 until 2006. During that time he accumulated 35 NSCS victories. At the end of his tenure at Roush Fenway he held a record five prestigious IROC (International Race of Champions) Championships and a then record 47 NASCAR Nationwide Series wins. For his career Martin posted 96 career NASCAR victories.
After leaving Roush Fenway at the end of the 2006 season Martin raced part-time for two seasons before returning to full-time competition in 2009 at Hendrick Motorsports. He won five races in 2009 with Hendrick and finished second in the Sprint Cup standings to teammate Jimmie Johnson. He spent two more full seasons at Hendrick before joining Michael Waltrip Racing for part time schedules in 2012 and 2013. He left MWR late in 2013 to drive Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet for the final part of the season.