Mark Martin is returning to Roush Fenway Racing, but not as a driver. Instead, he’s going to be a driver development coach, according to a release from Roush Fenway Racing on Thursday.
“I’m excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I’m going home to where I belong,” Martin said. “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.”
Martin was the first NASCAR driver hired by car owner Jack Roush. He drove for RFR from 1988 to 2006 before opting to scale back his schedule. During his time with Roush, Martin posted 35 Cup level wins and 47 victories in the Natonwide Series.
“The thing that always stood out about Mark was his unmatched drive to win,” Roush said. “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.”
After leaving Roush Fenway Racing, Martin took some time off and then competed part-time for Ginn Racing and then Dale Earnhardt Inc., after Ginn Racing merged into DEI. He returned to full-time racing with Hendrick Motorsports, before going back to racing on a part-time basis in recent years with Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin last competed for MWR in 2013. He finished out his driving career as a fill-in driver for the injured Tony Stewart at the end of the 2013 season.
Earlier in the week, the organization revealed its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up for 2015 to include Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.
“Nobody does a better job at developing young talent than Jack Roush,” Martin said. “Roush Fenway has an abundance of young, talented drivers, and I’m looking forwaard 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.”