Martin Signs MB2 Deal

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Don't plan any retirement parties for Mark Martin just yet.

The veteran driver announced he would remain in the NEXTEL Cup Series next season for 22 races taking a ride with MB2 Motorsports. Martin's part-time schedule will include the Budweiser Shootout and the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

Martin and rookie Regan Smith will share the seat of MB2's No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet and join Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin in a three-car effort. Ryan Pemberton will remain as crew chief of the No. 01 entry.

"This is an opportunity that I'm really excited about," Martin said. "It's going to give me the flexibility to do the things I really love to do, which is to compete in the NEXTEL Cup level and to teach."

Nemechek will move from the No. 01 to a new No. 13 entry for the team while Marlin will remain in the No. 14 Monte Carlo. Sponsorship for the No. 13 will be announced at a later date.

Along with the 16 Cup races, Smith will also pilot a car in the Busch Series for the team.

"This is exciting for me," Smith said. "I'm going to listen well and take advantage of what has been presented to me. I am ready to give it all I have in both Cup and Busch."

Next year will be the first time Martin will be behind the wheel of a Chevrolet since 1983 when he drove the No. 4 for Morgan-McClure. The move will end a 20 year relationship with Jack Roush and Ford where they combined to win 35 Cup races.

But for now, Martin’s goal is to win the championship in his last season with Roush.

“From this point on I hope everyone understands that Jack and I are going to be incredibly focused on winning this championship.

"I can't thank Jack Roush enough for what he’s done for me professionally, but more importantly for what he’s done for me personally. Jack is the guy who gave me a chance when nobody else would."

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