Roush Fenway Racing announced on Thursday that Mark Martin will return to the organization as the team’s driver development coach.
It’s sort of a returning to home feeling as Martin was the first driver that Jack Roush hired for his NASCAR team back in 1988. In their partnership together, the pair won 35 Sprint Cup Series races and posted four runner-up finishes in the Sprint Cup Series point standings. Martin left the team at the end of the 2006 season, spending a couple seasons with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Hendrick Motorsports, before retiring. He worked at Stewart-Haas Racing for a short period as a driver coach for Danica Patrick.
“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.
“Nobody does a better job at developing young talent than Jack Roush. 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.
Martin added that he understands what it takes to be competitive and successful in the series, and hopes to pass that knowledge down to RFR’s Sprint Cup line-up for 2015 in Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle, as well as their Nationwide Series drivers Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed.
Team owner Jack Roush said it is a pleasure to have Martin back with their team moving forward.
“Mark is not only a good friend but he’s also a fierce competitor and I truly admire his passion and dedication to racing,” Roush commented. “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.”
Each of the Roush-Fenway Racing drivers took to twitter to express their thoughts on having Martin with the organization.
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) July 31, 2014
— Trevor Bayne (@Tbayne21) August 1, 2014
— Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) July 31, 2014
— Chris Buescher (@Chris_Buescher) July 31, 2014
— Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) July 31, 2014