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Mark Martin staying put for 2006

Originally slated to retire, Martin will get one more shot at a title.

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Mark Martin

Mark Martin

Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR
Updated October 27, 2005
Roush Racing announced today that Mark Martin will be returning to the #6 for the 2006 season. Mark had previously announced that 2005 would be his last full season in NEXTEL Cup and that he wanted to "downshift" and move to Craftsman Truck series full time.

Team owner Jack Roush was unable to sign a suitable replacement for 2006 so Mark has agreed to stay on for one more season. This is good news for long suffering Martin fans who want more than anything for Mark to finally win a Championship. His 2005 hopes have already been dashed with bad finishes at Talladega and Martinsville.

In 2007 Todd Kluever will take over the #6 and AAA will replace Viagra as the primary sponsor on the car. Jamie McMurray who was originally slated to take over the #6 is unable to get out of his contract with Chip Ganassi until 2007. As a result Jamie will take over the #97 car in that Kurt Busch currently drives when Kurt moves to Penske Racing in 2007.

Jack Roush now has his ducks all lined up for 2006. However, I still believe that there is a chance that this will all go out the window. If Ganassi and Roush can come to an agreement that frees up McMurray for next season Mark could retire on schedule and Kluever would then step into the #97 instead of the #6 for 2007. This would leave only Kurt Busch driving against his will since he would rather begin his career with Penske as soon as possible.

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