Bud Shootout, Daytona 500 and Nextel All-Star Challenge highlight first 14 races of Martin's 2007 scheduleMooresville, N.C. (Jan. 2, 2007) - Ginn Racing and Mark Martin announced today the first 14 races of Martin's limited 2007 schedule, with highlights including Martin's record extending 19th consecutive start in the Budweiser Shootout, his 23rd running of the famed Daytona 500 and his 18th consecutive start in the Nextel All-Star Challenge, an event he won in ‘98 and ‘05.
"I can't tell you how excited I am about what we have going on in 2007," said Martin. "It's just a dream come true to be able to pick the races that we want to run in and to be able to do it with a full-time cup team like the No. 01 Army team, it's just more than I could have asked for.
"Basically we were able to sit down and work on a schedule that worked for everyone," added Martin. "I just wasn't ready to step completely back from Nextel Cup racing and I felt I had a little more to give out there. At the same time, I was ready to be done with the grind of the 38-race Cup schedule, and fortunately I was able to move over to Ginn Racing and have the opportunity to do what I wanted to do.
"We open the schedule in the Budweiser shootout and then the Daytona 500 and I'm really excited to take that 01 Army car out on the track at Daytona. Then we'll run the next three races, before taking off Bristol and Martinsville."
Martin will pilot the No. 01 Army Chevrolet for Ginn Racing in the season's first four point events and in the All-Star Shootout in February. After starts in the Daytona 500 and at California, Las Vegas and Atlanta, Martin will take off the following races at Bristol and Martinsville. The break will put an end to Martin's string of 617 consecutive starts dating back to Feb. 14, 1988.
"Streaks and numbers like that really say more about the fact that you were fortunate enough to stay healthy and keep your ride for a lot of years," said Martin. "It is something that I've been proud of, but it's also something that it's time to step away from. It's been a great run with that, but we'll be back in a few weeks and that's perfect for me."
Martin will pick up in mid-April at Texas and he will make his first start in the Car of Tomorrow at Phoenix. After taking Talladega off, Martin will take part in the next seven events including the All-Star Challenge and the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Martin has a combined 20 wins and 17 poles at the 12 tracks that make up the first half schedule. In addition he has won once in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona ('99) and twice in the Nextel All-Star Challenge.
When Martin is not in the car, Rookie Regan Smith will pilot the No. 01 Army Chevy. The remainder of Martin's schedule will be announced later in the season.
MARK MARTIN'S FIRST HALF 2007 NEXTEL CUP SCHEDULE
Feb. 10 Budweiser Shootout @ Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 18 Daytona 500
Feb. 25 California Speedway
March 11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 18 Atlanta Motor Speedway
April 15 Texas Motor Speedway
April 21 Phoenix International Raceway
May 5 Richmond International Raceway
May 12 Darlington Raceway
May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge
May 27 Cola-Cola 600
June 3 Dover International Speedway
June 10 Pocono Raceway
June 17 Michigan International Speedway