Mark Martin has agreed to a contract extension through the 2011 season with Hendrick Motorsports – and he will have a new primary sponsor for the majority of races. GoDaddy.com has signed to sponsor the No. 5 Chevrolet for 20 events – including the Daytona 500 – during the 2010 Sprint Cup Series season.
“Mark Martin is the consummate professional and a very exciting driver, to say the least,” said Bob Parsons, GoDaddy.com founder and CEO. “He's the sentimental favorite for this year's Sprint Cup championship, and we're stoked to have him driving for Go Daddy next year.”
GoDaddy.com's affiliation with Hendrick Motorsports began in 2008 with a two-race primary sponsorship of the No. 25, a program that this season expanded to seven Cup events. In 2009, the company also became an associate-level sponsor of the No. 5.
“GoDaddy.com is an exciting, aggressive partner with immense marketing savvy,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “The fact that they're again expanding their relationship with us says a lot about the success of their business and the results they've seen from these programs. It's extremely rewarding to have a partner grow with our organization, and we're looking forward to repaying them with performance.”
Martin has four wins, tied for the series lead, in his first Cup Series campaign with Hendrick. The team announced May 6 that Martin would return full time in 2010.
“Mark has been an unbelievable asset to our organization,” Hendrick said. “I can't overstate the contribution he's made or the kind of teammate he's been, and we're excited that he'll race with us for the next two years. With his focus and dedication, he will continue to make all of us better.”
Martin, 50, is the oldest driver ever to qualify for NASCAR's championship-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup, which begins Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“It's a real privilege to have this opportunity with GoDaddy.com and to work with Rick, Alan and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Martin who has qualified for the Chase in all four of his full-time seasons since the format was implemented in 2004. “I'm looking forward to building on what we've started and driving some great GoDaddy.com race cars.
“As long as I can have fun, compete at a high level and have the opportunity to win, I'm going to continue to do this. I'm having a blast, and that's always been most important to me and my family.”
Additional sponsorship for the No. 5 Chevrolets will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, Martin enters Sunday's Chase-opening race as the points leader. While he allowed that finally winning a Sprint Cup title would be the high point of his long career, he said it's not an end in itself.
“Would it be the crown jewel of my career? Of course, it would. But I also really believe that the trophy doesn't make the man,” said Martin. “It's their actions, what you do that really defines who you are. You know, at the end of 10 races, if I do everything that I can to score every point I can, to get the most out of myself, my car and my race team, then it will be a success no matter what.”