Michael Waltrip Racing announced Mark Martin to replace David Reutimann in the team's No. 00 Aaron's Toyota from 2012 on Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway.
Martin will return to running a part-time schedule, as he will compete in 25 of the 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races each of the next two seasons. Waltrip will run in five events. Starting the 2012 season at the age of 53, Martin could become the oldest Cup race winner in the series' history.
In 2007 and 2008, Martin ran a partial schedule for Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2009. After the three-year stint with Kasey Kahne set to replace him in 2012, Martin was linked to several other partial season efforts before this one came together.
“I did have some other options,” Martin said. “Most of the options were, ‘Wait and see if it materializes.' When we talked at Talladega, there was no clear path but I was starting to see more traction on the Cup side than I had seen in Nationwide or Trucks.”
Waltrip said he “handled poorly” telling Reutimann, a Toyota driver since the manufacturer's NASCAR Truck Series debut in 2004, he would not be back for MWR in 2012. Reutimann was en route to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show when Waltrip intended to tell him the news.
Reutimann has been in the car since 2007 when Toyota made the jump to Sprint Cup, and recorded the team's first two victories.
The team is adding Clint Bowyer to its stable full time next season in the team's No. 15 5-Hour Energy-sponsored Toyota alongside fellow full-time driver Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56 NAPA Toyota.
The No. 00 car may run in the remaining races not driven by Martin or Waltrip, with driver and sponsor announcements revealed at a later date.