Hendrick Motorsports

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Martin blogs that he's ready for more fun in second half of 2011

Can’t believe we’re at the halfway point of the 2011 season already. Man, time has been flying by, and you know, they typically say that when you’re having fun. I know we’ve had our moments, but I think the No. 5 team and its fans could stand to have a little more fun. I know you guys are as frustrated as my team and I are. But I can assure you that we’re working on it. It’s going to get better.

We’ve had some really good runs this year in the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, a few top-10s early in the season and then our second-place finish at Dover (Del.), which put us back up into the top 10 in points. We worked really hard on our intermediate track program, but I’ll tell you, wrecks at Charlotte (N.C.), Daytona  (Fla.) and New Hampshire really cost us. In Daytona, we were able to get the pole position, which was really cool. But during the race, I really thought Jeff (Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) and I were going to finish one-two. We hit our stride right at the right time, and when he spun, I lost my partner. When you don’t have a partner at those tracks now, you’re pretty much lost. And, in trying to find a new one, we spun, too. That cost us a lot of points.

In New Hampshire, we had a top 10 car. We struggled with some electrical issues like the (No.) 24 team did, but once we changed batteries, we were on our way back through the field.  Next thing you know, we’ve nicked a tire. That ended our day in a big way, and that’s the kind of frustrating stuff that you just have no control over.

It would be easy at this point in the season, when you’re sitting 20th in points, to get down. But that’s just not the attitude of me or this race team. Instead of giving in, we’re working harder. We have a test session scheduled this coming week at Road America in Georgia in the hopes of really stepping up our road course package before Watkins Glen (N.Y.).

The next few races are big ones for us. I’ve wanted to win at Indy since we started racing there. And you know, we came so close in 2009 that I could almost taste it. Winning the Brickyard 400 sure would be a boost to this team right now. Plus, with the Sprint Summer Showdown, if I can win one of these next five races, and win at Atlanta, then one lucky fan, my charity The Make-a-Wish Foundation and I will walk away with $1 million. It doesn’t get much bigger and better than that.

I have always said that I have the most amazing race fans in NASCAR. I know that’s still true today, and I appreciate all of your support. You guys are absolutely awesome, and we’re going to keep doing the best we can do to celebrate a win soon with all of you. Hang in there!


Mark Martin

Driver, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet

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