Hendrick Motorsports

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Take Five: Catching up with the No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST team

CONCORD, N.C. (Feb. 3, 2009)—Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet can’t wait for the 2009 season to begin next week at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Recently, the NASCAR veteran spent a few minutes jotting down his thoughts on his first year with Hendrick Motorsports. Here’s what he had to say:

“I got my first taste of being a Hendrick Motorsports driver last week during NASCAR’s annual Media Tour. I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of this team. I look at the drivers that are now my teammates and just think ‘Wow!’ My job may be to win races, but I’m also wanting to contribute to this team and help all four cars make the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) and contend for another championship for (team owner) Rick Hendrick.

“My trip to Hendrick Motorsports started with my first employee luncheon on Jan. 20. These deals are pretty cool. All 500 employees eat lunch together and then there are all of these giveaways. I mean, people were walking out of there with televisions and Wii’s and X-boxes. This place is THE place to work. Not a person in that room wasn’t smiling.

“The next day, which was Media Day, we started with a video for Kellogg’sRacing.com. The Web site isn’t up yet, but will be before the Daytona 500, so make sure to check it out. After that, I had my first group meeting with my sponsors—Kellogg’s and CARQUEST. These guys are great. They have both been longtime sponsors at Hendrick Motorsports, and they love racing. I can’t wait to take my guys to Victory Lane this year, and I’m excited to get both of those sponsors back in there, too.

“Before all four of us drivers hit the stage for Media Day with Rick, we did some group photos together in front of Hendrick’s new 25th anniversary logo.  Standing with this group of talented drivers and their crew chiefs—it was just really cool.

“When we were all on stage together, that’s when I made my first critical mistake with Rick. I poked fun at him in front of all those media members. A small joke that has now been in newspapers and on TV stations across the country. Rick is a good sport—he took it well. But I’m sure there will be payback at some point.

“It was a long day of explaining to the media why I made my return to full-time racing. Why this No. 5 team is a championship-caliber team, and what I’m going to do to help these guys get there. I’ve never been more prepared for a race season than I am right now. And I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for one to start.

“Just want to thank all of you guys for your continued support. Make sure to tune into the Daytona 500 next weekend. And watch for that Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevy. She’s going to be fast.”

Catch Martin and the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST team in action on Feb. 15 during the 51st running of the Daytona 500. The race will air at 3 p.m. on FOX.