By Matt Weaver (Bristol, Tenn.) — Earlier this month, @MarkMartin and Roush Fenway Racing announced that the long-time partners have reunited and that the Sprint Cup veteran would serve as a driver coach and team consultant moving forward. But as it turns out, Martin had already joined the team several months prior and had already been working with RFR’s Nationwide Series drivers — @Chris_Buescher, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Reed.
Each week following a NASCAR event, Martin visits the Roush Fenway shop in Concord, N.C. and attends the weekly debriefs with team officials, drivers and crew members. His job is to analyze race footage and opine on what the team did right and where there is room for improvement.
Buescher is the most recent winner in the Nationwide Series, having won last week on the road course at Mid-Ohio. On Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Buescher called Martin a “huge asset for the team because of his talent and experience” from 30 years in the sport.
“It’s going to help us move forward, especially rookies like me and Ryan,” Buescher said. “We’re going to a lot of these tracks for the first time this season and while I have two prior races here, Mark helps us both on the track and off.
“He attends our team debriefs and tells us what he saw we could have done better. I’m really looking forward to having a long term relationship with Mark and having him help us as we continue to improve.”
Bayne is the 2011 Daytona 500 winner and is far from a rookie but he still feels like Martin has helped him improve this season, leading up to his full-time debut in the Sprint Cup Series next year. Bayne was quick to point out that everyone at RFR attends the meetings and provides their input but that Martin’s tenure is what separates him from the rest of the organization.
“Everyone at the team is involved in these meetings but he’s certainly provided his approach and perspective on all the things that we do,” Bayne said. “From my perspective, he’s been a huge asset especially as I get ready to run in the Sprint Cup Series full-time.
“I definitely plan on leaning on him quite a bit and I really look forward to having him at the shop.”