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XFINITY

Martins Motorsports Returns at Bristol

Martins Motorsports will return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, making their 2017 season debut at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 22. Tommy Joe Martins will drive, with Diamond Gusset Jeans serving as the sponsor.

“The timing was right,” team owner Craig Martins said. “We had a tremendous opportunity to make this move, and we took it. A return to XFINITY was a long-term goal for us – it just worked out a lot quicker than we expected.”

The half-mile event marks their first of nine this year, with the No. 45 set to run both races at Bristol, Dover, and Richmond, as well as Chicagoland, Kansas and Indianapolis. The team announced Kevin Eagle returns as crew chief.

This announcement presents a shift in their program, as they will no longer compete weekly in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with just Eldora Speedway remaining on their schedule. JR Heffner will serve as the driver.

The last time they tried to compete in the XFINITY Series, they failed to qualify for the race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve said a lot about our struggles in 2014. It left a really bad taste in our mouths,” Tommy Joe said. “But I’m looking forward to this. I’ve wanted another chance for a long time. I loved the truck series, but I’m excited to be an Xfinity Series driver again. Having Diamond Gusset back on the car just makes it even more special.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

Martins Motorsports, Brandonbilt Motorsports Form Partnership

In an effort to make their program stronger, Martins Motorsports has formed a partnership with Brandonbilt Motorsports for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.

“It just makes a lot of sense for everyone involved,” said team owner Craig Martins. “I got to know Jerry Brown pretty well last year, and talked about partnering up for this season. It’s a couple of small teams working together.”

For Martins, it allows them to relieve some of the financial stress for the full year as they had been finding it difficult to find funding for the full season.

The team already confirmed that Brandon Brown will be behind the wheel of the No. 44 Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway, with “select other races to be determined on the schedule.”

Brown confirmed to PopularSpeed.com last month that he would be running Martinsville, Charlotte, Eldora and Martinsville this season in the truck series, along with 10 XFINITY Series races, for Brandonbilt Motorsports. Whether they’re included in this deal is yet to be seen.

“I’m really excited for that,” Brown told POPULAR SPEED in January. “I think it’ll be very good for us because the truck races that they’re planning on are all tracks that I enjoy, especially Martinsville. I’ve never had any luck there; I’ve always had a black cloud over me for some reason. But it seems to be one of the tracks I enjoy, want to have success at – but it’s been an adventure each there. I’m excited for those as I don’t think the competition has backed down. I think it’s just new names to fill the numbers, but still, there will be strong teams to compete against.

“I’m excited to race against Myatt Snider. I saw that he’s moving up. I used to race against him in late models, and he was always a driver I respected and always clean and fun to race against, very competitive. So I’m very excited for that, and I really feel with all the things that we took from last year and learned, we’ll be able to run well in the truck series.”

This past season in the truck series, Brown entered 13 races, posting five top-20 finishes, including a fourth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

“Racing in the truck series is as competitive as it ever has been because of a lot of big young talent, and big funded teams in there,” he said. “It was pretty tight racing all the way through. It didn’t matter where we were; you had to earn your positions. I think there was a lot of finishes that we had that I was disappointed in because I really feel my team performed better than the finish. Like I said, we have to minimize on our mistakes.”

Despite the arrangement for Brown to run Daytona, Tommy Joe Martins also confirmed he will be in the field for the event as well.

“I got an offer that was too good to pass up,” Tommy Joe said. “Still haven’t released the details on it, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to do that this week. Really excited for this opportunity, and I think my fans will be as well.

Not going to lie, it’s going to be weird seeing Brandon in the 44. Not sure how good it’s going to look in those teal colors. And it’s going to be strange not hearing Kevin Eagle’s voice in the radio – we went through a lot together last year. But I know Brandon is a good driver. He ran a great race down in Daytona last year. He’s going to give them a shot for a great finish. I know the guys are looking forward to working with him.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.