Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

March 29, 2013

Deal for Martin to replace Hamlin blows up

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A deal to loan Mark Martin to Joe Gibbs Racing as a replacement driver for injured Denny Hamlin fell apart Friday, when Michael Waltrip Racing said Martin will fulfill his commitment to their team.

The announcement from MWR came roughly 24 hours after JGR said Martin will take over the No. 11 Toyota next weekend at Martinsville and drive the car until Hamlin returns from a fractured vertebra in his lower back. Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races.

It means Martin can now only drive Hamlin’s car at Martinsville, a track not on his schedule. Brian Vickers, who drives for JGR in the Nationwide Series, was scheduled to drive Martin’s car for MWR at Martinsville.

MWR said Martin will return to his regular car after Martinsville and “resume his previously scheduled run of events with MWR” for the rest of the season.

“I think it is great that a driver of Mark’s caliber is available to support our fellow Toyota team during this difficult time for them. We wish Denny a speedy recovery” said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. “Mark is a big part of our organization and is committed to our sponsors, especially Aaron’s and Toyota. We have a lot of goals yet to reach this year and we are very focused on accomplishing them.”  

It’s believed a deal between the teams to swap Martin for Vickers in the Sprint Cup Series races had been completed, but JGR prematurely announced it before MWR sponsor Aaron’s had given its approval. No reason has been given why Aaron’s didn’t approve the swap.

MWR has been eyeing Vickers as a potential replacement for Martin in the No. 55 Toyota, and Vickers is scheduled to run nine races for Martin this year. Because Vickers is seen as an option for that ride, MWR was in favor of loaning Martin to the Gibbs camp to get an extended look at Vickers in its equipment.

Instead, JGR must now put together a Plan B. The team made no immediate announcement as to who will drive for Hamlin beyond Martinsville, but JGR President J.D. Gibbs said Thursday the organization preferred just one driver for consistency sake.

Vickers had the commitment to MWR for the first race, and Elliott Sadler, the second driver in JGR’s Nationwide Series camp, already has commitments to drive the Cup races at Kansas and Talladega in a fourth car for JGR.

It means Vickers will likely get the nod for Hamlin’s car after Martinsville.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Stotler’s hit lifts Post 13 to 5-3 win Stotler’s hit lifts Post 13 to 5-3 win

    Brandon Stotler singled home Brady Hillegas to snap a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and all nine starters hit safely as Fort Cumberland beat Severna Park 5-3 on a chilly opening night at the Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament Tuesday at Memorial Field.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • TOM BOSLEY Bosley returning to Southern sideline

    Tom Bosley is back, again, at Southern Garrett High School.
    And so are a few of his friends.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Casselman beats North Side, 9-1

    Connor Christner fired a two-hitter and Lance Leydig had three hits to lead Casselman Valley to a 9-1 victory in the opening game of the Rec League Championship Series Tuesday evening at Frostburg State University.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lynn Lewis scores ace at Maplehurst

    Lynn Lewis hit a hole-in-one on No. 10 at Maplehurst Country Club playing in the Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament on July 25.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 07/30/2014

    July 30, 2014

  • NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races

    NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work

    The claret jug is not out of sight. Rory McIlroy is just trying to get it out of his mind.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colaw, Keller hits in 11th send Potomac Valley past Romney

    Ryan Colaw hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to put Potomac Valley up 9-8 and Garrett Keller’s hit made it 10-8 as Potomac Valley won the championship game of the West Virginia Area American Legion Tournament, 10-8, in 11 innings over Romney Sunday at Petersburg High School.

    July 29, 2014

  • Maryland state tournament begins today at Memorial Field

    The Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament returns to Cumberland today with six teams competing for the state title at Memorial Field at the Hammersmith Hot Stove Complex.

    July 29, 2014