Mark Martin Leaves Musician Fun Behind and Heads to Phoenix International Raceway

By Kent Whitaker
Mark Martin
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Daytona 500 is often called NASCAR‘s version of the NFL Super Bowl. There’s good reason for that if you take into consideration the number of movie stars and musicians walking around the garage area on Sunday.

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, not only grabbed a third place finish but he enjoyed some fun times with a few of this favorite musicians. Martin hung out with rapper TI Sunday morning in the motor coach lot and later that afternoon entertained singer 50-cent who accompanying Martin to driver introductions.

50-cent spent much of the race on top of Martin’s Aaron’s Dream Machine pit box where he tweeted that @55markmartin was the “OG” (Original Gangster) of the Daytona 500. Martin commented that 50-cent had an impact on his twitter count.

“Oh my gosh that was exciting. TI and 50-cent are some of my favorites,” Martin said. “That was cool to get to meet them and talk with them. 50 spent a lot of time with us. He came into our hauler and the guys had his music 162512389playing. He asked them their names and what they did. He took as many pictures as we took of him. After the race my Twitter followers jumped 3,000. I said 50 must have done something. It was really good that he took the time to come check out NASCAR.”

As for the race Martin said he was grateful for the hard work and wonderful car that MWR put together for his ride at Daytona International Speedway during the 500.

“It was an awesome car. There were a lot of things going on there at the end. We had a chance for the big trophy. I had a wonderful car and can’t thank the guys at MWR enough.”

Now it’s time for MWR to head to Phoenix International Raceway with the No. 55 Dream Machine which will serve as the seat for three different drivers. Martin will drive the No. 55 in 24 races, Brian Vickers in nine races and Michael Waltrip in three races. Regardless of the drivers Martin feels that the Gen-6 cars will make a mark during the season and at Phoenix.

“I think when we get in these cars at Phoenix they are going to stick like glue, Martin said. “These new Gen-6 cars are going to break a lot of track records in 2013 and I think that could start as soon as Friday in Phoenix. We were fortunate enough to win the pole here last year. I think we are going to need to go a heck of a lot faster this year to repeat.”

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