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DATE News (chronologically)
10/26/08
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Martin could replace Casey Mears in Hendrick No. 5  Mark Martin said Sunday that he would like to drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Hendrick Motorsports, if it can be worked out.

Martin will replace Casey Mears in the No. 5 Hendrick car next season while Mears moves to the No. 07 Richard Childress Racing car.

The two drivers already have tested or plan to test for their new teams. Martin took some laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Hendrick while Mears will test Nov. 4 with RCR.

"I honestly don't know what's going to happen yet," Mears said Sunday. "There have been some conversations about things, but I don't know what the options are.”

Martin is not scheduled to drive at Homestead in the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. car he shares with Aric Almirola, and Martin said Sunday that he was committed to DEI for the upcoming races at Texas and Phoenix.

“As of right now, I’m off at Homestead,” Martin said. “I’m OK to have the weekend off or I’m going to race [in the 5]. It’s not open as of right now.

“Since we don’t get on the race track in December or the first half of January, it would give us a chance to sort of find out what we need to kind of focus on and come out of the gate in January focusing on what we saw we needed to work on because everybody is a little bit different.”

The test sessions with Hendrick have gone well, Martin said.

“It’d take about an hour, maybe, each time to get to where I could feel like we could have gone out and raced,” Martin said. “I don’t really think it’s going to be a major issue. It’s great, great people, a great team.”
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