Kluever to take over Martin’s ride

UPDATE #2 Todd Kluever had been anointed to be the heir to Mark Martin in Roush Racing's No. 6 Ford for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2007, but his struggles this season might throw a curveball in those plans.

Kluever finished 41st in his Nextel Cup debut at Chicago and then got caught up in an accident to finish last Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. He is 18th in his rookie season in the Busch Series.

He still has five more Cup races left this season, and his performance could determine how many Cup events he will compete in next year.

"We've got a number of possibilities," team owner Jack Roush said Sunday. "It's possible that Mark Martin could be in the 6 car again next year. It's possible that any one of our other rookies could be in there.

"I want to say it's likely that Todd Kluever will be in there, but where Todd is, I think it is less likely that he will be in there for all 36 races. We'll just have to watch and see what happens." Scenedaily

08/19/06 Jack Roush isn't convinced that Todd Kluever is ready to slide into Mark Martin's seat in the #6 car next season. "We need to see how he does in these Nextel Cup races and see what our sponsors say,'' Roush said after watching Kluever qualify 38th for Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway. The outcome could have an affect on whether Martin, 47, runs a part-time or full-time schedule in NASCAR's premier series next season. Martin is going under the assumption Kluever will be in the 6 and he'll be running a part-time schedule, although Roush said he wouldn't hesitate to put any of his veteran drivers in the car if Kluever isn't ready. Martin said there have been no discussions with Roush about him staying in the 6. "The 6 car is set right now,'' he said before qualifying 14th. "Todd's going to drive the car. … The whole plan for 2006 has been to work as hard as we could to get Todd ready to take over the 6 car. We're still doing that.'' NASCAR.com

08/18/06 Despite a steep learning curve, Todd Kluever is confident with his talent and job security as he prepares to take over Mark Martin's Nextel Cup Series seat in the #6 Roush Racing Ford next season. Martin, 47, is expected to run a full NASCAR Trucks Series slate in 2007. But since Kluever hasn't run well, it has been rumored the 20-year veteran will stick around Cup another season. Another possible scenario that has been floated is that Martin will run a 12-race Cup schedule and will run full-time in the Trucks Series, giving Kluever an additional season of experience in Busch. Kluever said in a telephone interview Tuesday that team owner Jack Roush has not indicated to him that he is dissatisfied with his results. "The rumors are just that – they're speculation," said Kluever, who spent one season in Trucks before moving to Busch this year. "In all honesty, and I've talked to Mark about this, I'm worried about this weekend. I'm not really worried about next year. I'm very realistic, I live for the weekend. Rumors are rumors and if I go out and win the Busch race this weekend, they all seem to disappear. … The plans are still that I will be driving the #6 (Cup) car next year." More from the Capital Times

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