Add Jeff Burton to the growing list of people who think Mark Martin will have trouble climbing out of the U.S. Army Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Burton said, “I’d bet almost anybody that Mark Martin runs all 38 races. Matt (Kenseth) and I told him before the Daytona 500 that we both bet that he would run every race. I believed it before the year started, and I believe it even more today.”
Burton said racers like Martin simply don’t walk away from front-running cars, especially while leading the points.
“I know him really well,” said Burton. “I hate to use this analogy, but he’s like a drug addict that can’t get away from it. That’s a horrible analogy, (racing) is an addicting thing, and when you’re having success it’s much, much harder to walk away. Mark Martin isn’t going to have a car owner look him in the eye and say, `Hey, we have a chance to win a championship,’ and have him say, `Well, I’m not riding.’ I know he’s not going to. He can say all he wants, but he’s not scheduled to run (today’s COT test at) Bristol. Who’s doing the Bristol test? Mark Martin.”
The official Bristol test sheet shows Regan Smith at the wheel of both US Army entries, but Martin is indeed turning laps in one of the Ginn Racing machines. He is supposed to surrender the U.S. Army #01 to Smith for 16 races this season, and continues to insist that his schedule has not changed.