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From the Marbles

Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip Racing announce two-year deal

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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Mark Martin will drive 25 races for Michael Waltrip Racing with sponsorship from Aaron's in each of the next two Sprint Cup Series seasons.

The team announced Friday at Texas Motor Speedway that it would have sponsorship from Aaron's for 30 races over each of the next two seasons with Waltrip driving in the other five. Aaron's also holds an option for 2014.

Martin had been mentioned as a candidate for partial schedules at other teams, including Stewart-Haas Racing with Danica Patrick, but the deal with Waltrip came about three weeks ago.

Martin's No. 5 at Hendrick Motorsports will be driven by Kasey Kahne next year.

"I did have some other options," Martin said. "Most of the options were 'wait and see if it materializes.'

"When we talked at Talladega, there was no clear path but I was starting to see more traction on the Cup side than I had seen in Nationwide or Trucks."

Martin and Waltrip will be replacing David Reutimann, who has driven for Michael Waltrip Racing since the team entered the Cup Series in 2007. In 168 races with MWR, Reutimann had scored wins at Charlotte and Chicagoland. In 2010, Reutimann signed an extension with MWR that reportedly went through the 2012 season.

Both Reutimann and Martin will finish out the final three races of 2011 with their current teams.

The team plans to fill the remaining Cup Series races with an unknown driver and sponsor combination. Martin said that he's not currently looking to add Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events to his schedule but that he wouldn't count it out either.

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