Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports

by KFFL Staff on January 18, 2011 @ 18:54:00 PDT

 


Mark Martin | No. 5 GoDaddy.com/Quaker State Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports

Mark Martin

A year after finishing second in the final standings, Martin failed to make the Chase in 2010. A miserable summer stretch was to blame, and at times, it seemed as if the ageless veteran was finally over the hill. However, Martin was able to salvage his season with a strong run during the playoffs, and a return to the Chase in 2011 seems likely.

The offseason brought plenty of changes for Martin and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team. His crew chief Alan Gustafson was sent to Jeff Gordon's No. 24 team, while Lance McGrew left Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team to join Martin. In addition, Martin will now share a shop with Gordon after spending his first two seasons at HMS in the same shop as Junior and the No. 88 team.

Despite the struggles last year, Martin finished the year with a 15.3 average finish, and that number improved to 11.5 during the Chase. When you consider that his 2010 average was his worst since 2003, it is more than reasonable to expect a rebound from Martin in 2011. He probably won't be in the mix for the title, but a top-10 finish is more than reasonable. After all, the guy was still a top-15 option even in a bad season.

Martin isn't really an elite option at any track type, but he is a solid choice at almost every track. Not to mention the fact that he has been very strong at intermediate tracks and short tracks since joining HMS. Martin is the type of driver that can notch a top-15 finish on any given week, which makes him an excellent pick in Draft and Play leagues and a useful driver in any fantasy format. 

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