Mark Martin will drive the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured back.
Martin will step in immediately, taking over at the next round of the Sprint Cup at Martinsville Speedway. Brian Vickers will drive Mark Martin’s #55 Michael Waltrip Racing machine at the Martinsville race.
“We’ve been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver,” said team President Joe Gibbs. “A lot goes into a decision like this, but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously, we’re not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark’s career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week.”
Hamlin will miss at least five races while he recovers from a fractured vertebrae in his lower back. There has been no word whether Martin will cover all five races, but one round Hamlin is scheduled to miss is Talladega, an event Martin has opted out of in recent years.
“I’m happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny,” said Martin, who has 858 Cup starts in 31 seasons and 40 race wins. “Hopefully, I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up.”