All Tommy Joe Martins wants for Christmas is to share the big news: Martins Motorsports is back. On Tuesday, he announced the family-operated team would return to NASCAR competition, running the #44 Chevrolet Camaro full-time in the Xfinity Series.
“I’m extremely nervous but also very excited about this journey we’re going on with Martins Motorsports,” Martins tweeted. “Wouldn’t be possible without the huge commitments from my father & our new co-owner Rodney Riessen. They’re all in to make this year successful. Also thanks to Diamond Gusset who’s always been behind me through my NASCAR career.
“We’ll be running our old 44 number, operating out of a shop in Mooresville, racing under the Chevrolet banner. As a GM employee & instructor at Ron Fellows school, it’s really neat to be back as a Chevy team & driver.”
The team began racing in what is now the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2009. After sporadic starts in the series that year and in 2011, Martins Motorsports moved up to the Xfinity Series in 2014, running eleven races with a best finish of fourteenth at Talladega Superspeedway.
After a year-long dormancy, the organisation returned to the Trucks in 2016 on a full-time basis, where Martins ran all but two races in the #44. Martins finished the year twenty-third in points with a best run of fifteenth at Michigan International Speedway. The team’s last starts took place in 2017 with three Truck races, with their latest finish being thirty-second at Texas Motor Speedway.
Martins Motorsports closed at the end of the season due to financial difficulties, and Martins eventually joined B.J. McLeod Motorsports and MBM Motorsports during the 2018 and 2019 Xfinity seasons. In fifty-seven career Xfinity starts, Martins has ten top-twenty finishes, including a best placing of eleventh at Iowa Speedway with BJMM in 2017.
Although Martins intends to run as many races as he can, he has clarified he is not a full-time driver for the team.
“I want to be a part time driver for this team,” he explained. “This is an open seat. It’s my job to be a good driver for us through the early part of the season, get this car in the points & prove that we can be a successful Xfinity Series team.
“We’re still in the early stages of this. We’ve already hired a few people full time & received a few sponsor commitments but we need more sponsors, more personnel (spotter, hauler driver, mechanic, car chief, social media manager) & more of your support to make it work.”
Martins Motorsports is the second new full-time team confirmed for the 2020 Xfinity season. In October, Our Motorsports announced it would field the #02 for Andy Seuss in a full campaign.