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Mark Martin not looking for new race seat

Mark Martin had admitted that he's not looking for a new race seat in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition for 2014 and that he's looking forward to moving on to new challenges.
Veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin won't use the word 'retire', but he's admitted that he isn't looking for a new race seat for next season and almost certainly won't be competing in the Daytona 500 next February, the first time he'll be absent from the grid there since 1987 after 26 consecutive starts.

"It's time for me to open a new chapter and do some other things," said Martin, who at 54 has 40 career wins in 880 starts dating back to a 1981 race at North Wilkesboro, although he's never won the Daytona 500 itself or a Cup title in all those years of campaigning.

"My life is going to change," he admitted after indicating that he's set for an as-yet unspecified role at Stewart-Haas Racing that will likely see him test and shakedown cars on behalf of its four-driver line-up in 2014. "The major definition is I'll do the preseason testing. The cool thing about that is I get to do it on my terms. We haven't gone solid with the level of commitments or duties I will have.

"I'll still have an opportunity to satisfy my competitive fire and still be able to be involved in the sport at whatever level I want to be. And we'll let that kind of materialize as we move forward past Homestead," he continued. "I told them that I want to get this year behind me. I'm kind of tired, I might not make the best decisions right now.

"I'm going to open a new chapter," he said. "I squeezed every ounce of the good stuff out of my driving career. I'm really excited about moving on and [still] being involved in racing. I'll still compete as a competitor in other ways.

"I don't think I'm going to miss being a race car driver because I got to do that and was real good at it," he added. "It's exciting because I get to be involved in racing and I love it so much."

Martin could have opted to continue, as he's not been short on offers after proving time and again that he can run with the very best of the modern breed of drivers out on the track. "I have shot every inquiry down that I've had for any of the top three divisions for 2014," he revealed this weekend in Phoenix. "I've shot them down because I haven't been interested in doing that.

"I really enjoyed this year not dealing with all of that, and I don't think that that's of any major consequence," he said, adding: "I'm not having to quit before I'm ready ... I am 100 per cent comfortable and ready."

After nearly two years running a part-time campaign in Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 car after a stint at Hendrick Motorsports, Martin was the choice of the SHR team to stand in for Tony Stewart in the #14 when the three-time champion broke his leg in August and was ruled out of competition for the remainder of the year. Perhaps it was that experience that Martin was hoping would prove to be a suitable 'high' on which to bring down the curtain on his time as a racing driver, but the driver indicated that his decision was actually made much earlier than that.




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Mark Martin, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, poses after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 1, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, and Mark Martin, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered By Kroger at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2013 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR driver, Mark Martin, who is filling in for an injured Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, watches the press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Mark Martin, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS qualified 11th Friday, August 23, 2013 for Saturday`s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Martin is interim driver for Tony Stewart who is out for the season due to injury. (Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Mark Martin at Auto Club Auto Club Speedway, Fontana in California - March 2013 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, and Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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