Mark Martin confirmed Friday that he will not race in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, as was speculated a week ago.

"I'll be home on the couch with the remote," Martin said. "That'll be my last chance to recharge my batteries."

Martin, who will drive the #5 next year, had hoped to get an early start in the car and had arranged his schedule to make that possible. His last start in the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy will come at Phoenix, a week before Homestead.

The problem was that Casey Mears, the current driver of the #5, couldn't work out a productive situation with Richard Childress Racing, the organisation he will join in 2009. Mears will drive the #07 RCR Chevy next year with Gil Martin as his crew chief - and both car and crew chief currently are occupied by and with Chase driver Clint Bowyer.

Consequently, Martin will watch the finale on TV, and Mears will close out the season with Hendrick.



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