One of the NASCAR Xfinity Series teams is making a significant change for the 2022 season. Martins Motorsports will move from a one-driver operation to one featuring multiple wheelmen while owner Tommy Joe Martins scales back his schedule.
The Xfinity Series owner-driver confirmed on Wednesday, July 28, that he will take on a part-time role during the 2022 season and will feature more drivers in the No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro. The reason is that different drivers could help the team land more funding in the form of sponsors. He will continue to race, but he just won’t fulfill a full-time schedule.
“We’re maxed out with what we’re doing,” Martins told TobyChristie.com. “I feel like to go to the next level, or even to stay at the level we are at, it’s probably going to take more than what I can bring to the table as a driver. We’re going to need some other people that want to buy into what we are building here.”
Martins also told TobyChristie.com that he has a handshake deal with a driver for three races. He did not provide the identity but said that they currently race in one of the three ARCA Series. Martins added on Twitter that he will provide more information “next month.”
Martins Previously Hinted at Some Driver Changes
The news that Martins would move back from a full-time schedule is new, but he had previously told reporters that a change could be on the way. According to “Jayski,” Martins said that he was “at a crossroads” concerning his career as a driver.
“What I know in my heart is that Tommy Joe Martins, the driver, is probably never going to raise enough money for us to consistently not have to worry about it every year,” Martins said earlier in the 2021 season. “I think for our team, we would need some level of about half a million to a million dollars of sponsorship per year to be in a good spot. I’m never going to raise that kind of money; I never have.
“I just know that I have what is a partial season in sponsorship, really. It’s probably another funded driver that can come in here and pay the bills for us. I think as good as I am behind the wheel, I think I’m also a good general manager for this race team. I think I have enough business sense to realize that.”
Martins Still Has Work To Do Concerning His Lineup
While the 34-year-old has a handshake agreement with one driver to join the fold in 2022, he still has considerable work to do. There are only two drivers currently on the roster, a list that includes Martins.
Finding new drivers to fill out the list is a priority, and Martins is actively seeking for new additions to the team. According to his interview with TobyChristie.com, Martins will break up the season into packages that hightlight each driver’s skillset.
Some of these drivers will compete on the road courses while others will take on superspeedways. Martins, on the other hand, will focus on tracks such as Bristol, Darlington, and Nashville.
Prior to moving back his schedule, however, Martins will first have to finish out the 2021 season. He is 19 races in with a season-best finish of 11th at Talladega Superspeedway. Martins is currently 19th in the points standings, below the playoff cut line, meaning that he likely won’t compete for the championship trophy barring a win in the final seven regular-season races.