After enduring a tumultuous first season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series back in 2014, Martins Motorsports and driver Tommy Joe Martins took an absence from NASCAR’s second tier series over the past two seasons, but on Friday, the team announced that they would be making a return beginning with the April 22nd event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“The timing was right,” team owner Craig Martins said. “We had a tremendous opportunity to make this move, and we took it. A return to Xfinity was a long-term goal for us – it just worked out a lot quicker than we expected.”
Having driven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on a nearly full-time basis since 2016, the team will no longer compete in the Truck Series, electing instead to focus on their Xfinity Series efforts, which includes a nine race schedule with Martins behind the wheel, Kevin Eagle as crew chief, and Diamond Gusset Jeans as the sponsor on their No. 45 Chevrolet team.
In addition to the spring Bristol race, the team will also run the fall Bristol race, as well as both Dover races, both Richmond races, and races at Chicagoland, Kansas, and Indianapolis.
“I’ve said a lot about our struggles in 2014. It left a really bad taste in our mouths,” Tommy Joe Martins said. “But I’m looking forward to this. I’ve wanted another chance for a long time. I loved the truck series, but I’m excited to be an Xfinity Series driver again. Having Diamond Gusset back on the car just makes it even more special.”
In 11 Xfinity Series starts in 2014, Martins scored his best finish of 14th at Talladega in one of three races that the team was able to finish without mechanical problems. In 27 Truck Series starts, Martins’ best finish came with a 16th place finish at Michigan last season.