Mark Martin has stepped into a new role as something of a mentor in the NASCAR community during the 2017 season, lending support to the sport’s rising stars when they need it most.
Martin tweeted Monday to express his displeasure with the regrettable situation that Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez now finds himself in. And even though Martin didn’t tag Suarez in the tweet, it caught the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie’s eye.
On Saturday, Suarez learned that long-time JGR partner Subway had backed out of its sponsorship deal as a result of a TV segment that the Mexican driver played along with ahead of the Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The decision means that JGR currently is without a sponsor for the No. 19 Toyota in the Alabama 500.
This isn’t the first time this year that Martin has taken to Twitter to give a young driver a pep talk, either. He similarly reached out to Darrell Wallace Jr. in July when Wallace narrowly missed out on a 2018 Cup seat at Wood Brothers Racing due to a lack of sponsorship.
Although messages that are less than 140 characters might not sound like the most heartfelt way to offer encouragement, the fact that Suarez replied to a tweet he wasn’t mentioned in highlights just how invaluable they are. Given that racing is unlike most sports, in that drivers need to bring sponsors to teams in order to offset their costs, they know that a lost sponsor could hurt their careers.
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