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Mark Martin In the 88 Car For '07?

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I don't usually deal in rumours, but here goes. It has been widly reported, and confirmed, that Mark Martin will no longer be driving the #6, AAA car next year for Jack Roush, but nothing has really been said about what he going to be doing next year - we all assumed that he would be retiring at the end of this year. Well the latest rumour to come out is that he will be driving the #88 car next year for Robert Yates.

Think about it for a second. Mark never did say he was going to retire at the end of this year, he only said that he is "done with the 6 car after 19 yrs". Also, there was a rumour reported by Marc at Full Throttle back in early August, and later by me, that Mark might be interested in purchasing Robert Yates Racing (RYR) outright. After that Robby Gordon's deal to purchase half of RYR fell through. Now Robert Yates has made an announcement that there will be an announcement about the 88 team with a vetern driver ... hmmm.

Could it be that Mark has bought half of RYR and is going to drive the 88 car long enough to keep it in the top 35 of the Owner Points and then turn the car over to some else to drive? Or, how about this?

Roush has a 5 car team right now, and NASCAR wants teams to be no bigger than 4, so why not move one over to Mark's newly acquired team - after all he does 'technically' own the 17 car. This could allow Jack, Mark, and Robert Yates (if he is still part team owner) to make a full 7 or 8 car team under two separate team owners, thus creating a Ford monopoly. I mean, Roush and Yates already make most of the Ford engines in NASCAR Cup anyway.

After Roush and Yates, what other big Ford teams are there? The Wood Brothers? They haven't been in serious contention to win races on a weekly basis since the early 90's. The combined efforts of the Roush/Martin/Yates alliance would be the equivalent of a Ford Factory team, whether it showed up on paper or not doesn't matter, it would be too obvious to even the most recent of NASCAR observers.

Look out Rick Hendrick, Toyota, and others.