By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins is moving his race team from the Camping World Truck Series to the Xfinity Series, according to a report from NBC Sports on April 14. Martins planned to make his first Xfinity Series start of the season in Saturday’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway but has since withdrawn, instead opting to run his first Xfinity race of the season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 29. According to Martin, the reason for the alteration of his planned debut was the Bristol weather forecast. With rain expected throughout the BMS race weekend, the chance of the cancellation of qualifying was too high for Martins to go to Bristol. Without qualifying, Martins probably wouldn’t make the race, unless he was one of only 40 or fewer drivers on the entry list.
Martins will drive a No. 45 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Diamond Gusset Jeans. Kevin Eagle will be his crew chief.
Martins is planning a partial Xfinity Series schedule for the remainder of 2017 to include both races at Richmond and Dover (Del.) International Speedway and races at Chicagoland in Joliet, Ill.; Kansas Speedway in Kansas City; and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also plans to run the second race of the year at Bristol later this season.
With the transition to Xfinity Series competition, the only Truck race Martins plans to enter is the lone dirt race on the schedule at Eldora Speedway in Rossbuhg, Ohio.
Martins has 11-career Xfinity Series starts, all coming in 2014. Meanwhile, he has 27-career starts in the Cup Series, two of those coming this season in the first two races of the year at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Atlanta Speedway.
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