Mark Martin's Theory About 2011 Takes Hit From Ray Evernham

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2010

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 13:  Mark Martin, driver of the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, sits on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 13, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

We get it that Mark Martin is totally angered by the media.  Now he has a credible source within the sport to add to the list of those who make him mad.

The media is also not implying Martin is going to be fired, as he seems to think.

Mark Martin is a heck of a racer and deserves nothing but respect as the gentlemen driver he has been throughout his career.

Ray Evernham, the crew chief who won three NASCAR Cup titles with Jeff Gordon and brought Kasey Kahne to the Cup level made a prognostication about Martin's future.

Evernham was speaking to reporters as part of an ESPN panel on Friday.

He said, "At some point Mark will realize Rick Hendrick has been very good to him, and...the best thing for Hendrick Motorsports is for Mark to make room for Kasey to come over there."

Evernham added, "I think Mark will eventually do that.  There's lots of balls in the air."

He went on to predict Martin would probably announce that he would leave HMS to make room for Kahne in the next three or four weeks.

Keep in mind, fans, Ray Evernham remains close to Kahne and the folks at Hendrick Motorsports.

This is no half-baked media proclamation based on speculation.

Martin has become very angered about all the rumors circulated by the media regarding his future.

He continues to reiterate he will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. 

Martin said, "There is no inclination of any change."   Hmmmmmmmmmm!

Martin ranted that reporters are "very disrespectful" to him.

Claiming he did not deserve such treatment, he added, "Any little bit of waffling that I have done in my whole career was based on being asked questions before I was ready to answer them."

Perhaps the pattern continues with that, being that he is not ready to announce his plans only this time he is using denial as opposed to waffling.

Martin insists he should be able to do what ever he wants and he is absolutely right about that.

Now back to reality...

Rumors have been floating around regarding a return of Evernham to Hendrick Motorsports in some capacity other than crew chief.

Maybe that is a rumor and maybe not.

As Evernham implied, there are many options being tossed about that prolong Rick Hendrick's announcement about Kahne.

Once again five Hendrick NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers won't go into the four teams he is allotted at HMS.

Alan Gustafson, Martin's current crew chief, has said he will do anything Mr. Hendrick asks him to do.

Odds are Kenny Francis will be the crew chief for Kahne in 2011.

Martin will sacrifice his ride in the No. 5 despite his protests.  His many options will soon play out.

Martin didn't visit with the Red Bull people to chat about the weather.

A deal with James Finch may be on the table as well.

Kasey Kahne will be driving at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011 with Kenny Francis heading up his team.

Alan Gustafson will most likely take over crew chief duties on the No. 88 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. if he continues to drive at Hendrick Motorsports.

Ray Evernham may be directing the teams under the guidance of puppet-master, Rick Hendrick.

Martin is not being disrespected by anyone.

He needs to race as hard as he can with his GoDaddy.com car and continue to enjoy the ride for the rest of the year.

Martin may not be ready to sacrifice his ride at HMS, but we know he will do the right thing.

With Evernham's observations made public, it is doubtful the two men will be going out to dinner for friendly conversation anytime soon.

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