NASCAR

Martin: I'm 'absolutely' racing in '12

Mark Martin
Mark Martin won't be at Hendrick next year, but he's not done racing.
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Rea White

Rea White has been covering NASCAR full time since 1998. She has won awards from press agencies in Alabama and North Carolina and formerly served as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter.

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Mark Martin may be in the final year of his NASCAR Sprint Cup contract with Hendrick Motorsports, but don't count him out of racing.

Wednesday at the Hendrick Motorsports shop, Martin erased any doubt that he could be racing in 2012.

Gentlemanly racer

Mark Martin's career is marked as much by his attitude as his victories. Check out Martin's top-10 NASCAR accomplishments..

“I’m absolutely, without a doubt, going to be driving race cars next year, just not going to be in any hurry to worry about that,” he said. “I’m focused on 2011 and really enjoying being a part of Hendrick Motorsports.”

He added that he's working hard to make a contribution to the organization this season and that he is looking forward to working with new crew chief Lance McGrew. Hendrick swapped crew chiefs among Martin, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. this offseason, moving McGrew from Earnhardt’s team to that of Martin.

Beyond that, Martin isn’t commenting on or worrying about next season. Right now, he's focused on 2011.

Asked further about the issue later, he said that it was too early to be even thinking in that direction and that it would be better to approach him about what he'll be racing, and for whom, late in the season.

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