Martin nearly gets 50 Cent to change name for day

Mark Martin made big bucks with 50 Cent by his side.

Martin has never been a fan of restrictor-plate racing, which

often results in a large number of cars running side-by-side and in

tight packs.

But this one ended considerably better than most of Martin’s

others. Maybe it had something to do with rapper 50 Cent being in

the No. 55 team’s pit before and during the Daytona 500.

”We told 50 Cent if we won the race, he would have to change

his name to 55 Cent for one day,” Martin said. ”I was trying

really hard to get that name change for one day.”

Martin would have preferred his own name switch – to Daytona 500

winner. Instead, he settled for third place behind Jimmie Johnson

and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

”First of all, I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity,”

said the 54-year-old Martin, who could be in his final season.

”There are a number of drivers that didn’t get to have a shot at

the Daytona 500, and I was at least close enough to have an outside

shot. So I feel extremely lucky for that opportunity.”

50 Cent has more No. 1 hits than Martin does Daytona 500

victories: The driver is now 0 for 29 in ”The Great American

Race” and refused to commit beyond this season.

”I’m definitely not going to talk about 2014 yet,” said

Martin, who has a part-time deal with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Who knows how much 50 Cent will divulge about what went down

Sunday. The entertainer and budding boxing promoter was caught

trying to kiss Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews on the lips on live


He ended up landing one on her left check and then followed her

down the starting grid. Andrews appeared caught off guard.

”Hey I wanted to kiss her, so I did,” 50 Cent later posted on

his Twitter page.

Shortly after the failed attempt, which provided fodder for

Internet sites everywhere, 50 Cent headed to Martin’s pit box.

Martin then won $817,013 for his finish. Even 50 Cent would have

to admit that’s some pretty nice pocket change. Martin is a noted

rap fan. His Twitter bio says, ”Gucci Mane my favorite rapper.”

He tweeted a pre-race picture with rapper T.I.

It was his best showing in a Sprint Cup points race at Daytona

since finishing a close second to Kevin Harvick in 2007.

”I’ve told you guys over and over again: I’m not bitter about

the things I haven’t accomplished,” Martin said. ”I’m pretty damn

proud of the things I have. That’s how I feel about it.”