NASCAR

NXS: Tommy Joe Martins 2019 Season Preview

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NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran driver, Tommy Joe Martins will return to B.J. McLeod Motorsports for the 2019 season. Martins who has raced for the team part-time since 2017 will continue a part-time role in the No. 99 Chevrolet.

Martin’s season will begin with the Rinnai 250 from Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 23. Martin’s will have Diamond Gusset Jeans on board the No. 99.

Diamond Gusset has sponsored Martin’s since 2014 when his family’s team first made a run in the NXS. They also came on board during his 2016 NASCAR Truck Series run with Martins Motorsports.

The 32-year old has 28-career in the NXS with BJMM earning a career best of 11th at Iowa Speedway in 2017.

During the 2018 season, Martins best finish came at Talladega Superspeedway where he finished in the 18th position. However, he would finish the season with 11 top-25 finishes in only 19 starts.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Martins some questions on the upcoming season, his career and racing in general. Here’s what he had to say.

Sarah Handy: You’ve raced for B.J. McLeod Motorsports the past couple seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It must be a good feeling to be back with the same team for 2019?

Tommy Joe Martins: Nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s been amazing to see the growth of the team since I started driving for BJ in 2017. We were a 35th place team when I started – now I’m upset when we’re not a top-20 finisher. The guys are great. Love being a part of it.

SH: With you running a part-time schedule in 2019 and multiple drivers behind the wheel of the same race car, do you find it provides better feedback to the team?

TJM: I’m sure it’s good for the team to get different input, but all I can do is focus on the feedback I’m giving. I’m a veteran. We work with a lot of young drivers – just like Matt & Vinnie this year. I see myself as a leader here. It’s up to me to make sure the information I’m giving is accurate because it’s going to affect their race cars, too.

SH: With not running a full schedule do you have any input on which race tracks you get to race at?

TJM: BJ decides that. I’d love to race them all! He knows I’m always just a phone call away.

SH: Do you have plans to run race in the NASCAR Truck series in 2019?

TJM: Not currently. I’ve reached out to a few teams to let them know I’m available if the opportunity arises.

SH: Your best finish of the 2018 season was 18th at Talladega would you say that’s a track you enjoy racing at?

TJM: It is. Love plate racing. Gives smaller teams a chance to get great finishes. I love the intensity of it.

SH: What are your thoughts on stage racing? Do you feel it benefits the smaller teams?

TJM: I’m not a big fan. It’s very rare that we can have an opportunity to finish in the top-10 of a stage. I think from a points perspective it just allows the points gap between the front & back to grow way too wide. Essentially, we get beat 3 times a race instead of one. I understand the point – to reward full race consistency & speed, but I think it’s a tough thing to explain & has had some unintended consequences.

SH: Do you have a favorite race track that you’ve raced at in your career thus far?

TJM: Darlington, Daytona, or Atlanta. There are so many great places. Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville is another special one to me. Hoping we go back there soon.

SH: Would you like to see more short tracks added to the racing schedule?

TJM: Ha-ha absolutely. Just like I said with Fairgrounds Speedway – think there are some great tracks that would add tight, tough racing to our series. Lucas Oil Raceway, Memphis, Rockingham are just a few off the top that come to mind.

SH: If you could add one track to the schedule, which one would it be and why?

TJM: Fairgrounds Speedway. Awesome location & great history. Perfect size for a NASCAR short track. Weathered racing surface. Think it would put on an amazing show.

SH: Do you set any goals or expectations for yourself and the team for the upcoming season?

TJM: I want a top-10. My best career finish is 11th with BJMM in 2017. I’d like to check that off the list. Other than that, it’s just consistently over achieve. Score top-20s & run competitively on the lead lap.

SH: Do you see yourself making your Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut soon?

TJM: That’s more up to sponsorship & team owners. I think BJMM has allowed me to showcase what I can bring to a team. Respect in the garage area helps with those opportunities & I think I’ve earned that. I’d love to do it.

If you would like to follow Tommy Joe Martins and B.J. McLeod Motorsports on their social media channels the information is provided below.

Tommy Joe Martins

Official Website: http://www.tommyjoemartins.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tommyjoemartins
Twitter: @TommyJoeMartins
Instagram: @TommyJoeMartins

B.J. McLeod Motorsports

Official Website: http://www.bjmcleodmotorsports.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bjmsinc
Team Twitter: @teamBJMcLeod
B.J.’s Twitter: @bjmcleod78
Instagram: @bjmcleodmotorsports

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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