Homestead, Fla. – 11/19/2006
Veteran NASCAR driver Mark Martin thanked for helping AAA re-enter national motorsports arena in 2006, while assisting in teen driver safety efforts
In a special pre-race ceremony today, more than 500 members of the nation’s largest motoring organization thanked veteran race car driver Mark Martin for helping AAA re-enter the world of professional motorsports in 2006, while heartily welcoming David Ragan as the new driver of the Roush Racing No. 6 Ford Fusion for the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season.
AAA — which played a key role introducing and promoting professional auto racing during the first half of the last century — returned to the national motorsports stage in 2006 as sponsor of the legendary Roush Racing No. 6 Ford Fusion. Veteran Roush driver, Mark Martin, greatly assisted AAA by driving the car for an additional year beyond his previously stated retirement from full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition at the end of 2005. Martin also helped AAA communicate safety messages to parents and teens about safe driving throughout 2006.
Taking the wheel of the No. 6 race car for the 2007 season will be David Ragan of Charlotte, N.C. Ragan has shared the No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 with Mark Martin this year, and also piloted the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150. The No. 6 race car has been the foundation of Roush Racing stable, dating back to Jack Roush’s inaugural year in NASCAR’s premier series in 1988.
Participating in the ceremony prior to the start of today’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway were Jack Roush, Mark Martin, David Ragan, and executives from the AAA National Office and the AAA Auto Club South.
“AAA is extremely proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor Mark Martin’s final, thrilling ride with Roush Racing in 2006. He has been everything we could have hoped for in our inaugural year as a car sponsor,” said AAA executive vice president, Mark Brown. “We share the confidence of the Roush Racing organization in David’s potential as a new driver in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition, and eagerly look forward to watching him pilot the No. 6 car during the 2007 racing season.”
Jack Roush said, “David is a driver with outstanding talent and as a result of his actions he is the young man I selected to fill the seat. The No. 6 is obviously a special car to me personally and this organization and we are confident in David’s ability to step up and get the job done.”
Commenting on his selection as driver of the NO. 6 race car for Roush and AAA, David Ragan said, “I know this is a tremendous opportunity that most young drivers can only dream about. I deeply appreciate the confidence and trust that Jack Roush and AAA have placed in me as a driver, and I intend to drive my heart out for them. Having Mark Martin in my corner as a mentor, friend and supporter is obviously of tremendous importance to me, and I can’t thank him enough for being here to wish me success in 2007.”
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Enterprises that operates 14 motorsports teams; five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, six in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Todd Kluever and Danny O’Quinn, Jr., and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Martin, David Ragan, Erik Darnell and Michel Jourdain, Jr.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its more than 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully-tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at: www.AAA.com.