Share “Martin nearly gets 50 Cent to change name...”

Martin nearly gets 50 Cent to change name for day

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm •  Published: February 24, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — 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.

Continue reading this story on the...