NASCAR Xfinity Series Silly Season is officially underway. Saturday, July 20 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Tommy Joe Martins announced Saturday he’s leaving his part-time ride at BJ McLeod Motorsports. Instead, he’ll join MBM Motorsports in a new deal effective after this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“I have been with BJ McLeod Motorsports for about three years now since the middle of 2017 and today, this going to be my last race with the team,” Martins said during a Saturday press conference. “It’s tough for me. As a driver of a small team, I kind of found an identity with BJ and he has created a lot of opportunities for me so I just wanted to say thank you to him.”
Martins made it clear that he is not hanging up the helmet and outlined his plans for the next couple years at MBM.
“I am not retiring,” he said. “I am just moving over to Carl Long’s team and MBM Motorsports starting in Watkins Glen. I am going to be running a six or seven-race schedule with them this year and the plan is to run about half the races next year with them.”
Martins had been with McLeod’s team for multiple seasons and had been making steady gains. But he felt like it was time for a change after making just eight starts so far this year, failing to crack the top 15 in any of them.
“I think it creates more opportunities,” Martins said. “He has got four cars, BJ has three. As you know, I have been relatively part time, this is only my ninth start and we are pretty far into the season. BJ has a business. He operates his third car as an All-Star car, toting it up for funded drivers. It has limited my opportunities quite a bit.”
In his new ride at MBM, Martins will be racing at all four road courses this year, including the Charlotte ROVAL, as well as Bristol and Texas Motor Speedway.
His sights are set long-term on making it to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, where Martins has yet to make an attempt. He’s got 75 career starts combined across NASCAR’s Xfinity and Gander Outdoor Truck divisions.
“Carl has a Cup car,” he said. “I am 32. I am not getting any younger. I would like to move up to the Cup Series at some point. We have talked about that, too. There are opportunities on the table.”
Martins will start his final race for BJ McLeod Motorsports from the 26th position. The ROXOR 200 will go green at approximately 3 p.m. ET.