Tommy Joe Martins looks to finish 2020 strong, improve in 2021

With eight top-15 finishes in 30 races, [Tommy Joe] Martins, the owner and driver, believes it’s been a respectable first season filled with missed opportunities.

“I would say it’s like a B-,” he stated. “I just feel like we really started off tough. […] Statistically this is the best year I’ve ever had in NASCAR. But I look at it and go, ‘Man, that stat of [eight] top 15s could probably be almost doubled if we were able to finish some races earlier this year.’”

Solid numbers for not having a done deal until late December. Back then, Martins wasn’t sure if it would be a mistake to start up the team, solely because of how much money it takes to run a competitive car. Sure, he was getting the opportunity to drive full-time, but it hits the pockets deep.

Ten months later, he says the team is in a comfortable position.

The No. 44 team will return to Xfinity in 2021, hoping to improve on its starting point this season. [Crew chief Frank] Kerr believes the team needs to have all its duck in a row come Daytona in February.

“We need to have more inventory in cars and pieces,” he said of 2021. “You can do it all with less people if you have more parts. If you have a few more cars built up and ready, if you tear one up, you’re not thrashing to get one turned around and head back to the racetrack. We need to have more cars, more parts and improve on motors a little bit over the winter, maybe add a person and that would definitely help.”

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