Brandonbilt Motorsports, Martins Motorsports Combine For Select 2017 Races

Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

With the 2017 season just two weeks away, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series organizations have come together in an effort to better both teams’ situations.

Martins Motorsports (MM) and Brandonbilt Motorsports (BM) announced Sunday that the two organizations have reached a partnership that will see Brandon Brown drive the No. 44 Chevrolet in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, as well as other select races throughout the season.

Per the release, Tommy Joe Martins, the No. 44’s primary driver in 2016, will compete for an unnamed organization at Daytona as well.

“It just makes a lot of sense for everyone involved,” MM owner Craig Martins said of the partnership in a release. “I got to know (BM owner) Jerry Brown pretty well last year, and talked about partnering up for this season. It’s a couple of small teams working together.”

The announcement comes amid an offseason that’s seen funding woes for many of NASCAR’s small teams. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams Tommy Baldwin Racing and HScott Motorsports elected to stop their full-time efforts after 2016, and others including former XFINITY Series regular Derrike Cope Racing elected to shift their focus for the upcoming season.

Martins himself took to Twitter just 13 days ago to share his sponsorship woes, indicating that MM was still on the hunt for funding with the season quickly approaching.

With their partnership, both BM and MM hope to ease some of their financial burden for the upcoming season.

The move could also see Brown and MM become a dark horse contender at Daytona. Brown, 23, was one of a group of surprises in his 2016 Daytona debut, earning a fourth-place finish for his family organization. The run is Brown’s lone top 10 in 21-career Truck Series starts.

How many races Brown will run or Martins’ plans for Daytona are unknown at this time.

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