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ABINGDON, Va. - Martin-McClure Racing, owned by NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Eric McClure and Hal Martin, announced today an increased presence in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for the 2017 season. Beginning its third year of competition, the team has signed Hunter Baize as driver and will campaign a full NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule.
"This is a tremendous day for the entire Martin-McClure Racing organization. As Hal and I set out nearly two years ago to lay the foundation for a thriving operation, I never imagined we would see success so quickly, nor experience some of the most rewarding days of my professional career in such a short period of time," McClure said."Bringing a driver of the caliber of Hunter Baize under our banner, following the talent we saw in our equipment last year, reinforces the attainability of the vision we have and is a testament to the efforts of personnel that share the same beliefs. In addition, the continuation of the Reynolds Wrap program is a great blessing for us. The national and regional brand partnership additions we have validate the successful positive return initiatives that we have in place both on and off the track.
"It's an honor to be able to field our team out of the Morgan-McClure facility. With this location comes a great source of pride, but also great responsibility to carry on the legacy that my family built here and the racing heritage of our region. The knowledge and advice from my father and my uncles, is invaluable and I'm fortunate we have the access to their wisdom. I feel we are positioned well for the future and I'm excited for the upcoming season."
Reynolds Wrap, a longtime sponsorship partner of McClure's, will return for a second season with MMR and a 12th year of affiliation with McClure. The popular brand will adorn Baize's #13 Toyota Camry for multiple events in 2017.
Baize, the 2016 NKNPSE Sunoco Rookie of the Year, joins Martin-McClure Racing for his sophomore season of competition. The Bremen, KY native had an impressive rookie season, placing fourth in the 2016 season standings behind a Top 5 finish and 10 Top 10 finishes.
"I'm extremely excited about being a part of Martin-McClure racing," said Baize. I competed alongside them last season as they won three races from a partial schedule and was very impressed. I look forward to working with Hal, Eric, Teddy, and the rest of the MMR team. I'm thankful for the opportunity to build off my successful rookie season with a team that has already showed such promise.
"I don't take the history of this facility lightly. To accomplish what Morgan-McClure Motorsports did at the top level of the sport, namely winning two Daytona 500's, is beyond difficult. It's a pleasure to be associated with a team so steeped in NASCAR history."
The team also announced the hiring of veteran Teddy Brown as crew chief for Baize. Brown comes with more than 15 years of experience across NASCAR's national series, and recently served as interim crew chief for MMR at the New Jersey Motorsports Park event in 2016. In 2015, Brown was responsible for a pair of victories in the ARCA series.
MMR Racing also announced that Chad Finchum will run select races in for the team in 2017, including the Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway, which he won last season.