Chrysler sale not expected to change racing effort

CHARLOTTE -- DaimlerChrysler's decision to sell majority ownership in Chrysler to the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is not expected to affect Dodge Motorsports' participation in the Nextel Cup series.

DaimlerChrysler officials announced on Monday that Cerberus will pay $7.4 billion for 80 percent stake in the manufacturer of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles.

Mike Accavitti, the director of Dodge Motorsports, said during the March race at Bristol that "under any scenario, as far as we're concerned, we see us remaining involved with NASCAR.''

Representatives of Dodge Motorsports said Monday that position hasn't changed.

In anticipation of the sell, Accavitti and Tom LaSorda, the chairman of DaimlerChrysler, visited with Dodge owners Ray Evernham, Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske at Bristol to reassure them of the company's commitment.

All the Dodge teams are locked up contractually through at least 2009.

"We talked to everybody today,'' Accavitti said. "The message is pretty consistent. We don't intend on going anywhere.''

Martin to pick up speed
Mark Martin is expanding his Cup schedule for Ginn Racing once again.

Sources close to the driver said he will add the August 5 race at Pocono, the Sept. 8 race at Richmond and the Sept. 9 race at Dover to his schedule, bringing his part-time schedule total to 24 Cup events.

Martin already announced he has added the July race at Daytona to his schedule.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.