Mark Martin (racecar driver)

Mark Martin (racecar driver)

Infobox_NASCAR_driver
Name = Mark Anthony Martin


Birthdate = birth date and age|1959|1|9
Birthplace = Batesville, Arkansas
Awards = 1977 ASA Rookie of the Year
4-Time ASA Champion (1978, 1979, 1980, 1986)
5-Time IROC Champion (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005)
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
Cup_Car_Team = 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Previous_Year = 2007
Prev_Cup_Pos = 27th
Best_Cup_Pos = 2nd - 2002, 1998, 1994, 1990 (Winston Cup)
Cup_Wins = 35
Cup_Top_Tens = 390
Cup_Poles = 41
First_Cup_Race = 1981 Northwestern Bank 400 (North Wilkesboro)
First_Cup_Win = 1989 AC Delco 500 (Rockingham)
Last_Cup_Win = 2005 Banquet 400 (Kansas)
Prev_Busch_Year = 2007
Busch_Car_Team = 5 - JR Motorsports
Busch_Wins = 48
Busch_Top_Tens = 145
Busch_Poles = 30
Previous_Year = 2007
Prev_Busch_Pos = 55th
Best_Busch_Pos = 8th - 1987
First_Busch_Race = 1982 Kroger 200 (Indianapolis)
First_Busch_Win = 1987 Budweiser 200 (Dover)
Last_Busch_Win = 2008 Sam's Town 300 (Vegas)
Prev_Truck_Year = 2007
Truck_Car_Team = 21 - Wood Brothers/JTG Racing
Prev_Truck_Pos = 38th |
Best_Truck_Pos = 19th - 2006
Truck_Wins = 7
Truck_Top_Tens = 19
Truck_Poles = 3
First_Truck_Race = 1996 Fas Mart Shootout (Richmond)
First_Truck_Win = 1996 Lowe's 250 (North Wilkesboro)
Last_Truck_Win = 2006 Ford 200 (Homestead)
Updated_On = June 8, 2008

Mark Anthony Martin (born January 9, 1959 in Batesville, Arkansas) is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and drives the #8 U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala SS part-time, and is also a part-time driver in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports. Martin is known for his consistency, as he frequently finishes in the top 10. He also qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup all 3 years he raced full-time during its existence. Mark Martin also currently holds the record for most Nationwide Series wins with 48.

Career

Early career

After racing on the short dirt tracks in the state of Arkansas for several years, Martin debuted in the American Speed Association (ASA) in 1977. He won the circuit's Rookie of the Year title in 1977 and then 3 consecutive championships from 1978 to 1980.

Martin began his Cup career in 1981. After bouncing about with different sponsors and teams from 1981 to 1983, he returned to ASA in 1984. In his only full year in Cup during this period, he ran his own team and even had 5 top 10s. In 1986, he won yet another ASA championship.

Roush Racing

In 1987, he gave NASCAR racing another shot by running in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which was called the Busch Series during this time. After a win at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, he was spotted by car owner Jack Roush. In 1988, Martin began a long relationship with Roush that continued for 19 years.

Overall, Martin has 35 career NASCAR Cup wins and has finished second in the Sprint Cup Series point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002). However, after 19 years of racing for Jack Roush, he has never been able to capture the championship, though this is not from a lack of effort. In 1990, a 46-point penalty at Richmond for using an illegal (but non-performance enhancing) carburetor spacer caused him to lose to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points in the final standings.

Martin has also won five IROC titles (1994, 1996, 1997 1998 and 2005) in addition to 13 races, both records for that series.

Martin announced he would retire after the 2005 season, dubbing the season the "Salute to You" tour as a thank you to his fans. After series champion Kurt Busch suddenly opted to leave the Roush Racing organization, Roush didn't have another driver lined up for 2006. Martin ultimately opted to run one more season at the request of Roush.

In June 2005, it was announced that Jamie McMurray would replace Martin in the #6 car in 2007. This left Roush without a driver for that car in 2006. Martin later agreed to drive for the 2006 season. Ultimately, it was announced that McMurray would be released from his contract and would take over for Kurt Busch instead in car #26 (formerly #97), and David Ragan would replace Martin in the #6 AAA Ford Fusion in 2007.

Ginn Racing / DEI

On October 6, 2006, it was announced that Martin would instead split time with current Busch Series driver Regan Smith in the Ginn Racing #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in 2007. Roush Racing announced that due to team limits imposed by NASCAR, they could not field a team for Martin for all 20 races he wanted to run in 2007, forcing Martin to move on, at least in the Nextel Cup Series. However, Martin drove two races for Roush Fenway Racing in the Busch Series, and also drove in three races for Hendrick Motorsports, sharing the #5 with Kyle Busch.

Martin finished second in the 2007 Daytona 500, only 0.020 seconds behind Kevin Harvick. Martin had led going into the final lap before Harvick stormed from seventh to win on the outside. There has been much controversy over whether or not the caution flag should have came out, which could have affected the outcome of the race. Normally, the caution flag is shown as soon as a car or more make contact with the wall.

2007 was Martin's first season to start with three consecutive top-five finishes. It is also the first time he has had three consecutive top-five finishes since 2002. Martin is also the oldest driver in the modern era to lead the Nextel Cup points for more than one week. Martin led the Nextel Cup points from the second race of the season, the Auto Club 500, through the fourth race of the season, the Kobalt Tools 500. Martin sat out the Food City 500, becoming the first driver since Cale Yarborough to sit out a race as the points leader.

On July 25, 2007, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced it had acquired Ginn Racing. Mark Martin would join Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr., and Paul Menard as a driver for DEI starting at the 2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He would share the #01 car with Aric Almirola for the rest of the season.

On September 8, 2007, it was announced that Martin would share the #8 car with Aric Almirola in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship from the U.S. Army.

Martin made his 700th career start at the 2008 Auto Club 500.

On March 1, 2008, Mark Martin won the 2008 Sam's Town 300 driving the #5 Delphi Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. It was Martin's 48th career Nationwide Series victory and JR Motorsports' 1st win.

During the weekend of the 2008 Toyota/Save Mart 350, ESPN reported that Mark Martin was leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc. following the 2008 season. It was announced that Aric Almirola who shared the #8 car with Mark Martin would drive the car full-time in 2009. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=3456160 ESPN.com: Martin to leave DEI in 2009, Almirola to race full time] ]

Hendrick Motorsports

On July 4, 2008, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and Martin announced that he will replace Casey Mears in the #5 car for the 2009 season, running a full-time schedule for the first time since 2006. Martin signed a two-year contract with Hendrick, with a full-time schedule for the 2009 season and part time, 26-race schedule for 2010. [ [http://www.scenedaily.com/news/articles/sprintcupseries/Martin_to_seek_2009_championship_in_Hendrick_Motorsports_No_5.html Martin to seek 2009 championship in Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 - Sprint Cup Series | SceneDaily.com - NASCAR News ] ]

Personal life

Martin currently resides in Daytona Beach, Florida with his wife Arlene and five children (four of whom are from wife Arlene's first marriage). Martin's father, stepmother and stepsister died in a tragic plane crash on August 8, 1998 in Nevada near Great Basin National Park.cite book |last=Boone |first=Jerry F. |title= [http://books.google.com/books?id=QNZO2NUZGxkC Mark Martin: The Racer's Racer] |year=2006 |publisher=MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company |isbn=076032543X |pages=pp.106] Martin enjoys listening to rap music. [ [http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=218289&FS=NASCAR-CUP Martin's rap anthem to debut at All-Star weekend] ] Martin is also an avid pilot and flies his personal jet to and from races. He also currently owns two car dealerships. Mark Martin Chevrolet located in Melbourne, Arkansas and another, Mark Martin Ford-Mercury (automobile), in Batesville, Arkansas. [ [http://www.markmartinfordmercury.com/ Mark Martin Ford-Mercury] ]

Gallery

References

External links

* [http://www.markmartin.com Mark Martin's Official Website]
* [http://www.racing-reference.info/driver?id=martima01 Mark Martin's NASCAR statistics]
* [http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/cup/driver?statsId=4 Mark Martin on FoxSports]
* [http://www.markmartinchevy.com/ Mark Martin Chevrolet Dealership]
* [http://www.nascar.com/drivers/dps/mmartin00/cup/index.html Mark Martin's Driver page at NASCAR.com]
* [http://www.mattmartin.net Matt Martin's Official Website (Mark's son)]
* [http://multimedia.foxsports.com/car-racing/nascar/drivers/mark-martin.htm Mark Martin on FoxSports Video Archive]


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