January 9, 1959 |
Batesville, Arkansas, United States
|Achievements||1994 IROC Champion
1996 IROC Champion
1997 IROC Champion
1998 IROC Champion
2005 IROC Champion
1978 ASA National Tour Champion
1979 ASA National Tour Champion
1980 ASA National Tour Champion
1986 ASA National Tour Champion
1993, 2009 Southern 500 Winner
2002 Coca-Cola 600 Winner
1995, 1997 Winston 500 Winner
Sprint All-Star Race XIV winner
1999 Bud Shootout Winner
|Awards||1977 ASA National Tour Rookie of the Year
NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|863 race(s) run over 32 year(s)|
|Car no., team||No. 55 (Michael Waltrip Racing)
No. 11 (Joe Gibbs Racing)
|Best finish||2nd (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2009)|
|First race||1981 Northwestern Bank 400 (North Wilkesboro)|
|Last race||2013 Southern 500 (Darlington)|
|First win||1989 AC Delco 500 (Rockingham)|
|Last win||2009 Sylvania 300 (New Hampshire)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|236 race(s) run over 23 year(s)|
|Best finish||8th (1987)|
|First race||1982 Kroger 200 (IRP)|
|Last race||2012 Sam's Town 300 (Las Vegas)|
|First win||1987 Budweiser 200 (Dover)|
|Last win||2011 Sam's Town 300 (Las Vegas)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|25 race(s) run over 5 year(s)|
|Best finish||19th (2006)|
|First race||1996 Fas Mart Shootout (Richmond)|
|Last race||2011 VFW 200 (Michigan)|
|First win||1996 Lowe's 250 (North Wilkesboro)|
|Last win||2006 Ford 200 (Homestead)|
|Statistics current as of May 11, 2013.|
Mark Anthony Martin (born January 9, 1959) is an American stock car driver. He currently drives the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on a part-time basis. He has the second most wins in the Nationwide Series with 49. He has finished second in the Sprint Cup Series standings five times and has been described by ESPN as "The best driver to never win a championship."
Early career 
Martin began his racing career as a young man on the dirt tracks of Arkansas. He moved on to asphalt racing and joined the ASA racing series. During his ASA career, Mark raced against Dick Trickle, Jim Sauter, Joe Shear and Bobby Allison. Mark went on to earn Rookie of the Year in 1977. Mark rounded out his ASA career winning twenty-two races and four championships (1978, 1979, 1980, and 1986).
Early NASCAR Career 
Martin had a tumultuous beginning in NASCAR, driving for six different teams from 1981 to 1987. He made five starts in 1981 driving for Bud Reeder, earning two pole positions at Nashville and Richmond and finishing third in his final race at Martinsville.
The team went full-time in 1982 with Martin running for Rookie of the Year. The team struggled for consistency, posting just eight top tens compared to 12 DNFs in 30 starts, including a string of five DNFs in six races. Completing just 73.7 percent of the laps and leading only four laps all season led to Martin finishing 14th in the final standings and finishing second to Geoff Bodine for Rookie of the Year. Despite finishing strong with two top tens in the final two races, including a fifth place finish at Riverside, Martin and Reeder parted ways after the season. He remains the only driver to run more than six races for Reeder.
Martin started 1983 running for Jim Stacy. The two parted ways after just seven races, posting three top 11s while having four races finishing 24th or worse. Following a two race-stint driving for D. K. Ulrich and one for Emanuel Zervakis, he landed a ride with Morgan-McClure Motorsports for six races, becoming the organization's first driver. While with MMM, Martin posted four finished inside the top 20, including a 10th at Talladega.
Unable to secure a ride for 1984, Martin went back to driving in the American Speed Association. Jimmy Fennig came aboard as crew chief in 1985 and the two would go on to win the ASA championship the next season, Martin's fourth series championship.
Martin's success from the previous three seasons landed him a full-time ride driving for Bruce Lawmaster in the Nationwide Series. The season started strong as he posted two wins, three poles, nine top tens, and was fourth in the standings after 15 races. After just one DNF in the first 15 races, Martin had seven DNFs in the final 12 races, including six due to mechanical failure and four blown engines. Despite finishing in the top ten in the other five races, the team's failure to finish towards the end dropped Martin from fourth to eight place in the final standings.
Though the late season collapse ended Martin's chance at winning the championship, the success he had in 1987 caught the eye of Jack Roush, who tapped Martin to drive for him in the Sprint Cup Series for 1988. He finished 1987 with three wins, six poles, 13 top tens, and an eight place finish in the standings.
Roush Racing 
Martin came aboard newly-formed Roush Racing for the first of 19 seasons in 1988 driving the number 6 Ford Thunderbird with sponsorship from Stroh's Light. The pairing showed both signs of struggle and potential in its inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, recording three top fives and 10 top tens along with winning the pole at Dover. He finished a season-high 2nd place at Bristol early in the season. Consistency proved to be crucial in that 10 DNFs prevented Martin from cracking the top ten in points the entire season. He finished his comeback season 15th in the standings.
Martin's 1989 season began a lot like his 1988 season with a DNF in the Daytona 500. With three races to go, he won his first Sprint Cup race at Rockingham, beating eventual series champion Rusty Wallace by three seconds. An engine failure in the season finale at Atlanta relegated him to a third place finish in the standings. Martin led the series with a 5.3 average starting position, posting six poles and 26 top ten starting positions in 29 races. He also posted 14 top fives, 18 top tens, and cut down his DNF total from 10 to four.
Martin entered the 1990 season with a new sponsor in Folgers and was a favorite to winning the Sprint Cup championship. He started the season with a 21st place finish in the Daytona 500, his first finish in the big race in six attempts. His team was met with controversy following his second career win at Richmond. During post-race inspection it was determined he had raced with an illegal carburetor spacer, which may have helped him gain an edge over the rest of the field in terms of fuel mileage. As a result, Martin was penalized 46 championship points and crew chief Robin Pemberton was fined $40,000.
Following a DNF the next race, Martin finished no worse than 14th over the final 26 races. He gained the championship points lead one-third into the season and held onto it for 16 races before dropping it to Dale Earnhardt with two races to go. Despite having three wins, 16 top fives, 23 top tens, and three poles, Martin lost to Earnhardt by 26 points in the final standings. Had the 46 point penalty never occurred, he theoretically would have won the championship over Earnhardt by 20 points instead.
Martin's 1991 season was disappointing compared to the previous season, as he entered with expectations to win the series championship. Though he ran well, he never achieved the points lead through the course of the season and was winless entering the season finale in Atlanta, which he won. He also came close to winning at Charlotte three races prior, leading 198 of the first 212 laps before engine failure ended his race. Along with his win at Atlanta, Martin finished the season with 14 top fives, 17 top tens, five poles, and a sixth place finish in the standings.
Martin entered 1992 with a new crew chief and sponsor in Steve Hmiel and Valvoline, respectively. He entered the season's final race, the Hooters 500 in Atlanta, as one of six drivers in contention to winning the championship; but an engine failure on lap 160 ended his championship hopes. He finished the season with wins at Martinsville and Charlotte, along with 10 top fives, 17 top tens, one pole, and a second consecutive sixth place finish in the standings.
Martin began 1993 with a sixth place finish in the 1993 Daytona 500, his first top 20 finish in the big race. In the second half of the season, he became the sixth driver in NASCAR's modern era to win four consecutive races, winning at Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol, and Darlington. Along with a win at Phoenix, Martin finished with five wins, 12 top fives, 19 top tens, and five poles en route to a third place finish in the standings, 376 points behind Dale Earnhardt, and 296 points behind points runner-up Rusty Wallace. It was his first top five in the standings since his near championship win three years earlier.
Despite having eight DNFs, Martin finished second to Dale Earnhardt in the 1994 standings, 444 points behind. He posted two wins, including winning from the pole at Watkins Glen for the second consecutive year and the season finale in Atlanta. Martin scored 15 top fives and 20 top tens during the season, his most since 1990. Other than the season opener in Daytona, Martin was never outside the top five in the standings. Among the highlights of Martin's 1994 season was a spectacular and frightening crash at the spring Talladega race: on Lap 103, Todd Bodine, Greg Sacks and Jeff Gordon got together in the tri-oval, collecting an additional eight cars, including Martin. Martin's car lost its brakes, ran through the infield grass, smashed the inside wall, and plowed through a guardrail, a chain-link fence, and lastly another guardrail protecting the infield road course, coming to rest only feet from a spectator area.
Martin won four races in 1995, including his third consecutive win from the pole at Watkins Glen and at Talladega, his first restrictor plate win. He also finished with 13 top fives and 22 top tens. Though he had only one DNF, he had five finishes of 28th or worse, which earned him fourth place in the standings. Martin was one of three drivers, the others being Dale Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin, to be ranked in the top five for all 31 races; none of them won the championship.
In 1996, Martin was winless for the first time in eight seasons. Other than his lack of wins, his season was very similar to 1995 with 14 top fives, 22 top tens, and four poles. He finished a season-high second four times, including at Michigan when he was passed by winner Dale Jarrett with eight laps to go. He finished the season fifth in the standings.
"Salute to You" 
Overall with Roush Racing, Martin won 40 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and finished second in the Sprint Cup Series point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002). While racing for Roush in 1990, Mark Martin came his closest to winning a championship. 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.
During this time, Martin also won five IROC titles (1994, 1996, 1997 1998 and 2005) and 13 races, both records for that series.
Martin announced he would cut back from Sprint Cup Series racing after the 2005 season, dubbing the season the "Salute to You" tour as a thank you to his fans. In June 2005, it was announced that Jamie McMurray would replace Martin in the #6 car in 2007. This, however, left Roush without a driver for the #6 car in 2006. Martin later agreed to come back and drive for the 2006 season. Ultimately, it was announced that McMurray would be released from his contract at Chip Ganassi Racing one year early and would take over for Kurt Busch, who was dismissed from the Roush organization prior to the end of the 2005 season. David Ragan was announced as Martin's replacement in the #6 for 2007.
Ginn Racing 
On October 6, 2006, it was announced that Martin would 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 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 come out as a result of a large multi-car crash behind them, 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. Martin is the only part-time driver in NASCAR history to not win the opening race but still be leading the points standings. It was 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.
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. 
On July 25, 2007, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced it had acquired Ginn Racing, and Martin joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr., and Paul Menard as a driver for DEI starting at the 2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He shared the #01 car with Regan Smith for the rest of the season.
Martin made his 700th career start at the 2008 Auto Club 500.
Martin finished out 2008 with 11 top-10's in 21 starts.
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.
Hendrick Motorsports 
On July 4, 2008, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and Martin announced that he would 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 2009 and 2010. Martin grabbed his first pole since 2001 at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta, and followed up with back-to-back poles in the following week at Bristol.
On April 18, 2009, Martin became the fourth driver to win a Cup race in NASCAR after turning 50, winning the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 from the pole position. The other three were Bobby Allison, Morgan Shepherd (twice), and Harry Gant (8 times, last in 1992). His win snapped a 97-race winless streak going back to 2005. After the victory, he did a Polish Victory Lap as a tribute to his late friend Alan Kulwicki, at the place where Kulwicki did his first Polish Victory Lap. At Darlington, it was announced after the Richmond race that Martin would drive full-time again in 2010; Martin would go on to win the Southern 500. It was his first multiple-win season since 1999. In the 2009 LifeLock 400, Martin won his third race of the season when Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle ran out of fuel in the last two laps. Martin added a series-leading fourth win at the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland in July, holding off a charging Jeff Gordon. Because he and teammate Gordon also finished 1–2 at the LifeLock 400 at Michigan in June, LifeLock will pay a $1 million bonus to a family in Colorado. Despite his series-leading four wins, due to some early season troubles, including two engine failures, a blown tire, and getting caught up in multi-car wrecks at Talladega and Daytona, Martin had struggled to get into the top 12, moving up two spots to 11th place with the win at Chicagoland Speedway. Martin also got his fifth pole of the 2009 season at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Sharpie 500.
After being on the Chase bubble for most of the season, Martin qualified for the 2009 Chase, as he was in sixth place in the standings following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Because he led the Chase drivers in wins, with four, the Chase reseeding process moved him up five places and made him the points leader.
On September 18, 2009, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Hendrick Motorsports announced that Go Daddy would sponsor Martin's No. 5 Chevrolet for 20 races in 2010 and 2011, and that Martin had signed to drive full-time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series through 2011.
Two days later, he won his fifth race of the year by taking the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire in the first race of the Chase. The win broke Martin's tie with Kyle Busch for the series wins lead and marked the third time in his career that he had won at least five times in a season (1993 and 1998). Martin extended his lead to 35 points over Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who were tied for second in the standings.
At the end of the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega, Martin was involved in a frightening crash in the last laps when he turned after contact with Martin Truex, Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya, and flipped over one and a half times. It was the second time Martin had ever been upside down in his racing career. Once righted, Martin managed to drive his car back to pit road.
Entering the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martin and Johnson were the only drivers still able to win the 2009 Sprint Cup championship. Martin finished 12th in the race, which was not enough to overcome Johnson's lead. Martin again finished second in the standings, for the fifth time in his career.
Martin started the Daytona 500 well, leading the majority of the first 30 laps, but after being stuck in the middle line of the racing pack, he dropped down as low as 33rd and had to pick his way through the rest of the day, eventually finishing 12th.
Martin ran well at California and Las Vegas, scoring back-to-back 4th-place finishes, and advancing as high as 3rd in the points standings, only 49 points out of the lead. However, he was less successful in his next three races. He got caught up in wrecks at both Atlanta and Bristol, finishing 33rd and 35th, respectively. At Martinsville, Martin was leading the field and running top-5 during most of the day, until a flat tire relegated him to 21st. During this stretch of bad luck, Martin fell from 3rd to 17th in the points standings, 214 points behind the leader.
The next three races of the 2010 season saw Martin rally back. With a 4th place finish at Phoenix, 6th place finish at Texas, and a 5th place finish at Talladega, Martin jumped from 17th in the points standings to 6th, 169 points behind the leader.
Martin's bad luck struck again in the following three races, as he struggled to get a handle on his race cars. A 25th place finish at Richmond, 16th place finish at Darlington, and 15th place finish at Dover caused Martin to fall to 11th in the points standings, 293 points behind the leader.
In the Sprint All-Star race, qualifying was rained out. The field was set in the order the drivers drew. Martin started 15th and finished the first 50-lap segment in 15th. He used a two-tire pit stop to gain position and finished the second 20-lap segment in 3rd. He held his position in the third 20-lap segment and finish third. Martin lost a spot during the mandatory 4-tire pit stop before the start of the final 10-lap shootout for the $1 million. However, as the field took the green, Martin was hit by another car and crashed, finishing 17th.
A week later, Martin returned to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. Martin qualified 11th and struggled much of the race with handling issues. However, during a caution with 20 laps to go, most of the field pitted, and Martin opted to stay out. He restarted 2nd and finished the race in 4th.
Mark Martin had a season best finish of second at the 2010 TUMS Fast Relief 500. Martin crashed with 275 laps to go, but managed to work his way up 15 spots with bent fenders and no rear end. Martin parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2012 season, with Kasey Kahne taking over the #5 Chevrolet.
In 2011, he began the season with an accident in the Budweiser Shootout. During the following race, he was involved in a multiple-car accident. In the Subway Fresh Fit 500, he managed to finish in the 13th position. One week later, Martin participated in the Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he was able to win his 49th race in the series. He finished the Sprint Cup season 18th in points.
Michael Waltrip Racing 
On November 4, 2011, Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Martin would replace David Reutimann in 2012, signing him to a two-year deal to drive the #55. He will drive 25 races in both 2012 and 2013, sharing the car with Michael Waltrip and Brian Vickers. Martin finished the year with 4 top 5s and 10 top 10s. He led the most laps after winning the pole at the 2012 Pure Michigan 400, but was involved in a bizarre accident around lap 64. Martin was about to lap Bobby Labonte and Juan Pablo Montoya when Labonte's car got loose, collecting Martin and Kasey Kahne. Martin's car skidded down pit road and the car was penetrated on the opening in the pit wall right behind the driver's compartment, breaching the car's oil tank, and sending Kahne's pit crew scrambling for cover.
Martin's 2013 season started with a third place finish in the Daytona 500. He backed up his strong Daytona finish by winning the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, becoming the second-oldest driver to win a pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He finished 21st at Phoenix, followed by a 14th place finish at Las Vegas. Martin skipped Bristol, where Brian Vickers drove the car. When Martin returned at Fontana, he finished 37th after spinning on the back straightaway late race, collecting David Gilliland. A few days later, Joe Gibbs hired Martin to drive Denny Hamlin's #11 FedEx Toyota at Martinsville after Hamlin suffered a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back. Hamlin suffered the injury in a crash with Joey Logano on the last lap of the race. In his one appearance in the #11, Martin was involved in a melee on lap 180, taking damage, and later had a miscue on a pit stop that caused him to be penalized a lap, but he managed to finish 10th. Following two top 15 finishes in his original car in the next two races, Martin qualified 10th at Richmond, but finished 38th after an accident on lap 348.
Personal life 
Martin currently resides in Daytona Beach, Florida, with his wife Arlene and five children (four of whom are from his wife's first marriage). His son Matt raced for a time in lower series. Martin's father, stepmother and half-sister died in a plane crash on August 8, 1998 in Nevada near Great Basin National Park. Martin enjoys listening to rap music. Martin is also an avid pilot and flies his personal jet to and from races. He also currently owns four car dealerships, including Mark Martin Chevrolet located in Melbourne, Arkansas and another, Mark Martin Ford-Mercury, in Batesville, Arkansas.
NASCAR Career Statistics 
|Year||Races||Wins||Poles||Top 5||Top 10||DNF||Avg. Finish||Avg. Start||Winnings||Season Rank||Team(s)|
|1982||30/30||0||0||2||8||12||19.5||15.1||$115,600||14||Owner/Driver and Bob Rodgers|
|1983||16/30||0||0||1||3||8||21.0||15.6||$99,655||30||J.D. Stacy (7)
Morgan-McClure Racing (6)
D.K. Ulrich (2)
|2008||24/36||0||0||4||11||2||13.3||11.5||$3,553,705||28||Dale Earnhardt Incorporated|
|2012||24/36||0||4||4||10||5||13.3||11.5||$2,863,683||26||Michael Waltrip Racing|
Data as of January 11, 2013
- Mark Martin prevails in frantic finish at Chicagoland Speedway
- Mark Martin conquers Phoenix for first victory since 2005
- Boone, Jerry F (2006-05-31). Google Books. Mark Martin ASA. ISBN 978-0-7603-2543-8.
- "1981 NASCAR Cup statistics". Racing Reference. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "1982 NASCAR Cup statistics". Racing Reference. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- McGee, Ryan (February 14, 2007). "Biggest penalties in NASCAR Cup history". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- ESPN.com: Martin to leave DEI in 2009, Almirola to race full time
- Martin to seek 2009 championship in Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5
- Fryer, Jenna (April 19, 2009). "Mark Martin makes history with win at Phoenix". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2009-04-21.[dead link]
- Martin prevails in frantic finish at Chicagoland speedway
- Nascar cup standings after Chicagoland
- "Foxsports Nascar Sprint cup schedule".
- "NASCAR will investigate Mark Martin's crash at Michigan". USA Today. AP. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Mark Martin on pole in Phoenix". ESPN. AP. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- Mark Martin Bio, Henrick Motorsports
- Boone, Jerry F. (2006). Mark Martin: The Racer's Racer. MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company. p. 106. ISBN 0-7603-2543-X.
- Martin's rap anthem to debut at All-Star weekend
- Mark Martin Ford-Mercury He also owns Mark Martin Kia and recently opened, Mark Martin Chevy/Buick/GMC in Ash Flat, Arkansas
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mark Martin|
IROC XVIII (1994)
IROC XX (1996), IROC XXI (1997), IROC XXII (1998)
IROC XXIX (2005)
|ASA National Tour Champion
1978, 1979, 1980
|ASA National Tour Champion