Mark Martin (NASCAR)

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MarkMartin.jpg
Mark Martin
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Mark Martin (near) makes a tight turn at the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Mark Martin (born January 9, 1959) in Batesville, Arkansas is a stock car racing driver for the Roush Racing team in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series.

Career

Martin has always been known as a "racer's racer". This basically means that he is willing to race any kind of vehicle in any kind of conditions anywhere in the world...and he usually wins.

After racing in the short dirt tracks in the state of Arkansas for several years, Martin debuted in the 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 Winston Cup career in 1981. After bouncing around 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, but ran out of money. In 1986, he won yet another ASA championship.

In 1987, he gave NASCAR racing another shot by running in the Busch Series. After a win in Dover, Delaware, he was spotted by car owner Jack Roush. In 1988, Martin began a long relationship with Roush that continues to this day.

Overall, he has 34 career NASCAR wins and is currently the driver of the Viagra-sponsored #6 Ford car. Martin has finished second in the Winston Cup point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002), and has achieved a record 60 victories in the Busch Series. His sponsors have included Stroh's Beer, Folger's coffee, Kraft and Valvoline motor oil. He will retire from driving in the Nextel Cup at the end of the 2005 season; he is calling this season "Salute to You", as a sort of "thank you" to his fans.

Martin has also won 4 IROC titles (1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998) and a record 11 races in that series.

Personal Life

Martin is married to Arlene and has 5 children: Amy, Rachel, Heather, Stacy, and Matt, who is also a race car driver.

References

Much of the stastical information from this article is culled from the Mark Martin Official Website (http://www.markmartin.com). However, the words are the author's own.

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