Mark Martin has one of the most illustrious careers in NASCAR history. Born on January 9th in 1959, this Arkansan native is the proud father of five children two of whom are twins. According to Martin, one of the most important people in his life was his father, Julian Martin. Martin, a legend within the NASCAR family, has at several times stated that he will retire from the racing sport but being the true blue racing enthusiast that he is, he has not as yet retired completely from the tracks. He is known for his pleasant demeanor and friendly stance even after losing a race or walking out of a wreck which makes him even more loved by his family, team and fans. Although arguing and grudges are the norm in NASCAR racing, Martin has yet to throw a tantrum or threaten to get physical with anyone else. He has this remarkable way of accepting accidents and not winning the first place graciously. This attitude could probably be attributed to his spirituality with him citing the Bible as his favorite book.
Like most racing devils, Martin lived and breathed racing ever since he could remember.
Martin started off his career at age 15 with stock car racing on the local Arkansas dirt tracks. He proved to be successful when he won his first race only on his third start. That wasn’t enough for young Martin as he then went on to race at the Arkansas State Championship in his first year of racing in 1974. Later in 1976, he made the decision to move up to the V-8 division and during that year, he started racing on asphalt. The next year, he debuted in the American Speed Association and he managed to land the circuit’s Rookie of the Year title that year itself following which, he won 3 championships from 1978 to 1980.
At age 22 in 1981, Martin ran five NASCAR Cup races which was the foundation for his full season in 1982. He had an amazing rookie year with eight top-10 finishes yet he suffered financially. Although he had a sponsor, he never received payment. Things got hard for him and the team which led Martin to auctioning off everything he owned in his shop in 1983. Though times were hard for him, he returned to the American Speed Association series in the years 1984-1986 where he emerged victor in the championship of 1986. He went on to take the NASCAR racing track again in 1987 when he drove in the Busch Grand National schedule for Bruce Lawmaster. Martin’s win at Dover proved to be fruitful as that got the attention of Jack Roush who began his own Cup team in 1988 and had Martin be his driver.
This formula proved to be an act of brilliance. The Martin and Roush collaboration hit the tracks like a hurricane. They won 35 Nextel Cups, finishing second in the point standings four times and they were leading the parade in one of the most successful race cars in NASCAR history.
Martin, who is also a fan of the television series “Lost”, is also popular for his love for children. His own son, Matthew Martin, started racing at the age of 7 in the Quarter Midgets and later on proceeded to enter the FASCAR league. The younger Martin is heating up the tracks running the American Speed Association now at age 14 just as his father did when he was younger. Martin favorite charity is the Victory Junction Gang Camp which caters for terminally ill children and when he isn’t actively volunteering there, he’s spending time amongst his biggest fans, his family.