Mark Martin Interview: One of NASCAR’S Most Respected
Mark Martin Interview – January 2nd, 2015
I was recently lucky enough to interview the man known by ESPN as “The best driver to never win a championship”, Mark Martin. Mark, 55, has driven in numerous types of racing including the NASCR Sprint Cup, Xfinity series, as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
His career in racing started back on the dirt tracks in Arkansas, where he won Rookie of the Year in 1977. In 1986, driving part time for Jerry Gunderman, Mark boasted five starts in which he posted two top 15 finishes and started on the outside pole at Atlanta. In 1998 Mark was driving under the direction of Jack Roush/Roush Racing till 1991, in the #6 Ford. Overall with Roush Racing, Martin won 35 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. In 2007, Mark joined Dale Earnhardt, Inc. where he shared the #01 car with Regan Smith and Aric Almirola for the rest of the season.
Mark Martin’s #6 Ford
In 2008, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and Martin announced that he would replace Casey Mears in the #5 car for the 2009 season. In 2010, Martin started the year off strong with his new sponsor GoDaddy.com and won the pole for the 52nd Daytona 500. 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. A few days After the Auto Club 400 in 2013, Joe Gibbs hired Martin to drive Denny Hamlin‘s #11 FedEx Toyota for one race, after which he went back to MWR..
Martin would be given an early release from MWR, and would be joining Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet beginning with the 2013 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, driving in all but one race for the remainder of the season as a substitute driver for the injured Tony Stewart.(1)
Mark Martin, pre-race, with the #14 Tony Stewart Chevy
Mark’s question and answer period with me:
Michelle: Any racing plans for 2015?
Mark: “None, just going to enjoy being a fan and watch.”
Michelle: Your thoughts on the new Chase points system?
Mark: “Love it! It’s brought a lot of excitement to the sport.”
Michelle: If you could relive any moment in your life, what would it be?
Mark: “The first time I met Arlene that was a great day.” Mark and Arlene were married in 1984 and have 5 children, 1 of whom is Mark’s biological son, Matt. Matt also was a racer in American Stock Car Racing.
Mark and Arlene Martin
Michelle: Your favorite track to run?
Mark: “I have a few Charlotte, Dover, Phoenix, Texas, Kansas, and Atlanta.”
Michelle: Out of the up and coming newer drivers, who do you see having a
promising future in racing?
Mark: “Joey Logano of course, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace and Ben Kennedy if he continues.”
Mark Martin & Joey Logano
Michelle: Your favorite vacation destination?
Mark: “Daytona Beach – love the warm weather.”
Michelle: If you could delete a bad moment in your history, what would it be?
Mark: “Hearing about my Father’s plane accident.” Julian Martin, Mark’s Father, was killed in a plane crash in “Nevada in August 1998. Also killed in the crash were Julian’s wife and their 11 year old daughter.”(2) At the time Mark was racing at Watkins Glen International and was not informed until after the race.
Michelle: Anything you would like to share that is important to you?
Mark: “Treat people the way you want to be treated…” With all the tragedy and negativity in the world today, I think everyone needs to abide by those 9 simple words…THANK YOU MARK.
1. “Tony Stewart to miss rest of season because of broken bones in his leg”. Fox News. August 19, 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-1.
2. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/date/19980811/news015702.html. Retrieved 2015-03-1.
Links For More About Mark: