He’s often described as the “greatest driver to never win a championship,” but Mark Martin’s legendary career is so much more than that.
- Inducted: 2017
Building a Racing Legacy One Win at at Time
Martin saw success at every level of NASCAR.
He came incredibly close to that elusive title many times—finishing second in the championship standings five times. In 1990, Martin finished 26 points behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010), his closest run at the championship.
He set career highs for wins (seven), top-five finishes (22) and laps led (1,730) in 1998 but was left with another second-place finish, this time to Jeff Gordon. He also finished second in 1994, 2002 and 2009. Over the course of his 31-year NASCAR premier series career, Martin compiled 40 wins (17th all-time) and 61 runner-up finishes (sixth all-time) in 882 starts (fifth all-time). His 56 career poles rank seventh on the all-time list. Martin won 49 times in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series, holding the series wins record for 14 years.
He retired with 96 wins across NASCAR’s three national series, seventh on the all-time list. In 1998, Martin was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
Mark Martin celebrates in Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after earning his final NASCAR premier series win in 2009. Martin compiles the final five wins of his NASCAR premier series career and finishes second in the championship at the age of 50. Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR.
Mark Martin drives a Jack Roush-owned Ford Thunderbird (pictured here) at North Carolina Motor Speedway (now Rockingham Speedway) on October 22, 1989, en route to his first NASCAR premier series win. He racks up a record 11 wins at “The Rock” in what is now the NASCAR XFinity Series. Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images.
Mark Martin drives the iconic Jack Roush-owned No. 6 Ford Thunderbird (pictured here) to victory at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 1997. He captures five wins at Michigan during his NASCAR premier series career. Photo by Getty Images Sport, Andy Lyons / Staff.