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Hall of Fame preview: Mark Martin amongst contenders
RELATED: Meet 2017's nominees " Live stream of reveal, 5 p.m. ET Mark Martin will be one of 20 people considered for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame when the Voting Panel convenes in Charlotte on Wednesday to determine the 2017 class. (TV coverage: NBCSN, 5 p.m. ET) Three of those on the ballot are former premier series champions -- Red Byron, NASCAR's first Strictly Stock champion in 1949; Benny Parsons, the 1973 winner who went on to enjoy a successful second career in the broadcast booth; and Alan Kulwicki, killed in a plane crash just four-and-a-half months after capturing the 1992 crown. There was no championship trophy for Martin , who retired from competition at the end of the 2013 season. But that doesn't diminish the accomplishments the Batesville, Arkansas, native garnered during a career that spanned more than three decades. Martin , 57, won 40 times in the premier series, with victories coming at 21 different tracks. He finished 10th or better 453 times, in more than half of his 882 career starts. He also won 56 poles. RELATED: Live stream, 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday In the battle for the championship, Martin placed second five times, a mark he shares with current Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison, and he scored 17 top-10 points finishes during his career. "It makes me proud I was able to be as successful as I was and grateful for the opportunities I had," Martin told Little Rock, Arkansas, radio station KABZ-FM recently. "To be real honest I didn't enjoy a … significant part of my career because I was trying so hard to get that championship because I wanted it, and even more than that, the people who supported me wanted it for me so badly. I saw time running out. "I spent too much of my time focused on that and not enjoying the opportunities I had. Today, when I look back on it I wish I hadn't done that." Martin lost the 1990 title by 26 points to Dale Earnhardt and finished second to the Richard Childress Racing driver again four years later. Other runner-up finishes through the years came against Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson . "My life would not be different one bit had I won one of those or not," Martin said. "I had a great career. … I don't think it would have changed a thing in my life had I won one of those trophies. I was very close. I got beat by only four of the greatest of all time in NASCAR in my opinion. … "I'm not embarrassed." Earnhardt was one of five members inducted into the Hall’s inaugural class in 2010. Gordon, a four-time series champion with 93 career victories, retired from driving at the end of 2015 and won't be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration until 2018 and possible induction until '19. Stewart, winner of three premier series titles and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing , will cease to compete full time in the series following the 2016 season. Johnson is a six-time champion and boasts 77 career wins, including two thus far this season. In addition to his premier series exploits, Martin held the XFINITY Series record for career wins for 14 years and is also a seven-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series. It is his second consecutive appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot. First-year nominees for the 2017 ballot are former Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr ., team co-owner Jack Roush, driver Ricky Rudd, noted crew chief and engine builder Waddell Wilson and broadcaster Ken Squier. Rounding out the list of nominees are Buddy Baker, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates. Also to be determined by the Voting Panel is the 2017 recipient of the Landmark Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to NASCAR. The five nominees are Martinsville Speedway track founder H. Clay Earles, driver Janet Guthrie, team owner Raymond Parks, former RJ Reynolds executive Ralph Seagraves and Squier. The Voting Panel is scheduled to begin the selection process Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET at the Charlotte Convention Center. The announcement of those chosen will take place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Great Hall (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN). NASCAR.com will also live stream the event: You can watch it live here.
Dusenberry Martin Racing announces NASCAR Heat Evolution
Dusenberry Martin Racing (DMR), NASCAR's exclusive console simulation-style video game licensee, on Friday announced the future of NASCAR gaming in NASCAR Heat Evolution -- launching Sept. 13. Marking the debut of a NASCAR video game series on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, and also arriving on Windows PC, this new title will provide fans with a brand-new and authentic racing experience. NASCAR Heat Evolution will immerse fans in the door-to-door excitement of stock car racing and allow users to live the experience of taking the checkered flag. Whether a casual or hardcore gaming fan, NASCAR Heat Evolution will dynamically adapt to any skill level and deliver a true-to-life racing experience. The new game will feature all of the top drivers, teams, and incredibly detailed tracks and environments, giving fans the opportunity to feel what it is like to be a racing legend. DMR also partnered with Toyota, an Official NASCAR Partner, in a unique video game cover athlete competition. On Friday it was announced the first Toyota driver to cross the start/finish line in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the cover athlete of NASCAR Heat Evolution . Choosing a cover athlete from an on-track competition is a first in video game history. That honor went to Carl Edwards of Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards finished fourth in the 113-lap event, ahead of teammates Denny Hamlin (ninth) and Kyle Busch (10th). Martin Truex Jr . and Matt Kenseth were also eligible. NASCAR Heat Evolution will mark the first time Toyota or any of its eligible drivers will be the face of a NASCAR video game. Toyota and DMR are developing an innovative in-game branding partnership that will elevate the racing experience for video game fans. "Our company is a team of highly skilled gaming vertans with a proven record of success in NASCAR game development and publishing. Our commitment to the NASCAR community is to consistently deliver fun, engaging and high-quality NASCAR games to the market," said DMR Chief Executive Officer Tom Dusenberry. DMR, whose licensing agreement with NASCAR Team Properties runs through 2020, partnered with Monster Games to create NASCAR Heat Evolution , bringing more than 100 years of combined NASCAR games experience to the project. DMR President Ed Martin said, "To deliver an all-new NASCAR game experience, we assembled an all-star team of NASCAR game experts and started with a clean sheet of paper. What the DMR and Monster Games teams have come up with is going to amaze NASCAR fans." From the same legendary team that created the critically acclaimed NASCAR titles NASCAR Heat and NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona , Monster Games has a clear vision for NASCAR Heat Evolution . "The Monster Games team is thrilled to partner again with Tom, Ed and the Dusenberry Martin Racing team. We have been working on NASCAR Heat Evolution for 18 months and are excited about what we have created. From day one, our goal has been to deliver a fun, engaging and realistic racing game designed for NASCAR fans," said Monster Games President Richard Garcia. "The gaming space allows fans to consume our sport on a daily basis, ultimately helping grow and diversify our audience," said Blake Davidson, Vice President of Consumer Products and Licensing, NASCAR. "Our fans have eagerly anticipated the arrival of a new NASCAR game, and we expect that NASCAR Heat Evolution will be well worth the wait." Fans that are ready to strap in and feel the adrenaline of a NASCAR racing experience have the opportunity to pre-order NASCAR Heat Evolution now at NASCARHeat.com , GameStop, Target.com, Walmart.com and the PlayStation®Store. NASCAR Heat Evolution will take racing fans to a level of realism, excitement and authenticity that has never been seen on a console before. NASCAR Heat Evolution will be available on September 13, 2016 in North America for the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One and Windows PC. More information can be found at NASCARHeat.com , with additional details to be released in the coming months. Fans can also follow NASCAR Heat Evolution on Twitter via @DMRNASCARHeat and @DMRacingGames .
Bayne honors Martin with Darlington throwback
RELATED: Buy Darlington tickets " '16 throwback schemes " SHOP: Bayne gear Trevor Bayne and Roush Fenway Racing have unveiled the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford that will take the track at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500 (Sept. 4, 6 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) on Labor Day weekend. Bayne's car will carry the same red, white and blue design that Mark Martin 's Ford did during the 1996 and 1997 seasons in the sport's top series. Martin won four races with the look in the two years. "It's an honor any time you are mentioned alongside Mark Martin ," Bayne said in a team release. "He obviously contributed a lot to Roush Fenway and this organization, so to carry a paint scheme that he ran for the second year in a row is really cool. Our team has been working really hard and running well this season, so I'm hopeful that we can make Mark proud." Last year at Darlington, Bayne honored a different paint scheme that Martin drove in 1998. You can see that paint scheme here . "It's going to be really cool to see that car on the track again at Darlington," Martin said in a team release. "It's always been one of my favorite paint schemes and we had a lot of good times taking that car to Victory Lane and leading a lot of laps during that time. I look at it as a tribute to all the guys that put the hard work in on those cars and gave us the opportunity to go out and compete each week." Check out the original look driven by Martin below.
Harvick on contract: 'Never ... worried' about leaving SHR
RELATED: Harvick inks new deal with SHR CONCORD, N.C. -- Kevin Harvick is used to hearing loud noises at the track. But when the churning of the NASCAR rumor mill increased from a murmur to a low roar this week, it was a difficult commotion to tune out. Harvick said Friday that he had met face-to-face with Kasey Kahne approximately two months ago to address the rumblings about the 2014 Sprint Cup Series champ potentially replacing him in Hendrick Motorsports ' No. 5 Chevrolet. He also told Kahne that no one from the Hendrick organization had approached him regarding a ride next season. Yea Kevin and I talked back in Phoenix. Pretty cool of him https://t.co/GkfTsTlYNG — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) May 20, 2016 Thursday, Stewart-Haas Racing shut down the rumor racket with a solid announcement, that Harvick would return as driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet with a new multiyear contract. During a rain delay at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, the eve of the annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Harvick explained in detail how he tried to clear the air on the unsubstantiated reports. "I think as you look back, and it got so out of control that I actually went to Kasey Kahne and I said, 'look man, here's what's going on,' " Harvick said. "And I told him there's not been one person that's called me from your organization and I want you to have the trust in your team. I want you to believe in your team. I want you to keep working on the things that you're working on, but here's where it's at. Here's what I'm doing. Here's what I see. Here's how it's going to go. And here we are up until last week still running around." The possible fulcrum behind any notion of Harvick potentially searching for a new home was Stewart-Haas Racing 's surprise announcement in February that it would switch from Chevrolet to Ford for the 2017 season. Harvick is in his 16th year in NASCAR's top division, and all of his 550 Sprint Cup starts have been with Chevrolet's backing. But Harvick reiterated Friday that his intent all along was to stay put, keeping his successful pairing with master crew chief Rodney Childers intact. He said that Stewart-Haas had an option for a two-year extension on Harvick's contract, but that both sides agreed to restructure the deal, extending both the length of his SHR term and their partnerships with sponsors. "I never even worried about having to take phone calls or place phone calls or put our team in a position to go out, my personal team, in a position to go out and talk to other people. That was never the case," Harvick said. "It was just extending an extension that needed to be put in place because in the end it's like I've said several times, I feel like I've got the best crew chief in the garage. Our team has been performing well and doing the things that they need to do and I like the challenges that face us in the future. That motivates me to have those things in place. "And so, it's all been good. It's just been some crazy rumors that however they got started, they got started." Harvick said he typically handles deals in "four- or five-year chunks," but this week's multiyear extension prompted the question if this might be his last driver contract. He turned 40 last December, but has enjoyed a career resurgence with SHR and Childers, winning his first Sprint Cup championship two seasons ago and accumulating nine of his 32 career victories since joining the No. 4 team in 2014. Harvick joked he wasn't willing to commit to Mark Martin -level longevity, referencing the Hall of Fame nominee who ran his last NASCAR race at age 54. But he also said he didn't have a specific number in mind, either. "I'm not going to sit up here and say I need to retire at this particular age," Harvick said. "I'm going to quit when I feel like I'm not having fun anymore or I'm not competitive. It's way too much fun right now being competitive and having fast cars and you feel like you're making up for a little bit of lost time at the beginning. So, it's been fun to kind of have that rejuvenated the last three years and really be excited about it and love being part of the team and organization and all the things that come with what we have right now. "So, it's just a lot of fun and it's going to have to be pretty painful for me at the end of this one to just say I'm done because I'll still be in my mid-40s. I'm not going to commit to quit before it's too soon."
NASCAR to honor fallen troops with 600 Miles of Remembrance
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (May 23, 2016) -- Continuing the sport's long-standing tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces, all 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will bear the name of a fallen service member on their race car windshields during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), NASCAR announced today. For the second consecutive year, "600 Miles of Remembrance" will pay tribute this Memorial Day Weekend to those who bravely served and died defending our country. Windshield headers normally reserved for drivers' last names will read "SGT HARVEY," "LCPL RAMIREZ," and "SPC BEAUDOIN," among other names of the fallen. The special tribute will commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute ™, the industry's collective expression of respect and gratitude for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present. Fans can follow the conversation on social media using #NASCARsalutes. "Each of the names proudly displayed on these race cars tells a story of honor and sacrifice," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "As the NASCAR industry reflects on Memorial Day Weekend, we’re proud to honor these and all fallen service members in a way that helps ensure their stories and lives are never forgotten." Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Navy SEAL Denis Miranda, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010, trained in BUD/S alongside Graham Molatch, jackman for the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team. Miranda’s name will appear on Kyle Larson 's car during the Coca-Cola 600 . Lance Corporal Scott Lynch served in the United States Marine Corps with Mark Singleton, tire changer for Chip Ganassi Racing , and will be honored on Jamie McMurray 's No. 1 car. Furniture Row Racing employee John Parks served in the Marines with Jeffrey Bohr, Jr., a gunnery sergeant who was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and whose name will be carried on Martin Truex Jr . 's No. 78 car. Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars and grand marshal cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The track will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day. Throughout the week, NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various activities demonstrating the industry's support for the military, including: · During Saturday’s Hisense 4K TV 300 , NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will display red, white and blue XFINITY windshield decals on their race cars. · Goodyear will replace the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during the Memorial Day Weekend races. · NASCAR, Coca-Cola and Mars, through the annual military support program, DeCA, will offer a sweepstakes to shoppers at more than 180 commissaries who will have a chance to win a trip for two to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. The kickoff event will take place at Fort Bragg on May 25 and feature No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin . The 2016 DAYTONA 500 winner will tour the Warrior Transition Battalion Unit and visit with families at the South Commissary. · In partnership with Operation Gratitude, Mars will invite race fans to help assemble care packages for the troops in the midway at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The care packages will include Mars candy and be shipped following the Coca-Cola 600 to deployed military members. · NASCAR and Honor and Remember, Inc. will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who lost their life in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway . During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live from Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Additional live coverage can be found on NASCAR.com . To view an online gallery of the service members honored as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance, visit www.NASCAR.com/salute .
Mark Martin addresses 'Smoke' fill-in rumors
Inside Groove: Racing with an attitude After news broke on Thursday that Tony Stewart would miss the beginning of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season -- his final full-time run before retirement -- due to severe back injuries, chatter began about who might pilot his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in the interim. At least we know one driver who won't be putting on a No. 14 firesuit anytime soon -- or any firesuit, really. After giving his fans the subtle hint that he won't be returning to the Daytona 500 , Martin had to firmly clarify what he meant exactly by that confusing two-letter word "no". I don't drive race cars anymore. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) February 4, 2016 But do not fret racing fans, hands are going up for the job.
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Mark Martin
Mark Martin compiled 96 victories across NASCAR's three national series and is one of the best drivers to have never won a championship.
Martin tweets he's not working with Roush drivers
Veteran driver rejoined team in 2014 as driver development coach Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Mark Martin , a 35-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner with Roush Fenway Racing (then Roush Racing), said Friday via Twitter that he is no longer with RFR. No. RT @timewarpnut : @markmartin @green31v @JaredLanders777 Mark , are you still going to be working with Rousch drivers this year? — Mark Martin (@markmartin) February 6, 2015 Martin had rejoined the organization this past July, signing on as a driver development coach to work with young drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, who will begin his first full-time Cup season this year. At the time, Martin said, "I'm excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I'm going home to where I belong. I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning and it's very humbling to be a part of Jack's team again." Martin , 56, had previously been in a consulting role with Stewart-Haas Racing, the last team he drove for in the Sprint Cup Series. On Saturday, Martin responded to a question on Twitter with the following reason for not wanting to work with Roush anymore. I didn't want to go to the races. I've done enough of that for now. Except for dirt track. RT @dustincary : @markmartin what happen at Roush? — Mark Martin (@markmartin) February 7, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Scary crash for leader Mark Martin
Leader Mark Martin gets collected in a scary crash on pit road after trying to avoid a crash on the track.
Phoenix Pole Award Winner: Mark Martin
Miss Coors Light congratulates Mark Martin on his first pole of the 2013 NSCS season.