CHARLOTTE — In an eloquent NASCAR Hall of Fame induction speech, Mark Martin recalled the adversity he faced through his racing career and the people who helped him overcome it.
“For every person that ever worked on any of our teams, I salute you,” the Batesville, Arkansas, native said. “This is your moment, our moment. The road was long, and sometimes the mountains seemed insurmountable. But in the end, here we stand in the grandest victory lane of all. We made it to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
Martin, who was introduced by former teammate Matt Kenseth and inducted by car owner Jack Roush, also referred to his wife, Arlene, as the MVP of his life.
Finishing runner-up six times in NASCAR’s premier series, Martin notched 40 Cup vitories. He also scored 49 wins in the Xfinity Series.
“It’s an honor beyond the wildest imagination of a kid from Arkansas that just loved to drive fast cars and win races,” Martin said of being inducted. ” Most importantly, it’s the recognition of hard work, determination, drive and focus, not of myself, but of those that gave their blood, sweat and tears to put me up here tonight.
“I want to thank all the Hall members, all the ones that came before me. If not for the groundwork they laid with their relentless passion and effort and sacrifice to the sport, there might not be a NASCAR at all.”