Dick Thompson

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Mark Martin selected to NMPA Hall of Fame

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Mark Martin will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2017, after he was selected on 95 percent of the ballots cast from journalists who cover NASCAR.

Martin was the only person to be selected on at least 65 percent of the ballots, which is required for enshrinement.

Martin won 40 career Sprint Cup races, ranking 17th on the all-time list. He also won 49 Xfinity races and seven Camping World Truck Series events. He was a five-time champion in the International Race of Champions.

Others who received votes but fell short of making the required 65 percent threshold were crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine (61 percent), Buddy Parrott (59 percent) and Larry McReynolds (51 percent). Also receiving votes was long-time Martinsville Speedway public relations director Dick Thompson (59 percent). Former driver Dan Gurney and former statistician Bob Latford were named as write-in candidates.

“Those guys are heroes of mine,” Martin said of his fellow nominees. “It is just such an incredible honor to be considered along with them. I feel very fortunate and blessed but most of all I’m thankful. Very thankful.”

The National Motorsports Press Association was formed more than 50 years ago and its membership consists of motorsports writers, broadcasters and photographers from throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The NMPA Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is located on the grounds of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.