Friday, December 18, 2009

The Fifth NASCAR Day of Christmas: Five Martin Wins!

Stop with the old jokes already. Nothing about Mark Martin suggests he's old enough for a rocking-chair retirement or a membership to AARP.

Far from it. In 2009, Martin and the No. 5 team nearly kept Jimmie Johnson from making history. They were just 141 points shy.

Driving like a kid this season, The Kid collected poles like some folks collect state quarters, managing to snag five wins all told. And he did it all with that trademark Martin grin and the humility of a saint.

It's no wonder that Martin is giving Dale Earnhardt Jr. a run for his money in the popularity department. No matter who their favorite driver is, just about every fans cheers for Martin at every race. But how could you not? He's the quintessential sentimental favorite.

Very few 50-year-olds (Ron Hornaday comes to mind) can compete with young guns less than half their age at the sport's highest levels.

Perhaps that's why the folks at NASCAR Illustrated voted Martin their 2009 Person of the Year. And the fact that the award was sponsored by Old Spice? Merely coincidence.

Just ask his competition - Martin's 2009 season was nothing to laugh at.

1 comment:

  1. When Mark won 5 races this season, I thought it might mean the end of old second-place Mark. Of course, I was wrong as were all his many fans in the media. Same old, same old. When JJ opened the door for Mark at Texas, Mark tripped over the welcome mat and landed in second place - again. Sigh....He just does not have what it takes to be a champion.