We asked our Roush Racing drivers and Jack Roush to comment on the impact of Mark Martin on their racing careers. Jack Roush , Owner, Roush Racing: "Mark put Roush Racing on the map. Through it all, he has been true to himself and the passion...
We asked our Roush Racing drivers and Jack Roush to comment on the impact of Mark Martin on their racing careers.
Jack Roush , Owner, Roush Racing:
"Mark put Roush Racing on the map. Through it all, he has been true to himself and the passion for perfection in himself and to the relentless competition with others. My enduring relationship with Mark has been the proudest accomplishment of my business life. Perhaps more importantly, he has been the second brother I never had, my best friend, and the cornerstone of the effort I have devoted my competitive ambitions to."
Greg Biffle , Driver, No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus/No. 60 Charter Racing Ford Taurus
"It's been an honor to be a teammate with Mark Martin over the last few years. When I was aspiring to be a driver, Mark was definitely one of the guys I idolized. When I came to Roush in 1998, Mark always took the opportunity to give me helpful hints with setups and how to drive certain tracks, and he gave me great advice on some of the dos and don'ts of the business. Even to this day, I'll go to him when I need some help and what's cool is that he does the same with me. It means a lot to me as a driver to know that Mark respects my opinion.
"He's had a tremendous career and although he doesn't have the trophy yet, he is a champion in my eyes. The guy has done a ton for NASCAR and he has certainly played a big part in getting the sport to where it is today. I wish him the best and hopefully he'll win a Cup title before he's done. He definitely deserves one."
Matt Kenseth , Driver, No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus:
"There hasn't been a bigger influence on my career in the Cup Series than Mark Martin. He's the one that talked to Jack Roush about me and kind of took me under his wing and made sure I had a home here at Roush Racing. I owe my success to Mark and have always tried to conduct myself like Mark Martin both on and off the racetrack."
Kurt Busch , Driver, No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Ford Taurus:
"When I came to Roush Racing in 2000, Mark Martin was definitely the figurehead for the organization and a mentor that anyone could look up to. I had the pleasure of watching the way he reacted to situations on and off the track, and since then I've always tried to model myself after Mark in the way that he conducts himself in both situations.
"We were able to race competitively with Mark in 2002 when he finished second in the point standings and we were third. Mark and I bonded during that stretch by being competitive together on the track, and it meant so much to me as a young driver to be able to run as well as he did. To be able to finish one position behind such a legend was a great way to end my sophomore year in the sport."
Carl Edwards , Driver, No. 99 Roush Racing Ford Taurus, No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150:
"Mark Martin is from near where I'm from in Columbia, MO so I always heard a lot about Mark Martin when I was young. There are a lot of really good racecar drivers out there and as a racecar driver I always heard about how unbelievable he was. As I grew a little bit older, and started racing myself, I heard a lot of things about Mark as far as how he is as a person and how he treats people and how humble he is and how much he thanks his crew. A lot of people told me, even at the local dirt level, they said they really looked up to him and he was the type of driver I ought to look up to and pay attention to because he did things right.
"He was the first person who inspired me to take racing seriously. I remember watching a television show and he said he went to bed every night at 10:00 pm and got up at 6:00 am and worked out every day and I thought that was pretty cool. At the time I didn't really have much direction at all as far as my racing and that gave me someone to model my day after. Whether I needed to or not, I try to go to bed a little earlier, get up a little earlier and think, 'you know what if Mark Martin can do that and it helps him, than maybe it will help me' and I think it really did. You hear all this stuff about somebody and a lot of times when you meet someone like that, that you've heard about so often, they aren't quite the person you pictured. And Mark Martin is definitely not the same person I pictured, he's a lot better person and it's been really neat to work with him. I just hope he wins the championship this year."
Jon Wood , Driver, No. 50, Roush Racing Ford F-150:
"I've been watching Mark race since I was a kid and I've always admired the way he conducts himself on and off the track. He races everyone clean and I think every driver in the garage respects him for that. I hate that he is leaving the Nextel Cup Series after next year since I was hoping to get to race against him on a regular basis someday."