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Hall of Famer Mark Martin Defends Current NASCAR Drivers’ Lack of Relationship With Cars

Ankit Sharma

Hall of Famer Mark Martin Defends Current NASCAR Drivers’ Lack of Relationship With Cars

Widely recognised as the greatest driver to never win a NASCAR championship, Mark Martin stayed competitive at the Cup level for close to three decades. As someone who started in the 1980s, when drivers were expected to know the ins-and-outs of the cars, Martin ended his career in the 2010s at a time when racing simulators took centre-stage for drivers to learn racing. So should this lack of knowledge about the machines be held against the drivers? The Hall of Famer does not think so.

The former Hendrick driver appeared on ‘Rubbin is Racing’ podcast and explained that the new generation of drivers had a different kind of pressure that they deal with. During his time, most drivers used to start with weaker teams and only after overperforming with back-marker teams got an opportunity compete in a half-decent team. Currently, the drivers have a different way to prepare.

“Although they don’t have  any experience working on cars they’ve got a lot of experience in Sims or iRacing or whatever, and they have a lot of data,” said Martin, who raced for Hendrick Motorsports starting 2009 and got access to state-of-the-art race simulators and data-capturing systems, facilities that have only improved since.

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Martin predicted Joey Logano winning NASCAR title when he was 10 years old

Now a famous tale in NASCAR lore, Martin saw a 10-year-old Joey Logano and predicted the now-Team Penske driver to win a Cup title in future.
“I saw Joey race the first time in Atlanta. When he was 10 years old, he had already graduated to racing with adults in a legend car…it’s the hardest car they’ve [drivers] tried to race in. I said that night he [Logano] would be a NASCAR champion,” said Martin.
As they say, the rest is history. Logano went on to win his first Cup title in 2018, followed by the first championship of the Next Gen era in 2022.

About the author

Ankit Sharma

Ankit Sharma


Ankit serves as a NASCAR Content Strategist and Editor at The Sportsrush. He has covered NASCAR for more than two years and loves the historical side of the sport. While different eras see different personalities, he believes that the there is nothing in the sport that can top the Jeff Gordon-Dale Earnhardt rivalry.

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