Decades: Martin ruled the 90's


If you are looking for the most successful driver in the 90’s at Michigan International Speedway, it’s hard to pick against Mark Martin, especially in August events.

The Batesville, Arkansas native made his MIS debut in 1982, which resulted in many decent finishes throughout the decade of the 80’s. In fact, Martin’s first win at the Irish Hills oval came in the American Speed Association’s (ASA) 200-miler in September of 1986.

Even with his ASA victory, Martin was hit and miss in the Cup Series in the 80’s at MIS. It wasn’t until the start of the 90’s, that Martin’s success at the speedway really got dialed in. It was the Champion Spark Plug 400 in August of 1990, which saw Martin record his first career Cup victory at MIS. In a 1.7 second victory over Greg Sacks, Martin would begin a stretch in the 90’s that would be unmatched.

“I had a race car today than I’ve been looking for all year,” Martin said following his first MIS victory. “This was a lot of fun today. We had the best car all day.”

Following his win in 1990, Martin would go on to post four Cup victories and an amazing 19 top-10 showings in 20 starts in the decade. August was his favorite month to race at MIS and the win column shows it. Three of his four Cup victories (1990, 1993 and 1997), two Nationwide Series wins (1993 and 1995) and an IROC victory (1996) all came in the month of August. He is only driver in MIS history to win in four different series (NASCAR Cup, Nationwide, ASA and IROC).

“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Michigan,” Martin said. “I’ve had a tremendous amount of success there and still enjoy driving at that track.”

Although Martin hasn’t won at MIS since 1998, he has since posted a number of second-place finishes in Cup and Craftsman Truck Series events.

Martin is scheduled to race in the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 2009, joining forces with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. With a new ride capable of winning a championship, Martin is ready to return to MIS looking for the same great finishes that made him the most successful driver of the 1990’s.

Tickets and camping are available for the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 on August 16, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo on August 17 by calling the official MIS Ticket Hotline at 800.354.1010 or by visiting Michigan International Speedway, “It’s Your Speed!”

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