Inaugural Vegas Victory a Special Memory for NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2018) – Former Roush Fenway Racing driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin was simply not the type of guy to revel in the moment. For the majority of his distinguished racing career, Martin took very little time to bask in any moment, much less realize any occasion or milestone. Instead he always chose to point his attention to the next task at hand, as seldom did more than a week separate Martin from an win and the next track on the schedule.
“I just never really had time to celebrate,” said Martin. “Because there was always something else that it was building towards, be it another race, another season, you name it. You basically take your pictures and move on to the next track.”
Martin will however admits a few did stand out a little more than others and perhaps none more than victory No. 22 – a win in the inaugural Las Vegas 400 in 1998.
Martin headed into Vegas in 1998 with a completely new team and a revitalized outlook. The win would be the first of a career-high eight for Martin in 1998 and the first for a driver in the manufactured Ford Taurus.
“The win there in ’98 is one of the most memorable win I have,” said Martin. “We went there, it was a brand new track and we had a brand new team looking to see what we could do.
“Once the race was all over with and we took care of all the Victory Lane stuff and all the media, we were leaving in the helicopter and I looked down at the track and it dawned on me what we had accomplished.”
Martin admits that despite years of success on the track, it was in the moments after that race that he first realized just what he and his team had accomplished.
“It was pretty overwhelming. I’ve had a lot of success in racing, but I never really paid much attention to it back then,” said Martin. “I was always so busy looking ahead to the next one, but when I flew out of there and saw that track, it dawned on me that it wasn’t just some quarter-mile dirt track in Arkansas and it dawned on me just what we had done.”
In a town where nothing is a sure bet, Martin’s consistency in Vegas might have been as close at it came.