Mark Martin has received numerous honors in his racing career, but this one could be one of the most unique that will ever be bestowed upon him.
Martin will return to his native Arkansas next March to serve as grand marshal for the “2015 World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
The parade, to be held March 17 in downtown Hot Springs, Ark., is the shortest of its kind in the world.
Martin won’t even work up a sweat walking the parade route, considering it’s all of 98 feet.
That’s not a misprint — the entire route is two feet short of 100 feet.
That route is the entire length of Bridge Street in Hot Springs, “known as the world’s shortest street in everyday use,” according to a media release published on Arkansas.com.
Although he and his family are longtime residents of Daytona Beach, Fla., Martin, 55, was born in Batesville, Ark., and still maintains a number of ties to the area, particularly with several businesses he owns. Those include a car dealership and trucking company his late father started, J-Mar Express, located in Searcy, Ark.
Martin’s active driving career ended last season after filling in 12 races for Tony Stewart when the latter was injured in a sprint car race. Martin has not raced on any level of NASCAR this season.
Martin’s level of success in his NASCAR career is stellar:
* Sprint Cup: 882 career starts, 40 wins, 271 top-fives, 453 top-10s and 56 poles. While he never won a Sprint Cup championship, he finished runner-up in five different seasons.
* Nationwide Series: 236 career starts, 49 wins, 112 top-fives, 112 top-10s and 30 poles.
* Camping World Truck Series: 25 starts, seven wins, 16 top-fives, 20 top-10s and three poles.
The first driver ever hired by team owner Jack Roush when he began his NASCAR organization in 1988, Martin recently was named as a driver development coach for Roush Fenway Racing.
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