Editorial: Maybe a nice guy will finish first for a changePublished 8:49am Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009
They say that good guys finish last.
Let’s hope not.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup has reached its post season and an elder statesman entered the Chase for the Cup as its top seed.
Mark Martin, who at 50 is an “old man” by racing standards, staked his claim to the title Sunday afternoon in New Hampshire when he won the first race of the Chase.
There is not a classier guy in all of NASCAR.
He is a gentleman who will race you cleanly and would rather finish second than to wreck a competitor for a victory.
But don’t let his southern gentleman ways fool you. Martin has a competitive fire as big as anyone does in the sport.
Martin has worked harder than most of the drivers who are half his age. His exercise routine would run most of those “youngsters” into the ground.
Because he is in such great shape, Martin is still at the top of his game.
No one can doubt that he still has the skills to get the job done and win his first NASCAR championship.
Martin, who retired a couple of years ago, but came back to first run a part-time schedule and now has returned to full-time racing with Hendrick Motorsports, has finished second on four occasions in the final point standings, including 2002.
He would love nothing more than to win that elusive title and we would like nothing more than to see him do it.
What a great story it would make, not only for NASCAR, but also for all of motor racing.
Martin, like a John Elway, has done it the right way.
It would be great to see him rewarded for all of his hard work and dedication to the sport.
One of the great things about Martin is how dedicated he is to his fans. They are a loyal bunch and he rewards them constantly.
In fact, not an interview goes by that he doesn’t thank those fans for their support.
We truly believe that without those fans, Martin may have hung up his driving gloves a couple of years ago.
There are still nine races to go in the Chase before a champion is crowned. Martin is trying to unseat his teammate – three-time champion Jimmie Johnson. He is off to a good start and will take a 35-point lead over Johnson into the second race this weekend at the Monster Mile in Dover, Del.
Martin has been very consistent throughout this season.
If he can remain consistent over the next nine races, he may already have a lead that is too big to overtake.
Let’s hope so, because this good guy deserves to finish first.