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Mark Martin: I’m insanely driven

A move to Hendrick Motorsports and the #5 Chevrolet has rejuvenated Mark Martin's career to the tune of four victories and three poles in 2009.

After two years of running partial schedules, why has Martin been able to return to full-time Sprint Cup racing at age 50 without missing a beat? Is he as good as ever?

Sporting News put those questions to Martin, who is eleventh in the Sprint Cup standings going into Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard...


"I'm short in some areas, where I've diminished a little bit, but what I do is use the strengths that I have and accentuate those strengths. Let me give you an example. You can't measure this, but I know that my reaction times — it may be a millisecond — but I know that my reaction times are not what they were 15 or 20 years ago. I know that. But I also know that what I do when I react is tempered by those 20 years of experience.

"There's a limit to my talent, but there is nobody in this sport that works any harder at this than I do, or pays any more attention or anything else. A lot of times that diminishes — how much you're willing to give as you do this for a long, long time. I'm either all the way in or all the way out.

"I'm insanely driven, and I came back full time so that I could drive the #5 car because I thought that I might have a chance to win driving equipment that good, and I want to still experience that while I can, before that's not an option in my life anymore. And I'm really blessed with the opportunities that I have.

"I'm pretty competitive, and pretty obsessive-compulsive, and I'm able to give these guys everything I've got. I'm not distracted by other things in life right now."

By Mark Martin, as told to Reid Spencer


Tagged as: Chevrolet , Mark Martin , Hendrick

Related Pictures

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Mark Martin celebrates victory at Chicagoland
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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