Top 10 NASCAR Driver of the Year 2012: 5. Mark Martin

Birthdate: January 9, 1959 Hometown: Batesville, AR Team: Michael Waltrip Racing Crew chief: Rodney Childers 2012 starts: 24 Poles: 4 Wins: 0 Top 5: 4 Top 10: 10 Annual earnings: $2,863,680 Championship points: 701 Championship position: 26th NASCAR Driver of 2011 position: 14th

Okay, we admit it: we here at have been huge fans of Mark Martin's work this year and so we're thrilled to see voters reward him with fifth place in this year's Driver of the Year vote.

After seemingly coming to the end of an illustrious 3-season career in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition after his time at Hendrick came to an end, the 53-year-old racer has rejuvenated himself with a move to Michael Waltrip Racing and easing back to a two-thirds part-time season. The result has been that Martin has repeatedly shown the youngsters time and again how to do it, with four pole positions and ten top-tens from his limited number of outings. He also seems to have reinvigorated MWR at the same time, to the benefit of his full-time colleagues Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.

The only thing that could have made this season any better was to see Mark Martin head to victory lane as he so richly deserved. But he's back again in the same capacity in 2013, so maybe we won't have long to see exactly that!

Top 10 NASCAR Driver of the Year 2012 results so far: 5. Mark Martin 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7. Marcos Ambrose 8. Martin Truex Jr. 9. Jeff Gordon 10. Greg Biffle