2. 2005 All-Star Race
This race was honestly the best. I remember watching this and being so excited that Mark Martin was going to win in his final All-Star Race of his career. Now, we all know that he came back the next season, but this was in the middle of his "Salute to You" tour.
Martin had a dominant car, and it was a sweet throwback Valvoline paint scheme. As he led the field around the track, fans flashed back to memories of Martin in a similar paint scheme winning races throughout the '90s.
|Mark Martin crosses the finish line in the 2005 All-Star Race. The win was extra-special because of the throwback paint scheme Martin ran as a part of his "Salute to You" tour. (Photo courtesy Chris Stanford/NASCAR)|
But the reason I mostly remember that race was what he said after taking the checkered flag: "I'll be back next year if ya'll give me a ride."
Those words gave every Mark Martin fan hope that maybe 2005 wasn't the last season we'd see him in a Sprint Cup car. The smile on Mark's face in victory lane was priceless, and everyone knew that he still had a few more wins up his sleeve if he came back in 2006.
Of course we all know that Martin didn't retire in 2005, and he won't dare utter the word "retire" this weekend at Homestead. And if he does return to the track at some point, we'll all be there to cheer him on.
What is your favorite memory of Mark Martin? Comment below and let us know!
Check out moment #5, moment #4 and moment #3, and check back tomorrow for the final moment on our countdown!