Hundreds sign up for a chance to meet Mark Martin in Florence

By Rick Henry - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WIS) - NASCAR fans got a chance to spend some time with one of the sports top drivers, Mark Martin in Darlington.

Martin was at the Darlington Raceway Media Day to speak with some of his most loyal fans. Around 300 lucky fans received free tickets to attend the luncheon. They signed up online for a chance to attend the event. All of the spots were snatched up in 24 hours.

"I had my daughter right on that computer as soon as I heard," said Judy Melville. "I was so excited."

"Think I was probably the first or second person on the Internet to sign up for it," said Mark Wright.

Martin drives the number five car, but for the fans, he's always number one.

"He's down-to-earth, good-natured and he wouldn't wreck anybody on purpose," said Bonita Franklin.

Franklin has been a Mark Martin fan for 17 years. She traveled all the way from Birmingham, Alabama to see her main man.

"They called me yesterday to confirm to see if I was coming and I said, 'Sure, I'll be there' so I drove all night," said Franklin.

That's an 8 hour trip from Birmingham to Florence to see Mark Martin -- something Martin takes into account.

"It's always amazing," said Martin. "So incredible to the fan support. Their commitment to the sport or what they'll do. How far they'll drive, sleep in their cars; it's amazing what they do."

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