Prior to qualifying for the Centurion Boats at The Glen, Watkins Glen International honored two of NASCAR's greatest racers. Mark Martin and Tony Stewart were each named as a Driver of the Decade and inducted into The Legends of The Glen during a press conference held in the media center this afternoon. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars have etched their names in WGI history with a combined stat line of 7 wins, 19 Top 5's, and 23 Top 10's.
"Over our 60 year history some great racers have competed at The Glen and we are proud to recognize Mark Martin and Tony Stewart as a part of that elite class," said Craig Rust, president of Watkins Glen International. "To induct these two drivers into the 'Drivers of the Decade' exemplifies how competitive NASCAR drivers are on our historic road course. We are honored to have them join the inaugural class of the Legends of The Glen."
Stewart had one of the most dominating ten year runs of all-time from 1998 to 2007. He scored four wins over six years and captured a total of eight Top 10 finishes. Stewart used his victory in 2004 to help propel him to his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. In 2005, he become the third driver to win two consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at The Glen, but this time it came from the pole. Stewart seemed to have a great appreciation for the prestige that goes along with being named Driver of the Decade along with legends such as Al Holbert, Sir Jackie Stewart, and Graham Hill.
"It's an extremely huge honor, especially when you look at the other drivers on the list and see the names of Jackie Stewart and Mark Martin," said Stewart. "No matter what kind of car you bring here, Watkins Glen is one of those places that you have fun at. I'm almost speechless. It's a huge honor to be in the same categories as those other guys."
Mark Martin was undoubtedly the man to beat at Watkins Glen International during the 1988-1997 time periods. During that ten-year span, Martin scored an incredible nine Top-5 finishes. Martin not only had three consecutive wins from 1993-1995, but all three of those wins came from the pole. Martin's only result outside the top ten during that decade was a 28th place finish, which he achieved during his debut at Watkins Glen International in 1988. Martin was unable to accept the award in person this weekend, but recorded a message to be shared with fans via the Sprint Vision Screen during the pre-race ceremony for Sunday's Centurion Boats at the Glen. In recorded message, Martin discusses his experiences at The Glen and what the Driver of the Decade award means to him.
"Being selected Driver of the Decade at Watkins Glen is a real special honor for me, "said Martin. "I've had some of the greatest times of my life at Watkins Glen."
Tickets for the historic 60th Anniversary of racing in Watkins Glen are on-sale now! The action continues at Watkins Glen International, this weekend when the stars and cars of NASCAR take to the track. The Centurion Boats at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be on Sunday, August 10 at 2:00 PM, and Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series event will be on Saturday, August 9 at 3:00 PM. Both races will broadcast live on TV. Don't miss the return of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series during tonight's Crown Royal 200 at The Glen starting after Sprint Cup qualifying at 6:00 PM. Tickets are going fast! For more information and ticket orders, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official website at www.TheGlen.com.