“I started racing at 37 or 38. When most people are ready to stop, I started.” – Marty Robbins
Marty Robbins ran NASCAR 36 races during the period from 1966 to 1982 cementing his status as a serious racer with six top-10 finishes to his name (including an exciting top-5 finish.) From the micro-midget races he started his career in to the distinct purple and gold “42” Dodge custom-built by Cotton Owens, you could often spot Robbins on the racecourse on any given weekend. He ran with NASCAR legends like Bobby Allison, Richard Childress, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty. He made it all the way to the number 5 spot at the Motor State 500 in Michigan in 1974. Marty Robbins may not have started country music’s long-documented love of motor racing but he certainly embodied the best of both worlds.
Inspired by the races north of Nashville, Marty begins his racing career by purchasing his first micro-midget race car.
Marty Robbins regularly competes on the dirt track at the Highland Rim Speedway on Friday nights in a car called “Devil Woman”, a 1934 Ford built by Preacher Hamilton.
Robbins becomes a regular on the last segment of the Grand Ole Opry so he can race on Saturday nights before the show.
Marty begins his NASCAR racing career at the Nashville 400.
Robbins wins the Sportsmanship award for the second year in a row from the Nashville Speedway.
Finishes 12th at the Charlotte 500.
Wins the “Rookie of the Race” award at the Southern 500 in Darlington, SC
Wins “Sportsman of the Race” at the Miller High Life 500 in Ontario, CA
Marty drives a Dodge built by Cotton Owens for the first time in the Alamo 500 at the Texas World Speedway. The car would be rebuilt several times by Owens and raced for the last time in Talladega in 1981
Finishes 5th at the Michigan International Speedway, Robbins’ highest finish in a NASCAR race. Later that year, Marty crashes at the Charlotte 500 resulting in broken ribs, a broken tailbone, a broken nose and 37 stitches. He’s credited with saving Richard Childress’ life after he opts to hit a concrete wall instead of Childress’ stalled car.
Marty crashes at Talledega while running in 6th place. He was in the middle of a three-car draft when the lead car's engine blew, taking Marty and the two other drivers out of the race.
Robbins drives the pace car at the Indianapolis 500.
Marty obtains a 1982 Buick Regal, his final NASCAR race car, built by Junior Johnson, and races his final race at the Atlanta Journal 500.
NASCAR pays tribute to Marty Robbins’ by naming a race at the Fairgrounds Speedway the Marty Robbins 420.