3rd Annual Mark Martin Fan Days

BATESVILLE, AR--He's a local hero and a NASCAR legend. Batesville native, Mark Martin is spending the weekend repaying all his supporters with the 3rd Annual Mark Martin Fan Days.

"It's a great event because I can spend all day with them and watch the dirt track races where I got started. It's just a great weekend," said Martin.

Fans from across the nation like Ed Rhoads made the pilgrimage to Arkansas to the racing hero.

"Sort of a dream come true, makes an old man like me feel like a young kid again," said Rhoads a Springfield, Ohio native.

Rhoads has watched Martin for decades and appreciates the annual event.

"I think it's phenomenal to give back to the fans and show them you appreciate the loyalty they have shown you throughout the years," said Rhoads

"It means a lot to share that with all the fans and also with my hometown and everyone in Arkansas," said Martin.

This year Tony Stewart made an appearance at the event and some fans camped out as early as Wednesday night to catch a glimpse of the two time Nextel Cup champion.

"We left my house at 5:00 p.m. and got here at 3:30 a.m. this morning," said Celeste Duncan a Walker, Louisiana native.

Celeste Duncan made the trip to meet Stewart, who up until now she had only seen on T.V.

"He can drive anything. I mean he can get in a street car, a NASCAR, a dirt car he can drive anything," said Duncan.

Stewart made the trip with his pet monkey and talked with fans and autographed everything from tires to cars. Even though Stewart was in Martin's hometown, he appreciated the strong fan support.

"It's been a lot of fun, we have had a good time here," said Stewart.

With Mark Martin seeing success this year all the fans in attendance had one question...How many more races will he win?

"I hope a lot. The U.S. Army Team has obviously done great right out of the gates, so I hope we can keep it going," said Martin.

There are plenty of fans that were in Batesville Friday who are hoping the same thing.