NASCAR great, Mark Martin, raced for the first time ever in 1974 at a little dirt track called Independence County Speedway, better known now as the exciting, high-banked oval dirt track, Batesville Motor Speedway.

Connie Starr of BMS reports, “We already have 75 race teams coming from 15 states and Canada.”  (as of Sept. 22!)

Forty-three years later, after his Hall of Fame career with NASCAR, Mark has returned to his hometown in Batesville, Arkansas, and with his wife, Arlene, have opened a new chapter in their lives with the intent to help children in need.

Hope for Arkansas, Inc. helps to improve the quality of life for children and families across the state of Arkansas with a strong emphasis in Batesville and Independence County. The goal of the foundation’s efforts is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families through providing shelter, access to public transportation, education and career and soft skills training.

The foundation is in the beginning stages, so Mark is looking to get it well-known throughout the country. After speaking with Batesville Motor Speedway promoter, Mooney Starr, Mark realized that the IMCA Modified division is the largest group of race cars in the world. So why not have the largest paying race for the IMCA Modifieds and reach people all over the country and have a venue such as the “RACE 4 HOPE “74 to help spread the news about the Hope for Arkansas Foundation.

The “RACE 4 HOPE ’74” will be a five-day IMCA Modified event with a lucrative payback in the seventy-four lap feature event.

Practice and qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on September 20, 2013.

For 2017 we will be providing financial assistance to the Community Enrichment Organization as they work to provide shelter and rehabilitation to the homeless in our area. (Per Mark and Arlene Martin FB Page)

To learn more about the Mark and Arlene Martin Hope for Arkansas Foundation, go to

Sweet Manufacturing information can be found at

More information on dates and payout of the “RACE 4 HOPE “74” event will be available by June 2nd at