14th and Final Annual Mark Martin Fan Appreciation Day in Batesville April 27-28th!

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


Batesville’s NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin’s 14th and Final Annual Fan Appreciation Day will be April 27-28.  Special guests attending on Saturday are Jack Roush and Jimmy Fennig. As always, this event is free to the public!  What a way to spend two days with the family making memories with a hero to many Batesville and Independence County residents, as well as national and maybe international!

Mark Martin Museum

The first day, Friday April 27, will start the action-filled weekend for many.  Mark will be at the Mark Martin Powersports at 869 Batesville Blvd., and invites everyone to visit for a free barbecue luncheon. Guests might want to attend the Friday night Batesville Motor Speedway racing series to cap off the night.

Saturday will be a huge day for the public at Mark Martin Ford, 601 Batesville Blvd., with a complimentary lunch for all attending.  Martin will be there to visit with his fans to be joined later that day by Roush and Fennig.  They will all be sharing their personal mutual stories and giving autographs to all.

Several of Mark’s race cars are on display at Batesville’s Mark Martin Museum, open to the public most days.  It’s quite a museum!

Be sure and make your plans for a great Friday and Saturday to join Mark Martin and his friends at this final 14th Annual Fan Appreciation Day celebration!

Mark Martin and his wife will continue their Race For Hope 74 Sept. 25-29.  They are all about helping and donating their time for worthy causes!  We are so glad Mark Martin learned to drive in Independence County and calls Batesville his home, still, YES!


Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.