Another Top 5 for Martin
April 30th, 2010
Short, Tight, Flat, Exciting are all expressions that come to mind when talking about Orange Show Speedway, a tiny racetrack in San Bernardino, Ca. The Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series made its inaugural trip to the speedway on April 17th for the “Citizens Business Bank 135” and it did not disappoint the large crowd in attendance.
The week leading up to the Orange Show was filled with uncertainty as Martin MotorSports was still unsure about making the trip down south. There was no pit crew, no set-up, and no accommodations in place. That all changed quickly Thursday night after a few phone calls were made and some very dedicated racers jumped into the truck Friday after work and drove all night to go racing.
Twenty-six SRL teams were practicing and fine-tuning their race machines Friday night while Martin and team were still driving. This started Martin and the #85 team behind the eight ball and playing catch up. “Saturday morning entering the track was the first time I had ever laid eyes on the track. First thought that came to my mind was this track looks fun, fast and tight,” said Martin. First thoughts are usually correct, as was this one.
Practice started as the short handed crew of Jake Koens, Chris Scribner and Ray Bateman were setting up pits, getting the car through tech, picking race tires, along with the rest of the morning pre-race jobs. Martin finally rolled out for his first laps on the speedway just before midway point of the first practice session. Getting acquainted with the track was more important than chassis set up and the first session came to a close with Martin holding the 10th fastest lap. The second session led to some frustration for Martin due to old tires and trying to find a rhythm around the tight speedway. Grip was hard to come by in the hot Southern California weather as Martin ended practice in the 14th position.
Qualifying showcased each team’s hard work during their two qualifying laps as Derek Thorn set the pace for the second straight race with a time of 12.719. Martin’s time of 12.918, with a speed of 69.7mph, placed him 12th in the field which was shortened to 23 cars for the start of the evenings race.
The “Citizens Business Bank 135” started with Martin sitting in the 6th row outside. The worst possible situation came true on the first lap of the race when the leaders made contact and sent outside pole sitter, Eric Richardson, #40, spinning in the middle of turns 3 and 4. “All I thought during the pace laps was I have half the field in front of me waiting to wreck and half the field behind me ready to run me over .” As cars scattered everywhere, Martin shot to the high side and made it through unscathed. Martin restarted 9th and maintained a top 10 spot all race long. “We had a great racecar all race long, but just never had any track position. I had to let the race come to me and wait for all the other cars to start fading before I could make my move”. Just over half way the field strung out with a long green flag run and that’s when Martin was able to make his moves. On the final restart Martin found himself in the top 5, bringing home a solid fifth place finish while maintaining his second place points position in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series.
The next scheduled event is the "Blackjack 121" at “The Bullring” in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information or the latest news on the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series please visit www.srlsouthwesttour.com