Grand Bend: Harold Martin preview

Harold Martin is Ready to Turn the Corner in Grand Bend After a five-week layoff, the eMax Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend with the Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario. However, even though there have been no ...

Harold Martin is Ready to Turn the Corner in Grand Bend

After a five-week layoff, the eMax Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend with the Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario. However, even though there have been no International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) national events since the Rockingham, NC race in late April, Harold Martin and the ACDelco Pro Modified Pontiac Racing team have had little spare time.

A quick review of their schedule for the last month includes extensive research and development work at their headquarters in New Hudson, MI combined with on-track test sessions, as well as several sponsor appearances, including the ACDelco High School Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Confident that he and his Martin Motorsports crew have advanced their program during this time, the "EFI Wizard" is cautiously optimistic heading into the first Canadian race of the 2006 IHRA season.

"At no point in the last few weeks was there any time that we felt we had a layoff," stated Martin. "From doing events on behalf of ACDelco to working on our program at the shop and testing, this entire ACDelco Pontiac crew has been extremely active. Although we believe we have a good race car, we are constantly looking to elevate our performance level. For example, we've been working on a new engine program that has taken some time to complete, and we are now about 15 to 20 days away from putting it on the dyno.

"With the toughness of the competition, you have to be aggressive and bring your 'A' game on every run. You don't have to rotate the earth, but you also can't leave a lot in the trailer. This is compounded even further by the variables outside of your control, such as the weather or the condition of the racing surface.

"It comes down to making sure you have done every single thing possible to make your race program the best that it can be for the opportunity available. Therefore, we have been working extremely hard to make our program even better, getting ourselves prepared for whatever occurs."

The Martin crew's confidence is boosted even further by this event's location. Over the course of the last few seasons, the Michigan racer has excelled at races held north of the border, including his first IHRA national event win in Edmonton and a final round appearance at the 2004 Grand Bend race. It is a trend he looks to continue this weekend.

"We've had a great history on the Canadian swing, and the entire crew looks forward to racing there," said Martin. "Hopefully, it will be the rub of fortune going our way that we can build on. We've worked hard enough on every aspect of our racing for the timing to be right, and it would be wonderful to have this weekend be the start of our turning the corner.

"The Grand Bend race environment has been a good one for us. We know the racing surface very well, with its location right off the lake providing a good atmosphere. We've got some good notes from our previous successes there, and know how to set up our car to best maximize its performance for the conditions. It's something we look to capitalize on this weekend.

"Looking at the forecast, it appears it will remain cool with the possibility of rain, which could potentially reduce the number of qualifying sessions we will have. It may not be the perfect scenario, but there is no quit in this ACDelco Pontiac race team. We'll go there with the very best we have available and make an aggressive effort, doing whatever we can to win."

-jgk

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Series Drag
Drivers Harold Martin