Milan: Harold Martin preview

Three-Year Progression has Harold Martin Poised to Win in Milan This weekend, the eMax Drag Racing Series will head to Milan, Michigan for the running of the Suzuki Motor City Nationals presented by the GM Performance Division. Although this...

Three-Year Progression has Harold Martin Poised to Win in Milan

This weekend, the eMax Drag Racing Series will head to Milan, Michigan for the running of the Suzuki Motor City Nationals presented by the GM Performance Division. Although this event is one of the most recent additions to the schedule, having joined the IHRA tour in 2003, it is already a favorite of Harold Martin and his ACDelco Pro Modified Pontiac Racing team, as evidenced by their on-track performance.

In the three previous races at venerable Milan Dragway, Martin and crew have represented themselves well. After qualifying 13th and advancing to the quarterfinals in the inaugural event, they have shown improvement in each successive year, capped by a No. 1 qualifying performance and runner-up showing one year ago. Naturally, this progression would lead to a trip to the winner's circle in 2006, a result that would certainly thrill the Michigan-based team.

"There is always that perceived advantage when you race at your home track," said Martin. "Personally, that edge encompasses several aspects. Naturally, it involves knowing the intricacies of the racetrack's design and where it's good or bad, allowing you to better strategize than you would be able to on an unknown surface. However, there is also something to be said for knowing the short cut into the racetrack, helping you to get around the traffic jams. It ends up taking your mindset and relaxing you much more than you do at other unfamiliar locations.

"Psychologically, you would think racing at home would be worse, due to the many added distractions. For example, between myself and my father we have a history of a huge following in Milan of decades of folks that we will see and shake hands with. Historically, this would cause you to lose focus and not do as well as you would like. However, to the credit of our entire ACDelco Pontiac Racing team, we have shown that our job comes first and don't allow anything to get in our way, keeping our concentration and stayed committed to winning.

"Consequently, we have able to produce tremendous results at Milan Dragway. Hopefully, we will be able to leverage that familiarity and capitalize with what would be a tremendous win this weekend."

Mathematical equations not withstanding, as dedicated racers, the "EFI Wizard" and his Martin Motorsports crew know that success this weekend will depend on how well they adapt to the racing surface. Fortunately, Milan Dragway is located a short drive from the team's headquarters in New Hudson, and is the one track on the IHRA circuit with which they are most familiar.

In addition, as their 'home track", the red, white and blue crew will receive tremendous support from the fans, which will include many friends and family members. His pre-race confidence bolstered by the combination of familiarity with the race track, a record of previous successes and a supportive crowd, this weekend Martin hopes to deliver what promises to be a very popular victory.

"We reflect on last year, and the feelings that we had being the No. 1 qualifier, making it to the final and setting the track record in Milan," recalled Martin. "It was simply tremendous. Clearly there was only one thing that we left on the table, and that was the race win. Being the runner-up was a good finish, but nothing would have been better than to have the victory in our hands. That is in the forefront of the entire ACDelco Pontiac Racing team's memories and our goals for this year, getting back to where we left off and see if we can sustain the effort and climb that final step."

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Series Drag
Drivers Harold Martin