On the Tragic Loss of John Martin Jr.
Everyone involved with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Fernandez Racing is deeply saddened over the tragic death of teammate and friend John Martin Jr. who lost his life in a surfing accident in Nassau, Bahamas, on Friday, October 29. Martin was a mechanic on the team and also served as fueler on the pit crew for Kosuke Matsuura.
The son of former driver and team owner John Martin Sr. and his wife Linda, "Little John" or "LJ" for short, inherited his love of racing from his family. He attended his first Indianapolis 500 when he was just three-months old, and had been trackside ever since.
LJ started his career with Bill Simpson Racing as a mechanic. Over the years, he worked with numerous drivers including Adrian Fernandez, Roger Yasukawa, Franck Freon, Oriol Servia, Jon Fogarty, Dave Simpson, Mike Snow, Townsend Bell and Luis Diaz during his tenures with Bradley Motorsports, John Martin Racing, Dorricott Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.
Behind the wheel, LJ began competing in go-karts at the age of 11. In addition to racing in Legends and Sports 2000, he also tested in the former Indy Lights series.
Adrian Fernandez and the Martin family have had a close relationship dating back to 1992, when Fernandez drove for John Martin Racing with LJ as his mechanic in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship.
The Martin family has been an integral part of Super Aguri Fernandez Racing since its inception in 2003, when John Martin Sr. joined his son on the team as a spotter for Yasukawa last year and Matsuura this season.
LJ was a native of Irvine, California, and resided in Indianapolis. He was 30 years old.
The following is a statement from Tom Anderson, Co-Owner and Managing Director of Fernandez Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to John and Linda and the entire Martin family, as well as LJ's girlfriend Megan and their many friends at this very difficult time. They are a very close family suffering a tragic sudden loss. On behalf of everyone involved with our team, our hearts are heavy as we express our deepest sympathy. The racing community is very much a family, and LJ had touched so many lives. This is obviously a difficult time for everyone on our team. LJ and the Martin family are very much a part of our 'family'. He will truly be missed by all of us, and we will hold dear our memories."
Funeral arrangements will be announced when available.