Harold Martin Richmond preview

1. Harold Martin Is Ready to Park his New Car in the ACDelco Nationals Winner's Circle Harold Martin had the most successful season of his Pro Modified career in 2004, winning his first national event and finishing third in the Hooters Drag...

1. Harold Martin Is Ready to Park his New Car in the ACDelco Nationals Winner's Circle

Harold Martin had the most successful season of his Pro Modified career in 2004, winning his first national event and finishing third in the Hooters Drag Racing Series Championship Standings. Energized by his second consecutive Top Five finish, this second-generation racer geared up for another title fight in 2005 by purchasing a new ACDelco Pontiac Pro Mod.

As to be expected from a competitor who specializes in the latest in automotive technology, this most recent addition to the Martin Motorsports arsenal features an evolutionary design, incorporating lessons the team learned during the three years with their previous race car. After determining its performance envelope during successful off-season testing and the first two races of the season, the "EFI Wizard" feels his new ride is ready to shine at this weekend's ACDelco Nationals in Richmond, VA.

"It is always a benefit to surround yourself with new tubing," said Martin. "With the stress loads that our powertrain puts out, it definitely puts a great demand on the chassis. Therefore, any time you can upgrade and overcome some of the losses it has seen during its life cycle is an asset.

"In addition, we are constantly challenged to come up with incremental design changes to help us harness the acceleration and wheel speed that our race program develops. Therefore, we have incorporated several features in this new race car pertaining to the weight percentage and structural design of the chassis to help improve our performance.

"What this new car has allowed us to realize is the numerous enhancements we had installed in the old car. It was quite interesting to lay out our history with the previous edition, and decide what we wanted to carry through to the new ACDelco Pontiac.

"Our experience exemplifies the tremendous amount of technological advances that have been made in racing over the last few years. Years ago, the challenges were within the tuning side of the chassis. You would work tirelessly on the four-link, the shocks and other suspension components. Today, those efforts are joined by similar work in the area of structural design, with as many changes there as we see in the four-link bars.

"We have been very impressed by the fact that many of the things we were trying to achieve with this new car showed up in its very first outing. Although we realize it will not fix everything on our to do list, it has definitely stepped up our performance. We are also constantly challenged to determine this new Pontiac's tuning window under the various conditions we will encounter throughout the year.

"If there is one thing that has stayed consistent in both cars, as well as all the cars in our stable, it is the utilization of proven ACDelco parts. One of our strategies is to bridge proven technology, so while we expanded the design envelope in this new race car, we have also included components that have historically been up to the task, many of which are ACDelco.

"So far, it has shown itself to be a good race car, with the potential to be even better. It's up to us to continue racing, learning what it needs as we go along, and fine-tune it as necessary. That limited experience is one of the liabilities of a new race car. Fortunately, we have extensive notes for all the tracks we will race on, and in fact, we limited the number of changes in the new car to make sure we could rely on our old data to keep us near the top of the page. Boosted by the additional knowledge provided on every run, our performance continues to improve, and we are looking for good things this weekend in Richmond."

2. Michigander Martin should have the crowd on his side in Virginia

Virginia Motorsports Park is located in Dinwiddie, VA, a suburb of the capital city of Richmond. As such, it is approximately seven hundred miles from VMP to Harold Martin's race shop in New Hudson, MI. However, there will be little doubt that Martin and his entire ACDelco Racing team will be the crowd favorites.

"Although you can never really predict what is going to happen with the weather, Virginia Motorsports Park characteristically has a high barometer, and potentially some very favorable weather conditions. In addition, once it is prepared properly for a national event, the track should be very good. The challenge will come from everything being compressed into a two-day event, which will give the crew chiefs fits, because you know the conditions will not sustain themselves for any period of time.

"Fortunately, our new race car program was designed to help us in this type of circumstance, particularly under cooler conditions, which we may see this weekend. Therefore, we will arrive in Virginia feeling better prepared should it go from warm to cool, giving us a firm direction in which to take our ACDelco Pontiac.

"As for this being our sponsor's event, I've always been a person who thrives on pressure, so I truly look forward to the two ACDelco races. This race is an opportunity for me to be amongst not just our sponsors, but also our friends and fans who help this all happen. I see this as an extension of a family reunion. I look forward to seeing them, spending time with them and in general having a good time.

'Naturally, we will be there doing our normal routine, which is to race strong while at the same time reaching out and touching people. Hopefully, we will be able to reward all those who come out to support us by giving them a ride into the winner's circle."

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Series Drag
Drivers Harold Martin