2004 -- A Statement Race in San Antonio One year ago, Harold Martin and the ACDelco Pontiac Grand Am Racing team opened their 2004 Hooters Drag Racing campaign in dramatic fashion. During Friday's qualifying sessions at San Antonio Raceway,...
2004 -- A Statement Race in San Antonio
One year ago, Harold Martin and the ACDelco Pontiac Grand Am Racing team opened their 2004 Hooters Drag Racing campaign in dramatic fashion. During Friday's qualifying sessions at San Antonio Raceway, a highly unusual mechanical failure shot Martin's race car into the wall, causing considerable damage and threatening their chances of competing in final eliminations.
However, showing the resolve and determination that would be their hallmark throughout the season, Martin and his crew worked through the night to complete the repairs in time for Saturday's qualifying attempts, earning a second-place starting position for the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals with an impressive 6.218-second, 226.47 mph run.
The team's tireless efforts earned their final reward on Sunday, when Martin powered his way to a runner-up finish, providing the springboard for a career year. This weekend, Martin returns to the Lone Star State ready to take a more conventional route to improve on that showing and open the year with a win.
"Last year's performance in San Antonio was truly a reflection of this ACDelco Racing team's resiliency and overall commitment to provide persistence over resistance," said Martin. "We came into the season with a lot of preparation, and felt that we had the right set-up. Unfortunately, we had a brand-new axle stud fail, which led to a wheel coming off. This had the potential to upset our ability to compete not only at that event, but also throughout the entire year.
"We knew we were in trouble, but our determination never wavered. We simply rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Being able to advance to the final round under those circumstances showed that we would be a force to contend with. This year, we look to take the final step into the winner's circle, albeit with a little less drama."
ACDelco Crew Prepares for a Title Fight in 2005
Martin enters the 2005 season off a career year, which saw the talented Michigan native score his first Pro Modified national event win, establish new career bests in elapsed time and top speed, and finish a career-best third in the championship standings. Realizing the challenges that come with being established as one of the favorites for this year's title, the entire Martin organization spent long hours preparing for the road ahead.
"Being a serious contender for the championship brings a tremendous amount of excitement, confidence and enthusiasm to the entire team," stated Martin. "At the same time, you accept that it makes you a target, someone that every competitor will take very seriously, raising their game to the highest level when they race you. This raises the bar of our own expectancy, knowing that we will have to be at our best at all times.
"The time away from the races has been a great example of our commitment to expand our motorsports involvement. We spent an extensive amount of time working with a number of NASCAR engine development teams as well as teams in other motorsports, helping them to further their own programs, attending a few of their races. It's been quite enlightening, although very taxing, but we have been able to make some tangible gains.
"We've also acquired a brand new Grand Am, which we have tested thoroughly under different conditions, as well as on racetracks where we felt we could improve on our performance with the previous car. The results of those tests have us both pumped and excited. For example, just a few days ago, we ran a 6.150 at Rockingham, which was the quickest of the Pro Mods there. We're ready to get the season started."
The EFI Wizard is also a Mentor
However, before Martin even takes to the track, he will have completed another important assignment, speaking before a group of students involved in ACDelco's Technical Service Educational Program (TSEP) at St. Phillip's College in San Antonio. Throughout his career, Martin has worked very hard to help others pursue their dreams, taking advantage of every opportunity to speak to the next generation and encourage them to never give up.
"To this point in the year, we have already had the opportunity to speak in front of over 8,000 students at various venues," detailed Martin. "This weekend, I'll have the great pleasure of returning to San Antonio, not only to race, but to speak before a group of students at St. Phillip's College. I look forward to pumping these young people up and creating our successors. It promises to be a great start to a very successful weekend in Texas for the entire ACDelco Grand Am Racing team."