Harold Martin Leads His Determined and Resilient Crew into US 131 Motorsports Park Throughout the course of the 12-race season, racers in the Hooters Drag Racing Series must find a way to successfully endure the highs and lows of competition.
Harold Martin Leads His Determined and Resilient Crew into US 131 Motorsports Park
Throughout the course of the 12-race season, racers in the Hooters Drag Racing Series must find a way to successfully endure the highs and lows of competition. It is a seven-month, 230-mph rollercoaster ride through which neither their focus nor their commitment to their program can waiver if they are to remain in the championship hunt.
In the first seven races of the 2005 season, Harold Martin and the ACDelco Pontiac Pro Modified Racing team have faced their share of challenges. Racing in arguably the most competitive division in the IHRA, they have worked tirelessly to adapt their new race car to the varied conditions encountered at every stop on the circuit.
The team's efforts were rewarded with solid showings in each of the first seven races, culminating in their first IHRA No. 1 qualifying performance and a runner-up finish at last month's race in Milan, MI. As they head into the second half, Martin is encouraged by the team's determination to return to the top of the standings.
"Our attitude at the racetrack reflects our outlook on life," stated Martin. "No matter what the obstacles may be, we will seek to overcome them. That is what the entire journey is about. You set a plan, and do whatever you can to execute it.
"We've certainly faced our share of challenges, but those are the circumstances you run against. We simply take it as part of the learning curve, feed it into our information system and prepare for the next race. That shows you just how tenacious this ACDelco team is. We combine our collected knowledge with our seat of the pants experience to come up with a strategy to move forward.
"Clearly, our ACDelco Racing team is feeling a lot of momentum. We know we have one very fast hot rod, and we have a lot of dear notes that we intend to take to each of these events. Our challenge will be to smartly race the tracks that lay in front of us for the balance of the season.
"For example, I'm an engine guy who just got off of the dyno, so I have the syndrome of wanting to run low elapsed time and top speed, which does not always equate to the race track or the conditions we'll be racing in. The pole is a nice sight to have, but sometimes it can be your worst enemy. Therefore, we have to race intelligently, and be careful not to look too far ahead."
ACDelco Crew Ready to Pull Double Duty in Martin
As if the pressure of competing at a national event were not enough, this weekend's race offers the added challenge of the inaugural Torco Pro Modified Shootout, a three-round dash for cash featuring the eight top qualifiers from the first seven races. Held as part of Saturday's qualifying activities, and with a $20,000 payout to the winner, participating teams must balance securing a position in Sunday's final eliminations field with advancing through eliminations in the all-star event.
"Running in the Pro Modified shootout presents multiple challenges for all involved, simply because no one has an idea of what the track conditions will be like at that time of day," said Martin. "Since our first qualifying run on Friday will be held in the evening, we will be comparing a cool racetrack to one that will potentially be very hot and slick. It's possible the racing surface will be better because more runs will have been made on it, but the Martin track tends to get very hot, which would make it any man's race. Therefore, we will prepare for every eventuality.
"However, this does nothing to diminish the very special nature of this event, nor our appreciation to the people at Torco for sponsoring it. You can use the starting line-up as somewhat of a report card for how you've done to this point in the season. Entering the year, our goal was to be a performer, and this is a validation of our strong showing in qualifying. We've had our share of challenges, but we have still been able to excel in many outings, showing us that we have the potential to be much further ahead.
"Our participation in the shootout is part of the momentum we are currently carrying. If the people at US 131 Motorsports Park and the IHRA are able to provide us with a good surface to race on, which we're confident they will, this ACDelco crew believes we could deliver something very special this weekend."