Norwalk: Harold Martin preview

Harold Martin is Ready to Rock Norwalk Coming off a strong semifinal finish at the most recent stop on the eMax Drag Racing circuit, Harold Martin and his ACDelco Pontiac Racing team are anxiously awaiting the start of this weekend's Skull ...

Harold Martin is Ready to Rock Norwalk

Coming off a strong semifinal finish at the most recent stop on the eMax Drag Racing circuit, Harold Martin and his ACDelco Pontiac Racing team are anxiously awaiting the start of this weekend's Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco in Norwalk, Ohio. Armed with a fast race car, Martin is confident he will be in the mix throughout the weekend, and a serous contender for the win at the IHRA's biggest race. In fact, he has even taken an added step to ensure a similar performance in the Buckeye State this weekend.

"We're excited to be heading to Norwalk," stated Martin. "We have a set-up in our ACDelco Pontiac that seems to have great momentum. Of course, we've learned that you can put a perfectly happy race car in the trailer and it sometimes comes out with a mind of its own, so I've made sure to talk to it along the way telling it not to forget about us.

"A great performance such as we had at the last race certainly makes it a complete circle of appreciation for all of the efforts put into our program. After working through a difficult period, to have the testing results fold into a national event gave us all a great feeling of satisfaction, and we're looking to continue that trend this weekend at Norwalk Raceway Park."

Although motivation is never an issue for the perpetually driven Martin, there are still aspects to this race that will provide the Martin Motorsports crew with greater incentive to do well. The first is the event's location. Norwalk Raceway Park is the crown jewel of the International Hot Rod Association, a world-class facility that shares its home town with the sanctioning body's headquarters. As such, this race traditionally draws the very best the sport has to offer, bringing tremendous prestige to whichever team is able to find their way to the winner's circle.

In addition, Martin's primary sponsor, ACDelco, has signed to be the presenting sponsor of this year's race, with key representatives and customers expected to be on hand throughout the weekend. Finally, perhaps the biggest inspiration will come from the unexpected absence of Martin's father, Huston at this event, who will remain at home in Michigan following a recent medical scare.

Therefore, the EFI Wizard sees winning this event as the perfect opportunity to not only score what would be a tremendous victory, but to also show all his supporters his appreciation. Although realizing it will not be an easy assignment, it is one Martin feels his team is more than ready to deliver.

"The timing for our program starting to produce results could not have been better, as this weekend's event is the biggest race of our year," said Martin. "This is our Super Bowl, our Indianapolis 500, the one race deserving the name World Nationals and the one where every competitor wants to do well.

"The facility at Norwalk Raceway Park is truly world-class, and it gives you a special feeling when you roll to the starting line and see the stands packed with fans. As a professional competitor, you know you are at a track that is well prepared for what you are trying to do. It's great to be there, and to be part of the outstanding effort put forth by the Bader organization, with all the history they have in our sport.

"In addition, this year we have the added incentive that our sponsor, ACDelco has added their name to the Norwalk race, so we will be coming in with both barrels loaded and seeking to do well. Finally, my father had some health issues that required surgery last week that will prevent him from joining us this weekend. He had a short stay in the hospital, but fortunately, he is now back home recuperating and doing extremely well.

"I really appreciate the outpouring of support from our fans and fellow competitors, who have quite literally flooded us with e-mails and phone calls to express their concern and well wishes. I know I speak on behalf of myself and many fans in saying that he will be sadly missed this weekend, but the good news is that the doctor has given him a clean bill of health, and he will be back out there with us soon. In the meantime, there would be nothing more special than for me to be able to win this race for ACDelco as well as my dad, who was so instrumental in making this dream possible."

Notes on Harold Martin and the ACDelco Pontiac Racing Team entering The IHRA Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco:

Martin's recent record at Norwalk Raceway Park: In his last three races at the Ohio quarter-mile, Harold has two starts in the top half of the field highlighted by his second starting position in 2004, and two quarterfinal finishes.

One Year Ago: Harold captured the eighth starting spot with a 6.241-second, 225.79 mph pass, but fell in the opening round.

-credit: jgk

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Series Drag
Drivers Harold Martin