Another Martin Takes to the Track

Another Martin takes to the track DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 20, 1999) There is a new Martin on the racing scene with a promising future ahead of him. Just ask his dad, who ought to know a thing or two about the sport. Seven year old Matt...

Another Martin takes to the track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 20, 1999) There is a new Martin on the racing scene with a promising future ahead of him. Just ask his dad, who ought to know a thing or two about the sport. Seven year old Matt Martin, son of NASCAR Winston Cup Series star and 1998 championship runner-up Mark Martin, spent the week after Christmas racing his Quarter-Midget in Orlando, Fla. -- about an hour west of the family's home here. The younger Martin performed well in his first major event with some coaching from his father. "We raced in Orlando for four days," Mark Martin said. "Matt just missed the last transfer spot to the A-main, but he did great. I forgot how much work it was to keep changing the set-up, scale the car and push it off to start each race. I was exhausted after four days, but Matt really enjoyed it." Mark did not start racing until he was 15 years old on the short tracks of Arkansas. He won the second race he started at Locust Grove (now called Batesville Speedway) in 1974. Mark's late father, Julian, was instrumental in starting Mark's racing career, and Mark decided it was time for Matt to give racing a try. "Last summer I thought Matt was ready to start racing," Mark said. "I bought him a Quarter-Midget and we painted it in Valvoline colors similar to my car. We practiced in Charlotte when I was racing there in October, but Orlando was his first big race. "In March, he will start racing every Friday night. I hate that I won't be able to go with him very much, but he may be better off without all my coaching. I kept telling him to be careful, be patient and don't spin out. "I guess I learned that a long time ago from Dick Trickle who told me, 'To finish first, first you must finish.' I've remembered that advice and tried to stick to it." Based on the cheering crowd in Orlando, and Matt's charm in front of the television cameras, he is sure to be a fan favorite as he gets older. Inheriting his father's driving skill won't hurt his career either.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Midget , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dick Trickle , Mark Martin , Matt Martin