Carmichael gains seat time

Carmichael launches stock car career; gains valuable seat time Flat Tire Spoils Carmichael's Stock Car Debut Mark Martin spends night mentoring motocross standout ELLISVILLE, Fla.hMarch 24, 2007) -- Ginn Racing development driver and motocross...

Carmichael launches stock car career; gains valuable seat time

Flat Tire Spoils Carmichael's Stock Car Debut
Mark Martin spends night mentoring motocross standout

ELLISVILLE, Fla.hMarch 24, 2007) -- Ginn Racing development driver and motocross champion Ricky Carmichael made his stock car debut Saturday night in a super late model race here at Columbia Motorsports Park.

Under the watchful eye of Nextel Cup point leader Mark Martin, Carmichael finished third in his heat race. In the main feature, he overcame a second lapincident, but on Lap 7 of 25 his right-front tire went flat, sending his No. 4 Monster Energy Chevy into the wall and a premature exit from the race.

Fellow Ginn development driver Matt Martin finished fourth in his heat and seventh overall in the feature.

"Our goal for this event was to not focus on the result, but to focus on the things that we had to learn," said Martin.bRickyhad to learnthe lay of the land and he did well with that tonight. He does know how to get up tospeedquickly. We learned a ton tonight. I think we got the car workingwell for him by the feature and he was really fast. He just had a couple of unfortunate incidents. Part of it is racing and part of it will be more avoidable as he gets more experience and a better feel for what the cars around him will do."

Said Carmichael, "I learned every time I got behind the wheel what it was like to race as opposed to testing. Seat time was the big thing for me. I wish we could have fixed it up and gotten back out there. It's just disappointing to me because what I didn't want to happen (to fall out of the race) happened. But there is always another weekend and that's the great thing about racing."

After a solid heat race, Carmichael started the feature inside of the second row. He held his own in the early going, before getting tangled up in an accident on the second lap. A car checked up in front of Carmichael, giving him no where to go with his Monster Energy Chevrolet. Though the contact sent theright wheels airborne,Carmichael was able to collect the car and continue, even holding his position for the next several laps before a debris caution was issued.

"I came off of turn two and got a good run, but the No. 8 car kind of came in on me and I just had no where to go," said the 27-year-old Carmichael. "I ran into the back of him and kind of got my Monster Energy Chevy up at an angle and it slammed down. I thought we were going to be okay after that, but the tire deal put us out of the race. That was very unfortunate for everyone involved."

Despite the incidents, Carmichael was pleased to gain valuable seat time.

"This wasreally, really fun for me," offered Carmichael. "It'sthe competitive side of me that makes the resultfrustrating.I've learned so much that I can't wait for the next race."

Carmichael's next two scheduled late model races will beApril 21 and April 28 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. He is expected to compete in a total of 15 late model races this season.

Martin, who will see his streak of 621 consecutive starts come to an end today, enjoyed hisrole of mentor and teacher.

"I had a great night -- it was ablast," said Martin. "I'm incredibly proud of Matt and Ricky and the way they drove tonight. I really enjoyworking with them and helping Rickymake the transition from two wheels to four."

"Ricky has another race coming up in a few weeks," added Martin. "We are going to continue to step up the challenge and a have a solidplan laid out for him."

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Mark Martin , Matt Martin