DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 29, 2004) -- One of the most surprised people after Saturday night's O'Reilly/NCRA Modified race at Dodge City Raceway Park was the winning driver, Eddie Martin from Stillwell, Okla. Martin was still shaking his head in the...
DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 29, 2004) -- One of the most surprised people after Saturday night's O'Reilly/NCRA Modified race at Dodge City Raceway Park was the winning driver, Eddie Martin from Stillwell, Okla. Martin was still shaking his head in the pits, just trying to figure out how he managed to pull off the victory.
"I can't believe I started on the fourth row with the racetrack kind of one lane like that and was able to stay up out in the middle and pass like that," said a jubilant Martin.
Martin's drive was fun to watch as he charged from a seventh-place starting spot to grab his first win under the NCRA banner in only his fourth start in the series.
NCRA veterans Brian Franz and Marc Hurd started on the first row and jumped into the early lead, as Hurd slipped by the defending series champion going into turn one. After the first lap, Franz seemed content to tag along behind Hurd with Alan Dix in third, Friday night's feature winner Brian Powers in fourth and Greg Burt in fifth.
Martin began to make his move from the green as he had moved into sixth, challenging Burt for position, after the first lap.
"At the start I thought everyone would go to the bottom and sure enough they did," Martin said. "It was almost like before they passed the cone they were all headed to the bottom."
Martin got around Burt on the second lap and was battling with Powers for fourth on the next. They crossed start/finish side-by-side to complete lap five and Martin took the spot the following lap with his sights set on the leader.
"I caught Franz up there and thought if he sees me slide up and he moves up, he's gone and I won't be able to catch him,'"
But Martin continued running in the middle with everyone else sticking to the low groove. On lap nine he got around both Franz and Hurd to take the lead.
Once in the lead Martin knew what to do - put his foot into it. He led for the remainder of the 25-lap race and on three occasions built a lead of half a straightaway over Hurd.
"I couldn't have set up my car any better than I did tonight," Hurd said. "I could gain a little on Martin going into the turn but he just pulled away coming out of the turn."
Not even three cautions could deter Martin. With each restart he got a good jump and quickly moved away from the field to build up another significant lead.
"I had the one lane figured out right off the bat," he said. "They (Hurd and Franz) were running where the track was a little rougher and a little looser. I thought they would fall in behind me but they didn't."
Hurd had to withstand the late charges of Franz and Dix to capture second; Franz and Dix finished third and fourth, respectively. But behind them, there was quite a battle brewing for fifth place.
After losing fourth place to Martin early, Powers found himself hounded for most of the rest of the race by John Schwab. Schwab also had an impressive run after starting 10th. He was all the way up to sixth, right behind Martin, after just two laps. Schwab pulled alongside Powers on several occasions but couldn't make a pass stick.
Powers took the checker in fifth, while Steve Stults got around Schwab late for sixth with Schwab seventh. Greg Stephens, Dave Hardesty and Scott Green rounded out the top 10.
Friday night Martin was on Hoosiers for just the third time and he was a bit hesitant with them. He thinks that may have cost him the win Friday but he also thinks it was a valuable learning tool for Saturday.
"I think I learned a good lesson (Friday) night as far as not trusting them (tires) in the corner," he said. "There were a couple of times in the corners they got a little skatey on me, got in just a little too much."
Although Martin has only run with the NCRA a few times, he's enjoyed the series. He has met and become friend with many of the drivers at other events over the years.
"That's what it's all about to me - you got to have a good time," he said. "There's enough stress when you climb in the car that you need to have a good time when you're out of it."
He hopes to run more NCRA shows this year but isn't definite about which ones right now.
"I'm pretty sure we'll be back in Wichita on Thursday night, Tulsa on Friday and then Enid on Saturday," said Martin, referring to the NCRA Modified Speedweeks that begin on Thursday, June 3.
Martin became the third NCRA feature winner in three events this season.
"That shows me a well-balance series when no one driver comes out and dominates the winning," he said.
In the other features, Ron Emmerson led from start to finish to win the C as Brent Burkhart out dueled Randy Woodside for second place. The B saw Greg Stephens take the lead away from pole sitter Jim Armstrong at turn one. Armstrong stayed close behind in second but couldn't get around as Stephens took the win.
Brian Franz charged from fifth to take the lead and hold off a rapidly closing John Schwab to win the first heat. Brian Powers cruised to an easy win in the second heat race. Marc Hurd took a similar route to win the third heat - start fifth, charge to the front and hold off the second-place finisher, Zach Wood. Eddie Martin and Bobby Joe Scott hooked up in the fourth heat with Martin coming out on top.
Alan Dix won the fifth and final heat ahead of Brian McGowan.
NCRA Modified Series
Dodge City Raceway Park
Dodge City, Kan.
May 29, 2004
HEAT 1 - 1. Brian Franz; 2. John Schweb; 3. Gary Chambers; 4. Marty Curry; 5. Bubby Harvey; 6. Rick Taylor; 7. Clay Oakes; 8. Marc Crough; 9. Shanne Gilchrist; 10. Johnny Whitmore.
HEAT 2 - 1. Brian Powers; 2. Greg Burt; 3. Jason Roe; 4. Jeff Erickson; 5. Doug Holzmeister; 6. Danny Keller; 7. Glenn Thompson; 8. Barry Crane; 9. Schuyler Wedel.
HEAT 3 - 1. Marc Hurd; 2. Zach Wood; 3. Steve Stults; 4. Richard Wilson; 5. Ron Emmerson; 6. Brent Burkhart; 7. Jason Schneipp; 8. Jim Johnson; 9. Cody Gearhart.
HEAT 4 - 1. Eddie Martin; 2. Bobby Joe Scott; 3. Dave Hardesty; 4. Jim Armstrong; 5. Tim Echevarria; 6. Randy Woodside; 7. Larry Greider; 8. Travis Govern; 9. Kenny Sweet Jr.
HEAT 5 - 1. Alan Dix; 2. Brian McGowen; 3. Scott Green; 4. Greg Stephens; 5. Tommy Weder; 6. Don Renfro; 7. Jim Graves; 8. Bryan Hubbard; 9. Lloyd Campbell; 10. Conner Ward.
C FEATURE - 1. Emmerson; 2. Burkhart; 3. Woodside; 4. Gilchrist; 5. Renfro; 6. Taylor; 7. Oakes; 8. Greider; 9. Keller; 10. Johnson; 11. Graves; 12. Ward; 13. Sweet Jr; 14. Crough; 15. Gearhart; 16. Wedel; 17. Thompson; 18. Crane; 19. Campbell; 20. Govern; 21. Hubbard; 22. Schneipp;
B FEATURE - 1. Stephens; 2. Armstrong; 3. Weder; 4. Echevarria; 5. Holzmeister; 6. Harvey; 7. Erickson; 8. Burkhart; 9. Emmerson; 10. Roe; 11. Gilchrist; 12. Wilson; 13. Oakes; 14. Renfro; 15. Keller; 16. Woodside; 17. Curry; 18. Johnson; 19. Greider; 20. Taylor;
A FEATURE - 1. Martin; 2. Hurd; 3. Franz; 4. Dix; 5. Powers; 6. Stults; 7. Schweb; 8. Stephens; 9. Hardesty; 10. Green; 11. Wood; 12. Joe Scott; 13. Echevarria; 14. Brian McGowen; 15. Burt; 16. Burkhart; 17. Emmerson; 18. Roe; 19. Erickson; 20. Armstrong; 21. Harvey; 22. Weder; 23. Chambers; 24. Holzmeister;
-Randy Fisher, guest writer