Elbridge - Jason Martin spotlight

Martin Looks for Another Good Run at Rolling Wheels Jason Martin didn't really know what to expect last season when he visited Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York for the first time. It was only his second career race on a 5/8-mile track....

Martin Looks for Another Good Run at Rolling Wheels

Jason Martin didn't really know what to expect last season when he visited Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York for the first time. It was only his second career race on a 5/8-mile track. The other had come the night before at Orange County Fair Speedway also in New York. That inexperience didn't seem to matter as he finished eighth in the A-Feature, on the largest and fastest track on the World of Outlaws schedule.

The second-year driver from Liberal, Kansas will have a chance to build on this success at the sprawling track, as the World of Outlaws will compete at the pristine facility in upstate New York on Monday, May 28.

"I really like tracks like Rolling Wheels," said Martin, driver of the NOS Energy Drink Maxim. "It is big and fast. It gets a little slick and that makes for some good racing. It's not like all you do is stand on the gas and run around. You have to be pretty smooth over there. Last time we started in the back and came around bottom real good. I'm looking forward to going back."

After cutting his teeth on bullrings around the Midwest, Martin has adjusted very well to racing on bigger tracks over the last year. In his first season on the road with the World of Outlaws in 2006, he was able to learn the intricacies of racing on larger tracks. Not only did the laps he turned on the track help him, but also he learned from watching veteran drivers in hot laps and time trials, observing what they did to be consistent on those types of tracks.

"It takes a little bit of a different mindset when you go to bigger tracks," he commented. "The first time I went to Rolling Wheels, I thought, 'Wow this is pretty big.' It doesn't necessarily feel all that fast (in the car), but it goes pretty well."

While every World of Outlaws event is a spectacle in itself, racing on Memorial Day adds even more luster to the program. Last season the series competed at Orange County Fair Speedway on the day that honors those who have given their lives to protect freedom, and allow Martin and his fellow drivers to compete for a living.

"It is special racing on Memorial Day, and hopefully a lot of people come out to the event," Martin said. "We don't go there very often, but hopefully the come out and we put on a good show for them."

The event on Monday, May 28 will be the series only visit of the season to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park and one of two events on the schedule at 5/8-mile tracks. Martin is looking forward to all four races this season in New York, knowing how much the fans enjoy seeing 410-sprint car racing up close and personal.

"You get to go to a lot of places that you normally would not be going through," he said when analyzing the schedule. "That's what I like, going to places where people don't get to see the Outlaws very often. The people are always nice and I'm looking forward to it."

Besides racing, Martin enjoy golfing, though finding the time to golf during the season can be a job in itself. When he has the time to hit the links at home in Kansas, Martin usually plays on the same course. Being on the road with the World of Outlaws has allowed him to visit a number of new courses over the last year from coast-to-coast. With a couple of days later this week open, he hopes to get in a round or two before the series heads back to the Midwest.

"We don't get that much time off, but when we do, we like to try to find something to do," Marin said. "We try to find a golf course and so we can play. We try to hit up every golf course we can find. That's what we like to do when we aren't racing."

With some pretty lengthy trips the last couple of weeks that have led to countless hours in the truck and trailer, Martin is looking forward to his wife Amber and son Chase joining him on the road in a couple weeks. Once Chase finishes school in June, the pair will take to the road and accompany Jason for a number of weeks.

"During the summer they will be out here and that will make it real nice," beamed Martin. "Then we can go and do a lot of sight seeing. There are not a lot of four year olds that get to see the stuff that we get to see."

With the season a quarter of the way over, Martin marvels at how tough the level of competition has been night in and night out. The highlight of his season has been earning his best-career World of Outlaws finish, when he came home fourth at Paducah International Raceway in April. He expects the remainder of the season to be just as competitive and points out how important it is to roll off the trailer fast each night.

"Your whole night is determined by time trials," Martin bottom-lined. "Your night can be made or broke. Sometimes that is out of your control if the track goes away or if you draw a bad number. That's just how tough this deal. If you are five-tenths of a second off, you are nowhere close to getting in the field."

Martin is looking forward to a trip back to his home state of Kansas on June 22 and June 23 for a couple of races at Dodge City Raceway Park, with the finale being taped as part of the SuperClean "Summer of Money" on ESPN2. The event will air on June 24.

"I always look forward to going back to Dodge City," he said. "I always have fun there and a lot of people come out to see us. It's a really cool race track. It usually gets slick, but it's always fast. I really like going there."

Before he can think that far into the future, his main focus is on the event at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Memorial Day, as he looks for his second consecutive Top-10 finish at the track.

On Monday, May 28 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, adult general admission tickets (ages 15-64) will be $30, with general admission tickets for seniors (65-over) $28, with general admission tickets for children (7-14) just $12, and kids 6-under will be admitted free of charge. Reserved tickets are also available for $2 more each ticket.

-credit: woo

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Series World of Outlaws