Jason Martin Earns Best Career Finish at Paducah Concord, NC--April 8, 2007 -- With the demanding schedule the World of Outlaws contest from February until early November, sometimes it's extremely hard to find the time to relax and unwind. That...
Jason Martin Earns Best Career Finish at Paducah
Concord, NC--April 8, 2007 -- With the demanding schedule the World of Outlaws contest from February until early November, sometimes it's extremely hard to find the time to relax and unwind. That is exactly what Jason Martin did last week as he geared up for his first ever trip to Paducah International Raceway (PIR) for last Friday's 35-lap event. After enduring some bad luck early in the season, he took some time to free his mind and spent some quality time with his with his wife and son.
This relaxation paid off in a big way, as Martin earned his best career World of Outlaws finish, with a fourth-place performance at PIR.
"The time I spent with Amber and Chase was exactly what I needed," explained Martin. "I just shut off my phone and did not check my e-mail. I just really shut down. It has been a rough start to the year, but I never lost confidence in our stuff or my guys. Jason (Rozman) is a very skilled crew chief and I have all the confidence in him, and Friday night we showed what we are capable of. I was really looking forward to I-55, but we'll just go on to Eldora and keep this momentum going. We learned a lot there last year and in the final race had a good run with a finish of 12th."
In his first trip to the racy 3/8-mile in Western Kentucky last Friday, Martin was near the top of the speed charts in hot laps, and followed that up with the seventh quickest lap in time trials, to earn a very solid starting spot in the third heat race. He finished second in that heat race to earn a spot in the dash. He came home a very solid fourth in the dash to earn that same starting spot in the A-Feature. He powered his way into the third spot on the opening lap, and ran there for the first six laps. He then fell back to sixth and charged around Daryn Pittman and Chad Kemenah. Martin and Kemenah then staged a very entertaining battle over the last five laps of the race for the third spot.
"I'm really happy with my guys, they did a great job," said the native of Liberal, Kansas. "It's really funny, that we did nothing different at Paducah than we have been doing all year. The track really fit our style."
Martin attributes a large portion of his success at Paducah to the solid run he turned in during time trials, with a strong 39-car field on hand. Knowing he had one of the fastest cars in attendance, he had added confidence as he took to the track for the heat race, the dash, and eventually the A-Feature.
"I don't care what anybody says, time trials are the most important thing each night," he said. "It's one lap, and that will make or break your whole night."
With the level of competition at an all-time high this season, with 28 teams traveling full-time with the World of Outlaws, Martin knows the importance of finishing in the Top-Five of the heat races, to avoid having to race in the B-Main. With the Top-two cars in each heat earning a spot in the dash this season, that makes running at the front of the heat even more important.
"Getting in those Top-Two spots in a heat race on most nights is harder than running a 30-lap feature," commented the second-year driver. "Just getting into the Top-Two is tough. I was fortunate at Paducah to get a good break at the start (of the heat race), and got up there and stayed up there. You have to race all out every lap"
After a four-race swing through the South, which saw warm temperatures greet World of Outlaws competitors, last Friday proved to be a very trying night for both man and machine, as the mercury dipped below the freezing mark by the end of the night.
"It was pretty cold in the car," said Martin looking back at his first visit to Paducah. "We were idling around under those cautions, and I started feeling it in my back. It was getting cramped up, but it wasn't too bad once we got going again."
With the schedule picking up for the series, Martin is excited to race two, three, and even four times a week. He began the season back in early January at the annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, where he was the only World of Outlaws driver to make the A-Feature on the final night. He also won a qualifying race on the third night of the event that had eventual Chili Bowl winner Tony Stewart in it along with open wheel stalwart Dave Darland. This all occurred in his first appearance at the event. He followed that up by heading to Florida early to get in a few extra races before the World of Outlaws season began. After enduring some bad luck in the first few weeks of the season, he is confident the team is headed in the right direction, as they head to tracks that they raced at last season.
"We're starting to get everything turned around," said Martin, driver of the NOS Energy Drink Maxim. "Hopefully we can keep it going the way we need to be going, instead of some of the bad races we have had in the last couple weeks."
Martin has many people that are behind him on a daily basis, and he is extremely grateful for their continued support as he continues to live his dream of racing with the World of Outlaws.
"I'm very happy for all of my sponsors," he stated. "Lately, they had been getting the short end of the stick, because we hadn't been doing very well and performing at their expectations. I have to thank all of them for being behind me."
Martin and the rest of the World of Outlaws competitors are gearing up for a pair of races this weekend at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway. The event on Saturday, April 14 will be taped by SPEED for broadcast on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern. This will be the first of 12 World of Outlaws events on SPEED this season, each airing on Sunday's in the early afternoon.
"I'm excited for the television races," Martin said. "It will be a great for our sponsors and to help get their names out to as many people as we can. Hopefully we can keep our momentum from Paducah going at Eldora."