WHEATLAND, Missouri — Logan Martin’s first full season driving a dirt Late Model has included a regional touring-series feature win and an impressive run in his first Show-Me 100.
“It’s been good,” the 21-year-old former Modified driver from West Plains, Mo., said. “The main thing is we wanted to race and we wanted to click off a few wins.”
Martin looks for more highlights on Saturday night when he joins the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for the 11th annual CMH Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds also are on the program, which begins with hot laps at 7 p.m.
Overall, Martin has five feature wins in 2017 in his new Rocket XR1. He is on a two-race winning streak after claiming the MARS Dirt-Car Series Tony Roper Memorial at Monett on July 2 and a weekly show at his hometown Legit Motor Speedway last Saturday.
“We’re up to five wins on the season and we’re coming off two wins in a row heading into this weekend,” said Martin, who also plans to enter Friday’s LOLMDS event at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois. “That’s a real confidence booster.”
“We’re not running a tour full time, just running when we can. I’m happy with it,” Martin added.
Martin credits Bill Frye, the former Late Model driving champion from Arkansas, for much of his success. Frye has supplied support and shared knowledge with many, including Martin.
“We got the new Rocket XR1 over the winter and Bill Frye has helped us a ton,” Martin said. “He’s made the transition easy. He’s helped our notebook and sped up our transition in terms of set-ups. I call him every week to bounce ideas off him, kind of go over what we did over the weekend and what we can do better.
“He’s always full of answers. It just makes going to the track a lot easier. His clientele is large and he has guys calling every week with information.”
For Martin, who recently opened his own body and repair shop in Seymour, Mo., another highlight came when he set fast qualifying time July 1 at a Summer Nationals Tour event at I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Mo. He wound up 12th in the feature, but with little time-trial experience, he learned he could run with national-touring teams – much like he did at the Show-Me 100 in late May.
The Show-Me, where Martin was 12th, is special to Martin because he grew up watching it as a youngster when it was held at the former West Plains Motor Speedway.
“It was definitely cool, not only to make the Show-Me on our first attempt, but with the history of the Show-Me at West Plains,” Martin said, noting that former West Plains Speedway owners Don and Billie Gibson used to let him run his micro-sprint during intermissions.
“I really wanted to make the (preliminary Don and Billie Gibson Tribute on Fridaynight (during Show-Me weekend). They have done so much for the sport,” Martin added.
It was at West Plains’ Legit Speedway last fall, in one of his first outings in a Late Model, where he won a MARS feature. He called that “totally unexpected” but a great springboard into the offseason.
“That meant a lot to everybody, for the (racing fans) in the town, to me and the team,” he said.
Martin’s sponsors include Big Lot Reliable Chevrolet, Adams Construction, Steed Brothers Trucking, Bill Frye Motorsports and Integra Shocks and Springs.
“I also have to thank my crew, Michael Cawvey, Garrett Graves and Matthew Hayes, my parents and my girlfriend Larissa Atnip for all their support,” Martin said. “They help out a ton.”
With the future looking bright, Martin said he wants to keep focused on the near term for now with the goal of finishing 2017 strong.
“It would be cool to run a full schedule of one of the regional tours or a national tour. That’s always a goal,” Martin said. “Finding the backing and the finances to make it happen is the most difficult part.”
CREDIT: Lucas Communications