Randy Martin Looking for Improvement in 2003!

Friday, May 23, 2003
by Bill Wright

Mastering the 410 class has been no easy task for California, MO pilot Randy Martin. "We chased this deal all year last year. Davey Whitworth even helped us out towards the end of the year. We were starting to figure things out there at the end of the year," says Martin. The first show of the year at Knoxville against the World of Outlaws proved promising in his heat race. "I couldn’t believe we passed Mark (Kinser) and Haud (Jac Haudenschild)!" he says. Unfortunately, the motor got a little hot at the wrong time, and Martin missed a transfer to the feature by a whisker.
Fans who have followed Martin for a while are not surprised by his successes. He was Knoxville’s 360 point champion in both 1996 and 2001 and is third on the all-time feature win list in that class behind David Hesmer and Dean Chadd. "I think we have 17 wins, one thing we’d like to do is get 20 wins in that class before we’re done," he says. He will get a chance to add to that total when the 360 Nationals are run in a two-day event on June 16 and 17. "I don’t know if we’ll run both classes that night or not," Randy says. Victory on 360’s grandest stage has eluded the veteran, but he has finished in the top ten in four of the events, including a second place run behind Dennis Moore Jr. (who won in both classes that night) in 1999, and a third in 1993.
The Missourian did run a full season in the 410 class in 1995, before returning last season. "At the time we didn’t have the best motors, they were used….it was tough." The following year he returned to the 360 class for his first championship. The next six years he would have great success, both in Iowa and Missouri. He is first in career feature wins with the Missouri based WOW (Winged Outlaw Warriors) series with 16. "We’ll still hit some WOW and ASCS shows when we can," says Martin. "We’ll also run some shows on Sunday nights in California (MO)." Double X Speedway is a mere five miles from home for Randy, so he will race in the steel 360 series on Sundays. The car he will drive there is owned by crewman Brian Ash and is the familiar yellow car he drove to a championship at Knoxville in 2001.
The father of two, Evan and Brandon, is excited to race for one of the best owners in racing, Richard Kampeter, owner of Diamond Pet Foods, which is headquartered in Meta, MO. "He started his business from the ground up. He would make the food all day and then deliver it himself. Now he’s got plants across the country including a new one in South Carolina." Kampeter, and the other sponsors including Olathe Auto Paint, Weld Wheels, Hoosier Tires and Dennison Racing Tees, as well as wife, Karen, provide Martin with the support he needs to tow the long distance to Knoxvillle.
The team has made the switch to J&J chassis this year, but is still powered by a Wesmar engine. Brother Ronny has been the long-time crew chief on the team and is joined by son Evan, Larry Christy, Barry Gipe, Ash, and Eric Sommer. The new paint job on the black 14 is a real eye catcher.
"Our goal is to win one up here this year," says Martin. "There’s a lot of tough guys, and you have to have it ‘set on kill’ every night out here." The team plans to give the 410s a go again this year. "We’re going to run for a while and see how it goes," he says. Hard work and determination are qualities that follow this team. Many times the team is first to the track despite a six-hour tow. When they land in victory lane, it will be both well earned and much appreciated by family, crew, fellow drivers and fans alike. That time is coming soon.