Caleb lifted the lid on 2017 last weekend at Devil’s Bowl (Serena Dalhamer Photo)
(Bill W) March 23, 2017 – Caleb Martin and the AmeriMex Motor and Controls #51 team are heading to familiar ground this Saturday night as the ASCS-Gulf South region hits Battleground Speedway near Highlands, Texas. The Angleton, Texas driver shook down his new sprinter last weekend at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series. He gained speed as the weekend went on, thanks to Hall of Fame driver, Gary Wright, who lent a hand on the wrenches.
Another racetrack was lost this offseason, making this Saturday’s show at Battleground the only one for the series this weekend. “They closed the track in Beaumont (Golden Triangle Raceway Park), so that takes about four races away from the series and from our schedule,” says Caleb. “That leaves seventeen shows for the Gulf South series plus what we do in the micro. But we’re looking forward to getting to Highlands Saturday.”
With over 130 feature wins, most notably in the micros, Caleb will be on familiar turf Saturday. “I’ve had some of my best finishes there in a sprint car,” he says. “I came close to winning my first ASCS race there two years ago, our first in a (360) sprint car. I started sixth, and was able to get by Travis Rilat up to second behind John Carney. They had a yellow with three to go. I hit a rut on the restart in turn one and bicycled it. I hit the wall and flipped. I was running him down, so that was a little disappointing.”
He had some things to shake out last weekend at Devil’s Bowl. “It’s a brand new car,” says Caleb. “Friday was our first night out on it. It was a lot different than the 2014 Maxim we had. We battled a tight condition all weekend. Once I drew (Friday), I knew it might be a tough night. Even Gary was saying we’d need someone in front of us to have problems. It was just really heavy and follow the leader.”
Caleb chalked Saturday up to a night of learning, and the team gained speed in the finale. “Saturday, we got it going,” he says. “We were able to get up to second in the heat race (after starting fourth). Unfortunately, with two laps to go, Seth Bergman really stuck the bottom to get by me and Blake Hahn followed him through. Otherwise, we would have been close to getting in the feature.”
As it was, track position plagued him again. “We were kind of stuck in the back of the Qualifier and the B,” says Caleb. “In the B, there were a lot of good drivers in front of me. Even though we gained ground, it wasn’t going to be enough. I’m really looking forward to getting back to some familiar ground this Saturday though.”
Caleb says having a Hall of Famer in the pit area is always a valuable asset. “Gary was a big help for us last weekend,” he says. “He’s going to help us up at Texas Motor Speedway (April 7 and 8), and hopefully, he can help us a few more times this year. He’s really a good help for me.”
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Caleb would like to thank his primary partner, Amerimex and Controls, LLC of Houston, Texas, his associate partner Stran Technologies, and product sponsors, Simpson Racing Products, HRP Wings and Maxim Chassis. .
Photo: Caleb lifted the lid on 2017 last weekend at Devil’s Bowl (Serena Dalhamer Photo)
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