Wheatland, Missouri (May 28, 2019) -Logan Martin is the latest Lucas Oil MLRA driver to notify series officials of his intentions to compete for the series Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Award. Martin along with Jake Neal and Joseph Gorby will compete for the season long award which rewards the winner with $2,500 and (6) drums of Sunoco Race Fuel at seasons end.
The twenty-three year old from West Plains, MO currently sits third in the overall series standings after seven events and has already recorded thee top 5's and five top 10's to date. While the early portion of the MLRA schedule provided six new tracks for Martin, he is excited for the balance of the schedule that will provide a return to many tracks which he has previously enjoyed success.
"I feel like we can compete. Whenever we roll in I feel we can compete for wins and not just top five's. I especially feel like we are going to get a lot better once we get to some of these southern tracks," stated Martin.
As the Co-Owner/Manager of Mr. Dent Collision Repair in Seymour, MO Martin acknowledges it has been very taxing to commit to the full series schedule in past years while running and growing a business, but that the time is now right to go all in.
"We never really set out to run for points this year, we were just going to run it (MLRA) through the Show-Me. Then when we got down to it and some drivers had dropped off and we found ourselves sitting third, with a pretty decent gap back from first, but not as far back as I was expecting," commented Martin.
"We sat down as a team and looked at the schedule (MLRA) and our work schedules, and especially with the amount of cancellations and rain outs so far and with only 14 to 16 shows left and the majority of them being just Friday/Saturday, we decided that we can finish this deal out. We have made it this far and we really don't have to commit to missing work that much for the remainder of the season which makes it much easier."
Logan Martin (36) battles for position with J.C. Wyman (4) in early season action at the Stuart International Speedway.
Photo-Lloyd Collins-FastTrack Photos
The youngest of the MLRA Sunoco Rookie Drivers in 2019, Martin got his first start in racing at the age of nine in an Outlaw Go-Kart before spending the next five years competing throughout the Midwest in a Mico Sprint Car.
At just 14 years of age he made the move to the A-Modifieds where he enjoyed much success over the years. In his second year in the mod, Martin's family also acquired a B-modified which allowed for the budding star to gain additional seat time and experience, often times pulling double duty. His biggest wins came in the B-Mod when he captured the USRA Nationals title at Lakeside Speedway, as well as cashing in on the modified portion of the Larry Phillips Memorial.
Martin made the jump into the Late Models at just 20 years of age noting, "We were ready for the next challenge, and I was at a point in my life I was ready to do it and felt like I was capable to do it. We kind of jumped in with both feet and have slowly upgraded equipment and got to a point equipment wise that we felt we were ready to tackle the MLRA."
Late Model success came quicker than many expected for Martin as he grabbed his first MARS Late Model series win in 2016 at his home track in West Plains. "Our MARS win actually came in my third time in the late model. We ran 7th or 8th at Springfield in my first ever start in a late model, and then 2nd the next time out at West Plains and then won the third time out, which was kind of a big deal. It kind of surprised everybody," stated Martin.
While Logan and team plan their pursuit of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, his fiancé Larissa Atnip has been busy coordinating the couples wedding plans with their racing schedule in mind. In true racer fashion, the duo will tie the knot on Oct. 5th, one week prior to the MLRA season finale at the Lucas Oil Speedway.
"We originally had our honeymoon going thru Fall Nationals, but luckily we changed that all before we knew we were going to run for it (MLRA), and that really helped to open the door up for us on this deal too. She's got it all laid out, so I just go with the flow," he noted.
With an eye on the prize, Martin is ready for the challenge that lies ahead. "We are definitely going for the rookie deal, no doubt about that. Jake (Neal) and (Joseph) Gorby are fast and they will be tough to beat. We would like to try and knock Vaught off that top spot but he has been super-super-fast lately. We're going to have to find a little bit more speed I think, but It's not out or the realm of possibility."
The Lucas Oil MLRA will take on the shortest track of the season this Friday May 31st when they converge on the 1/5-mile Belle-Clair Speedway. This $3,000 to win event will lead off the weekend, before wrapping up on Saturday night June 1st with a trip to Lake Ozark Speedway for the "Late Model Showdown at the Lake", yet another $3,000 to win A-Feature.
Logan Martin Racing Sponsors: Adams Construction, Bill Frye Racing, Integra Shocks, Mr. Dent Collision Repair, Reliable Chevrolet, Steed Bros. Inc.
Team # 36 Contributors: Brent & Kim Martin, Larissa Atnip, Duane Campbell, Michael Cawvey, Brandon Walsh, Noah Denton
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509