Competing in the OSCAAR Hot Rod Series as a rookie, Brad Martin put together a solid season across the board with three top-five finishes.
“It had its ups and downs, as most seasons do, but there were more ups than downs,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS.
Although he began with a fourth-place finish in the season opener at Sunset Speedway, things hit a rough patch when a crash in practice at Kawartha Speedway would sideline the No. 53 Dodge Daytona before the night even began, along with a couple weeks to follow.
When he returned back to the series in July, though, he hit the ground running, scoring a third-place finish at Kawartha, along with another third at Sunset Speedway in September.
“It made us feel stronger as a team that we could come back from a hard lick like that,” he commented. “It made me a little more confident in the car after, because before, it was always what if I have a big crash? After that, I’ve already had my big crash, so what’s the worst that can happen? So I put it all behind me and got way more comfortable in the car.”
Although a win wasn’t in the cards for 2018, he feels they’re getting closer, and feels if they work on the set-up more, they can get to victory lane.
“It would be pretty awesome,” he commented. “It would feel like a weight would be lifted off our shoulders because we’ve been so hard to be a fast car and a contender. It’d make everything feel worthwhile.”
While the results were nice to see, Martin says the most memorable moment of the year came from off the track, and becoming a family with his fellow drivers and crews in the pits.
“I think the series is great,” he said. “I’ve told this to Dave (Gainforth) before that OSCAAR is run very well. The tech guys are great, the officials are awesome. All the drivers are kind and helpful; whenever you have a problem, there’s always someone there asking if you need something. I think the series is an amazing idea because the cars look awesome, and like I said, everybody is so good with each other. We’re not out there to crash each other, but have a good time and Dave monitors it very well.
“I think the series is going to take off that much more, considering there were six cars last year, and now it’s stepped up to about 12. Hopefully next year we’ll have about 20-something through the year because I can see a lot of guys interested in the series, and it’s worth getting into.”
Martin went on to add that he’s already talked to some guys about getting them involved in the series in 2019, encouraging them to come out to events and hang around in the pits to see the camaraderie that he speaks of.
“It’s a great group of people and the way the rules work for your cars, you can run anything and they weight you accordingly,” he continued. “They’re also not out there to make a million dollars as the payout is the same for everybody, so it makes us more cautious – less aggressive perhaps. The series is going somewhere fast.
“Like I’ve said, I’ve talked to a couple guys about getting into it and they’re paying close attention to the series. I’ve also got friends who have gotten cars over this past summer who are trying to get them ready for next year after just coming to a couple races and seeing how it went.”