Chasing the Thrill Jason Martin
Jason has been racing since 1995. Early in his racing career, a fellow racer offered Jason one of his cars to drive, and he's been tearing the track up ever since. His two sons and friends often help him at the track.
For Jason, it's all he knows. He wakes up every morning thinking about race cars. Fortunately, his career is focused on thinking about, talking about and dealing with race cars. It's just a way of life. Watch this behind the scenes video of Jason at I-80 Speedway chasing the thrill.
Jason: “We're going to kind of do this short, quick maintenance today just because we got back late. Fortunately, we didn't have any trauma last night so literally we just got to get it washed and go through the motor. Make sure the motor is okay. Run the valves on the motor and put our setup on it for tonight. This one, we won the 360 race with this car last night at Park Jefferson. Started on the front row and the race track was awesome. You can just run right around the top right on the edge. It got pretty treacherous at times, a lot of guys were sliding off the racetrack. It was pretty tricky but the guys got this race car working really well. I'm pretty excited for the summer to start getting a bunch of dry race tracks, enough to be really competitive. My boys, they're out of school, don't want to get out of bed either. You decided you're going to come work on a race car?"
Jason's Son, Reece: "I guess so."
Jason: “Reece you want to crawl up there and get some tires down. This one can actually stay up here. We got them all dirty man.”
Reece: “Yeah we got them all dirty!”
Jason: “I started in ‘95 so 23 years of racing. That’s 12 or 13 years old. When I first started sprint cars I think we started in 2000, or ’99. I was like 16 years old, 17 years old. A guy that I had raced with and competed against, he actually called me one day and he's like ‘hey why don’t you come drive my race car’ and I'm like well that's pretty cool. Probably shouldn't have started that early just because you're so young, but today that's pretty common.”
Reece: “I want to use that.”
Jason: “Spray the whole car. Watching him wasting about $20 worth of chemical."
Reece: “Everything is a chemical though.”
Jason: “Yes, of some sort. We're going to get into chemistry today?”
Jason: “We run a sprint series in Nebraska at I-80. I got a special Charlie Clark Memorial race and they're going to have 305’s out there. So, we’re looking forward to going, racing I-80. This place is a big fast racetrack. Whenever you're comfortable going fast, usually you're pretty successful at these kinds of tracks. I've had good success here. It’s just close to home, a lot of fans, and a lot of sponsors here want to see us; and it's a Sunday and we're racing so what more could you ask for."
Pit Crew, Brian: “Where’s your trailer?
Jason: “Down here on the end”
Brian: “Still the same trailer?”
Brian: “Who’s here with you?
Jason: “Just Chase.”
Brian: “Alright so then I'm helping you. I've already been mistaken for you once so far since I've walked in."
Jason: “There you go.”
Racer: “Saw you won”
Jason: “Yeah spanked them pretty good.”
Racer: “Where’d you start?”
Jason: “I started outside the front row. See ya.
Race Official: "Alright, hit the button. 84"
Jason: “Why are you giving everybody here high numbers at the end?”
Race Official: “I'm not trying to, it’s this. It just goes through numbers.”
Brian: “I can already see dry spots over there.”
Jason: "So, you’re saying it’s not going to last that long?”
Brian: “It'll be a little while, but I can already see dry spots, so you know it's coming. Well it looks like it was wet on top and then really dry loose under. So, it's probably going to roll up.”
Brian: “You see the dust coming up in the middle of the track? You’ll probably end up changing a little for the feature but for now you’re fine.
Producer: “What's the weather looking like?”
Jason: “Looks like we're going to be good for a while. There's some clouds brewing, so who knows.
It’s the middle of May and we should have about 20 or 25 races in already, I think we're at six. It’s been every weekend it seems like bigger rains. Even Thursday night shows have been raining out. Right now the biggest thing for me is the expense. Like for the shop and the truck and trailer, and everything. You got all this stuff, that you’re just spending money on and there's no cash flow coming in to offset it. So, when you're racing it, at least you can bankroll it a little bit. You can't just keep asking people for money because they're like ‘well you're not racing, we’re not getting any advertising out of it’ and you understand.”
Brian: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody run a slick, dry slick track like him. This isn't there yet, but it might be by the feature. I have a lot of confidence in him. I've been helping him for a while, off and on. He's always found ways to make everything work. He knows how to get around a track really well, the slicker the better.”
Brian: “And that'll be a complete restart. That was just a test run. He's a good driver, he's got a good car, we'll just see what happens. He had to try the top at least once. That last lap he moved to the top down here to see what it was like.”
Jason: “I got lucky on the first start and passed the road, just because there was a couple guy that crashed there. I played my games right. I showed him my nose there that one time coming off the two, and it kind of did what I thought he would do because he would squeeze the next corner. Well it had killed all of his speed and slowed him way down and I got to drive right by him the next lap."
Brian: “Did you try doing that up there going high? It didn't stick as good?"
Jason: “It's so far around down there. It's a lot farther up and you really lose a lot of speed, a lot of time."
Brian: “Yeah, you need everything you can get.”
Jason: “We're probably actually going to free it up a little bit. I was a little tight in dirty air when I was behind cars. So it just depends on where we draw in the re-draw. If we start on the front row then we'll probably change the gear so we can get out there and make some speed instead of time. But if we have to start in the back we'll probably leave the gear in it and free it up a little bit and just go from there."
Jason: “He was so proud, he was like ‘hey come here, you know what I needed that paper for’. I was like ‘no, what?’ He's like ‘I put a sign out there on the wall and I taped it and I spelled free cookies wrong and I put it out there with my cookies that I made’"
Jason: "We’re just going to figure out if we want to put less stagger on it. Less stagger is going to tighten it up. I'm afraid that if we tighten it up too much it's going to be too tight. Since I'll be starting in the back of cars, I got to be able to race, get out front, make laps so I don't want to get it too tight. I'm just going to leave it free I think and just deal with it when I get to the front.”
Producer: “Every weekend why do you do this?"
Jason: “It’s all I know. I wake up every morning thinking about race cars. Fortunately, I get to work in a career where I do nothing but think about, talk about, deal with race cars. I don't know, it's just a way of life, I guess. You know as a kid that's what you wanted to do, and your dad gave you the opportunity to do it a little while. You figure it out, that that's what you like”
Brian: “Hey Jason I don't know if we need to worry about that. Yeah, it’s sprinkling, it's starting."
Race Official: “When your features over with and you get it loaded up just head over, trailer and everything ready to go, head over to the back pit gate. We'll open it up and let out as many people as we can.”
Brian: “He's confident we're actually going to race.”
Track Manager: “Sprint cars, we’re going to get you and the modifieds loaded up. We’re going see what’s going to happen with this weather here. Sprint cars and mods let’s start loading up."
Brian: “Can’t hear him”
Sponsor: “Start getting loaded up.”
Brian: “Is that what he said?"
Sponsor: “Sprint cars and mods start getting loaded up.”
Track Manager: “We have to cancel. With the lightning, we have to cancel.”
The sprint car feature was rescheduled for September 7th. That night also rained out.