2021 moment NUMBER 1: Rick Martin scores 100th career win in August, making track history in dramatic finish with finishes within inches
NUMBER 1: Rick Martin scores 100th career win in August, making track history in dramatic finish with finishes within inches
Few words will describe the feeling at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday, August 7, 2021, when Radical Rick Martin edged Tom Scully Jr. by a literal three inches for his 100th career win. But, a few quick words do come to mind: improbable, unimaginable, epic, and flat phenomenal. That’s about all you can say.
It all started on May 12, 1979, when Martin went to Victory Lane for the first time at Seekonk in a Late Model. I can promise you that over 40 years later, Martin would have never imagined how the 40-lap Pro Stock feature would have ended to seal one of the biggest accomplishments of his entire life. And, one of the most historic nights in the 75-year history of Seekonk Speedway.
Martin took the lead and was driving away from the field inside the final 10 laps, but a caution slowed the action with just a few more circuits left to go. Martin restarted on the pole, and led the race rather easily until the white flag went in the air, when Scully used a tap to the back bumper to get underneath, and the battle was on over the final third-mile. When they raced down the backstretch, into turn three, Martin throttled up on the outside of Scully and rocketed off turn four. In the final 100 feet, it was like a race between two drag cars, just inches apart.
Martin edged Scully in one of the closest finishes in Seekonk history, and it went down as one of the most historic moments in track history. Yeah — a track that has been around since 1946 still has those moments you will never forget. Each and every one of the fans, teams, and staff of Seekonk Speedway will remember exactly where they were standing when everyone in the grandstands started screaming wildly as Rick Martin was officially declared the winner of his 100th race.
After crossing the line, while Martin’s emotions boiled over inside the car, he drove at full speed into turn three on the cool-down lap and nearly lost control of the car in excitement. When he parked at the start-finish line to accept the checkered flag from Tim Bolduc, Martin’s face was full of emotion — and his fans weren’t going anywhere until he climbed from the car and started the celebration. In what felt like the longest and most well-deserved victory lap of his career, which included a congratulations from his entire crew, which had walked onto the track, Martin finally stopped at the finish line and climbed from the car in front of hundreds of fans who were still left at the track screaming wildly.
The celebration — which lasted well over 30 minutes — was exactly what everyone dreamed it would be. But, I can promise you that NO ONE could have dreamed the way the race ended. With sparks flying and energy filling the grandstands, Martin’s victory will go down in the record books forever. The Westport, Massachusetts, native, a five-time Pro Stock champion, and former track title holder in the Sport Trucks, also has two championships at Thompson Speedway. He will forever go down as one of the top drivers at Seekonk Speedway.
It’s cliche, but it’s true: the blood, the sweat, and the tears that Martin has put into his cars over the years in the one stall garage in his own yard in Westport, Massachusetts finally paid off in the biggest way. It was all worth it. It will all forever be worth it. And without a laundry list of supporters, friends, family, sponsors, crew members and more, Martin wouldn’t have been able to do it. Now, the chase for 101 begins.
So, again: improbable, unimaginable, and flat phenomenal. That’s about all you can say. Congrats to Radical Rick on a truly special accomplishment.
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