Sport Truck glory was on the line to start the night at the DAV Fall Classic this past weekend. For Rick Martin and Barry Shaw, and Mike Duarte claiming the season title would double their Sport Truck championship count, while Brittany Campbell set out to earn the honor of “champion” for the first time.
With momentum on his side following back-to-back wins, Martin just needed to beat the rest of the Fastest Four for one more week. Duarte fell out of the competition by Lap 4, suffering too much damage to continue after a brief stack up in Turn 2. Only Campbell and Shaw remained to try and deny Martin his sixth career track championship, and Shaw especially proved to be no small hurdle for Martin to clear on his way to the front.
Shaw and Martin raced nose-to-tail in that order, from Lap 16 to Lap 26, escalating to rubbing fenders and tapping bumpers as the laps wore on. When Martin decided it was time to go, he made his No. 14 truck squeeze between the burm and Shaw into Turn 1, sliding up just enough to stall out Shaw’s No. 85 machine. Martin put his foot down and won the inside, and there was nothing Shaw could but watch Martin outpace him for the championship.
“When you’re trying to take the crown from the top dog you don’t expect him to just roll over,” Martin said about the move for the championship. “Me and Barry Shaw had a few pushing matches this year, but nothing but hard racing. We race hard - the way I like it - but always congratulate each other after.”
Coming off yet another marquee year in his illustrious racing career, Martin put together seven feature wins and led the division in points the entire second half of the year in 2022.
“Of course none of it would be possible without the support from sponsors and friends,” Martin said. “ To me, the Seekonk truck division is one of the best divisions around. The racers have more respect for each other than other divisions I've competed in.
Though he’s been racing for more than 40 years, Martin hardly shows signs of slowing down.
“Obviously, I'm towards the end of my racing career, and with age it gets much harder to compete each weekend,” Martin commented. “But when so many people come up to me and say they can't wait already to watch me compete next year, or that they have been a fan since they were a kid, that is what makes all the time and work feel like it has a purpose.”
Martin’s 2022 Sport Truck Championship is his second ever in the division, and combined with his four titles in Seekonk’s Pro Stock division, now owns six total titles, joining the ranks of Vinnie Annarummo, Fred Astle Jr., and Mike Cavallaro.
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