For the first time in his career, Logan Martin is a Feature winner with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals.
Martin, the 27-year-year regional racer from West Plains, MO, has made several Hell Tour starts in his career, including a top-five finish in the Summer Nationals visit to Springfield Raceway last year, but had yet to put it all together for a trip to Victory Lane against some of the best in Midwest dirt Late Model racing.
That was, until Tuesday night at Springfield, where he led all 40 laps of the Feature to bank the $5,000 grand prize and a win in his home state of Missouri.
“It means a ton,” Martin said. “To get our first Summer Nationals win, and to get it at Springfield.”
At the start of the year, Martin took on the biggest challenge of his career in joining the full-time roster of the World of Outlaws CASE Late Model Series. A few weeks ago, he and the team reevaluated their situation and remaining schedule of races, and decided to switch gears in favor of a pick-and-choose schedule for the rest of the year.
They chose to help kick off Week 3 of Summer Nationals competition Tuesday night at Springfield – a track Martin has won multiple marquee events at before – and made the most of it. He defeated Hell Tour regulars Billy Moyer Jr, Ashton Winger and weekly invaders like Drake Troutman and Morgan Bagley, marking one of the biggest wins of his career.
“This is also the best competition I’ve ever raced in my career, too,” Martin said. “I think that goes hand-in-hand. Racing against stiffer competition makes you better, and I think we’re witnessing that this year.
“I went from being a fourth-place car last year to winning the race this year, so that means a lot.”
Before the field took the initial green flag, Martin knew he had to get a jump on the field, and did, winning the race into the first corner and swiping the lead away from polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. on the first lap.
“I was able to roll Moyer Jr. on the outside, and I just kinda stayed in that line,” Martin said. “I was being vigilant of the grooves as they were changing, and just making sure that if I needed to move, I was moving.”
From there on out, it was all Martin up front. He was flawless on each of the restarts that came his way with a hungry field of contenders behind him and conserved his equipment right through to the checkered flag.
“Cautions toward the end, I was actually thankful for because it allowed me not to get back into lapped traffic,” Martin said. “I was just making sure I took care of my tires. Luckily, they held up, and we were able to make it all work.”
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model action continues Wednesday, June 28 at Adams County Speedway in Quincy, IL, joined by the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals. Tickets will be on sale at the gate – if you can’t be there to watch in person, stream every lap live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 36-Logan Martin; 2. 21J-Billy Moyer Jr; 3. 12-Ashton Winger; 4. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 5. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 6. 8-Dillon McCowan; 7. 30-Mark Voigt; 8. 7-Drake Troutman; 9. 45-Cole Wells; 10. 58-Tyler Clem; 11. 5-Austin Vincent; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner; 13. 38-Thomas Hunziker; 14. 86-Kyle Beard; 15. 31AUS-Kye Blight; 16. 56-Tony Jackson Jr; 17. USA128-Kylan Garner; 18. 19X-Cody Bauer; 19. 23NZ-Mick Quin; 20. 12C-Scott Crigler; 21. 15-Payton Looney; 22. 29-Chandler Moenning