Starmount teacher’s big win
He doesn’t just practice what he preaches; he practices what he teaches, and celebrates it with his students.
Starmount teacher Sandy Martin grabbed the win in the Super Stock 4 feature race at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night in exciting fashion, having to hold off a late race charge. Martin, a 48-year-old from Ronda, started his 16th year teaching the automotive program at Starmount High School on Monday, and his win was made special by his students.
“In the early 2000s, my students built this race car,” Martin said. “A lot of them who came out there tonight is some of my former students. To see them through turns one and two hollering at me… there ain’t no better feeling in the world.”
Martin is one of the most humble gentlemen in the infield, and said he hopes that just racing will inspire someone to get into the industry, and do better in life, whether he’s out there winning or not.
“Wins are hard to come by. You’re going up against people that’s got plenty of money to spend, but to build my own cars, build my own motors, and drive the thing, and to have the people that do support me, it’s really a feeling that you can’t hardly describe,” Martin said.
Martin was running third when race leader Travis Chatham blew a motor while leading. Before the ensuing restart, Roger Nance was penalized, sending him to the rear. Martin assumed the lead, but had to battle Tommy Zachary lap-for-lap to get the win.
Eight straight for Anen
The man has been unstoppable this summer at Friendship Motor Speedway. Elkin’s George Anen Jr. grabbed his eighth straight victory in the Renegade series Saturday night, and had to do something that no driver from any class was able to do.
Anen started third on the night, and had to find a way around Zach Lankford for the lead. On lap 5, Anen was able to clear Lankford, making the only pass for the lead under green flag conditions the entire night in any class. Anen has been on a roll, and whether fans like him or hate him, he’s out there contending every single weekend.
“We’ve got a ton of fans, and a bunch of people who boo us, and that’s okay, too. It means we’re doing our job,” Anen said.
It’s been an impressive year for Anen, for sure. The win is Anen’s 11th on the season, and he has led at least one lap in every single feature event this year.
Jonesville’s Andrew Durham dominates
Domination was the theme across the board Saturday night at Friendship Motor Speedway, and Jonesville’s Andrew Durham was part of the reason.
Durham led every single lap in the Open Wheel Modified feature race. Nineteen cars entered into the event, but as the race went on, it quickly turned into a wreck fest.
The wrecking started on lap 6 when Steven Hines got into the back of Brandon Bentley entering turn one, leaving Bill Tesh with nowhere to go. The wreck fest continued with three laps to go. Turn four was tricky throughout the night, and it claimed five victims, including Bobby Jones, Kevin Gwyn, Keith Holder, Will Ferguson and Jerry Cochran.
Durham was strong on the restarts all night. At press time, his win is still pending tire samples. Also notable was Charlotte’s Joe Gwilt, who made his first career start in the Open Wheel Modified series, holding his own for an impressive 12th place finish.
Don’t let the lack of passing fool you
There was an uncharacteristic lack of passing at Friendship Motor Speedway, but there were some tight races for sure in all other classes for the night.
Larry Martin was on it Saturday night in the Xtreme Stock 4 class, leading every lap. Belmont’s Ron Parker was also dominant, leading all 25 laps in the SECA Late Model division. Dobson’s Chase McCormick had won the past three races in the division, but said he felt something break and did not finish.
Limited Sportsman was exciting early on as Jeff Parsons and Matt Johnson were racing side by side until Johnson lost it coming off of turn four on lap 3. A few laps later, Johnson hit David Capps, but wound up taking himself out in the process. Parsons had to hold off Jay Foley, making for an exciting finish. Parsons led every lap, but his win did not come easy.
In the UCAR class, Wilkesboro’s Kenneth Miller was strong yet again, leading every lap.
Racing returns to Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night, with an open practice Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. Grandstand admission for Thursday’s practice is free, and pit admission is $15. Tickets for Saturday night are: Grandstands: Adults ($11) and children 9-12 ($5) Pits: Adults ($27) and children 9-12 ($11) Children 8 and under: free.
Full results from Saturday night are posted on Friendship Motor Speedway’s Facebook page.