Hal Martin's debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series showed potential for a promising finish, but a brake pedal failure in the early stages eliminated any hope for a solid finish at the Kansas Speedway. The Ragin' Cajun, from Galliano, Louisiana, came into Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 with realistic hopes and expectations of a top 20 lead lap finish as he prepares for a Rookie-of-the-Year title run in 2013.
Martin took advantage of Thursday's elongated practice session, scuffing tires and learning the characteristics of his #44 American Custom Yachts Inc. Toyota. From the opening of the traditional practice sessions on Friday, Martin was ready to "Geaux" and posted the 16th quickest speed. In Coors' Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday morning, Martin posted yet another solid lap, good enough for 16th fastest.
When the green flag dropped, Martin made an impressive save with a loose racecar in turn 1, and kept the American Custom Yachts Inc. Toyota out of major trouble. Martin quickly worked his way into the top 15 by lap 17. After successfully finding a rhythm and posting top 15 lap times, Martin's brake pedal broke and forced the 26 year old to the garage for repairs. Martin rejoined competition before the one quarter mark in the event for additional seat time and to build a notebook with Tri-Star Motorsports for their upcoming outing at Texas Motor Speedway. Through the bulk of the 206 lap affair, Martin's Toyota Camry showed speed capable of running well inside the top 15, and even posted lap times as fast as the leaders, before a late race incident forced a premature end to his day. The performance throughout his debut weekend at Kansas has the Ragin' Cajun confident and looking forward to his second start at Texas Motor Speedway.
Hal Martin on Kansas Speedway
Are you pleased with the progress and experience you gained this weekend?
"It's obviously not where we wanted to finish the day. When we came back out after the brake failure, we had a pretty good American Custom Yachts Toyota once we got tweaking on it. We were just racing hard at the end, trying to learn all I could out there. When I got underneath the no.8, we got pinched down and lost the air off the right side and spun out. I'm a lot more confident now going to Texas. Even though the result wasn't where we wanted it, I learned a lot about driving these cars in traffic as well as by myself. We'll carry what we had and learned this weekend and apply it to Texas."
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