Martinez Conquers Skagit Oval
ALGER, Wash. — Barry Martinez returned to victory lane at Skagit Speedway on Saturday night, winning the 410 sprint car feature.
Other winners were Eddie Blood (street stock) and Brandon Berg (outlaw tuners).
Martinez has been racing sporadically over the past two seasons while focusing on his sprint car parts business, Speedmart. Driving a car supported by Darcy Valliant and Speedmart, Martinez made the most of his pole position starting spot by leading every lap of the A Main and enjoying the fruits of victory for the first time since 2012.
The win took a while to come to fruition and was almost not to be – it took five tries before the race officially got going, with nearly every driver in the field involved on an opening lap dust up in some form or fashion. On the fifth try, Martinez found clean air to his liking, streaking away from Jesse Whitney as the laps ticked by. Whitney made up huge ground on Martinez as he entered traffic, but a lap-19 red flag for Kevin Smith and Trey Starks would give Martinez clean air once again after a restart. He nearly didn’t make it to the restart however, as a radiator hose had come loose and emptied the radiator of all its water.
The Martinez crew scrambled during the open red and refilled the radiator, allowing Martinez to have a fully functional cooling system and plenty of power as he drove away for the win over the last six laps. Austen Wheatley completed a charge back up the field from 11th to take second from Whitney on the lap-19 restart but advanced no further from there.
Whitney settled for third. Wheatley was the quick qualifier on the night.