Unbuckled: Getting to Know Jeffrey Martin


Hometown: Barre, VT

Division: Allen Lumber Street Stocks

Car: Catamount Concrete Cutting #8 Chevy Cavalier

2018 Season: Won Twin State Street Stock Series Championship; finished second in Thunder Road Street Stock points; 5 total feature wins


What are your favorite hobbies outside of racing?

My favorite hobbies probably would be 4-wheeling and some deer hunting every now and then. I try to get out as much as possible. I wasn’t able to get anything this past hunting season, but there’s always next year.

What do you do for work?

I’m an automotive technician at Twin City Subaru. I do general everything – I’m a used car technician right now. I’ve been here for a little over four years, and I’ve been doing mechanical work for as long as I can remember. Since I was able to drive, I guess.

What are your racing plans for 2019? Do you have any goals?

We’re working on the car right now – still getting it stripped down. We’ve got to fix it from a wreck we had at the end of the year. I’m hoping that 2019 will be a better season for us. I mean, we had a great season, but you can always improve. We’re hoping to go for a track championship this year. We were close last year – we had the best year I’ve ever had racing. A lot of people were standing behind me that made it happen.

What was the highlight of the 2018 season for you?

The highlight for me was winning the Twin State championship. That was a huge accomplishment. We weren’t even planning on running it until we won the first event, and then we won the other two. That was huge for us.

How did you get started in racing?

I got started mainly by my father (Jeffrey Martin Sr.). All my uncles raced at the same time along with my father and grandfather. So there were 6 or 7 of them at the same time – it was crazy. I also used to help my uncle Timmy when he raced Tigers and Late Models. That kind of kept me involved in it. Then they just started the Warriors back up two years ago, so that brought me back in.

You had a previous stint in racing earlier this decade before taking some time off. What made you decide to get back into it as a driver?

I guess it’s when they came up with the Road Warriors. It’s a cheap way to go racing, and I just so happened to have a car right before they started, so it was pretty much “put it together and see how it went”. And I had so much fun that I decided to move up.

You were a solid runner your first time around, but definitely nothing on the scale of this past season. What was different this time that helped you make that leap?

I would say it’s the people standing behind me, for the most part. (My girlfriend) Mindy has been great – she’s been there by my side helping with the race car every night we’re working on it. My buddy Luke is right there, along with Chris Davis – we built him a Warrior car. I can’t thank all of them enough for helping me out. They kind of made it for me.

We’ve noticed you kind of have a little empire developing in the pits between the Street Stocks and Warriors, too.

We’ve built, I want to say, 4 cars in 2 years. So everybody else is racing all of our cars, I guess you could say. And we’ve got another one going right now. Maybe Mindy will make a couple more appearances this year. She ran a few races this past year, but it was tough between me trying to race the Street Stock and trying to work on her car at the same time, and we just didn’t have enough racers to help us out, I guess. (Laughs)

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to be?

Finishing second in points at Thunder Road was pretty good. That was the best we’ve ever done. On top of winning the Twin State, I mean, that’s almost a perfect season if you ask me.

Do you have anyone that you consider a role model or that you look up to?

I wouldn’t say that I have one role model. I guess my father would be my biggest role model, and my uncle Timmy and the racing community would be my second-biggest role model.

Can you tell me about your family?

I have a daughter and two sons that help us out with racing. It’s very family-oriented.

What’s the most memorable trip you ever went on?

My favorite would be when Mindy and I went to Bristol last year to watch the Short Track Nationals. That was amazing. If you’ve never been to Bristol, that’s the place to go – especially to watch our 4-cylinder division, and the Pro Late Models and PASS-type cars, and basically our Tiger division at Bristol. It’s just the best thing you could imagine. I think that this year we’re going to switch from Bristol and maybe try Richmond to watch our guys this time.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I don’t really know about a superpower. I guess it would be to try and talk Dean out of disqualifying me in tech. (Laughs) It would be a super power, if nothing else.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people that promise things and don’t follow through with them. You should always follow through on your word.

What are the top three items on your bucket list?

I definitely want to go watch the Daytona 500. That’s one of them. A perfect hunting season would be another. And I want to win a championship at Thunder Road. That’s the third one.

Finish this sentence: on a Friday night, you’ll typically find me….

Probably working on race cars – pretty much all year-round. It’s a nonstop job.

Who is your biggest fan at the track?

That would be a toss-up between Mindy and the kids. My kids go to most of the races. Isiah is 4, Zoey is 8, and Reggie’s 12, so they understand how everything works.

So Reggie’s getting close to the age of getting a car himself.

Oh, we’re working on it. It’s in the works. (Laughs)

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?

The biggest influence would probably be my dad. He’s definitely a big supporter when he can be.

If you could pass along one piece of advice or a life lesson to your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t start a career working on cars. (Laughs) It’s good and it’s bad, I guess. But then you gotta work on everybody else’s car for free.

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

I would like to see myself with my own shop, hopefully making a name for myself. That’s a goal I have for the next five years. Hopefully we’ll have won a championship at Thunder Road by then – that would be nice. Maybe we’ll be able to move up to the Tigers sometime.

What would you do with your life if you never had to worry about money again?

We’d probably be racing all over the country. That would be amazing. It’d be nice to have a huge garage. If it was unlimited money, I’d probably have a Late Model at that point.

Maybe you’d be the next Bubba Pollard.

We could only wish. (Laughs)