CARTERSVILLE, GA – Ross Martin of Talladega, AL won the 22nd Annual Ice Bowl Super Late Model Race on Sunday afternoon at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL driving a three-year-old GRT Chassis that was won by his son Adam and powered by a four-year-old $7,000 Chevrolet Performance CT 525 Engine purchased from NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA.
Martin started third in the 50-lap race and worked his way up to the lead on lap 31, passing polesitter Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, TN. Martin never looked back and scored the biggest win of his 30-year career and the $6,000 top prize. Martin said his race car was so good, it made him very nervous.
“When we unloaded the car on Friday, it was perfect and we were in the top 5 in times in every practice session,” Martin said. “My son Adam told me to just be quiet and not brag that we won hot laps. Then we qualified third fastest without much effort, and I knew we had the car to beat. We were so good, I was nervous about it.”
But Martin’s nerves turned into confidence after taking some valuable advice from a Hall of Fame driver.
“Right before the race, Mike Head told me this race was ours to win, and to just relax and let it happen,” Martin said. “Mike told me we had the right set-up, the right engine, and the right tires. After he told me that, I quit being nervous and was just busting with confidence.”
The right engine was a four-year-old $7,000 Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine that Martin credits for making his race car the one to beat. Martin had won some weekly shows at Talladega Short Track with the engine, but Sunday was the race he wanted to win more than any.
“The Ice Bowl is more than just a race, it an event, I’ve raced in every one of them, and it feels great to finally win one,” Martin said. “I think I spent less to win this race than anyone else in history. I had a $7,000 Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine, and my three-year-old GRT Chassis was the one my son Adam got in 2008 for winning the NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series East Region Championship.”
Martin dropped back to fourth spot at the start of the race because he said it was only time in the race he spun the tires. After that, the Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine gave the GRT Chassis nothing but traction. Martin got by Ray Cook for the third spot with an inside move by the completion of the first lap, and then took over the second spot from David Brannon on a lap ten restart.
By the halfway point in the race, Martin began to look inside Ogle to challenge for the lead before making the pass for the top spot on lap 31. Once in the lead, the nerves that plagued Martin before the race returned for the final 18 laps.
“When you have a four-year-old engine that all you’ve ever had to do to it was change the oil and put in one set of spark plugs, you begin to wonder if there is enough there to get you to the checkered flag,” Martin said. “Even though they weren’t actually there, I began to hear noises and rattles in my head. But the engine did its job with no problems like it has over the last four years. I’ve won enough money to pay for that engine four times over.”
Martin said he won enough money on Sunday by winning the Ice Bowl that he can now buy a new Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine.
“This is the biggest win of my 30-yesr career and I’ll be calling NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA this week to buy a new CT525 Engine to get ready for the new series that will be using these engines this year,” Martin said. “We’ll keep this four-year-old engine and use it as a backup engine for me and Adam, but the way these engines are trouble-free, we probably won’t need it.”
The new series Martin spoke of is one that will be announced in the coming days by Crate Racin’ USA, the sanctioning body of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. The new series will feature dirt late models powered exclusively by the Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine. The series is planning ten races for 2013.
The 2013 Ice Bowl Champion Ross Martin and his son, 2008 NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series East Region Champion Adam Martin will compete in the new series along with National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN, the 2012 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA, and two-time NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS Champion David Earl Gentry of Murfreesboro, TN leading the growing list of drivers using the Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine.
The Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine is available at NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA for $6,995.00 with free next day delivery anywhere in the Southeast. They also have an interchangeable Turn Key Kit that includes everything except the carburetor, fuel pump, power steering pump, or headers that is also available for $2,259.00. To place an order, call Tim Bland at 1-877-497-3624.
For more information about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month. You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.