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WHAT'S NEXT?
Sep 17, 2007
Author: Bobby Martin

WHAT'S NEXT?

The 2007 season is winding down for the CAP CHARGER team. Here's what's coming up along with the "Indy Insider"...

We'll travel to Dallas for the NHRA Fall Nationals there. Norris Martin, Ben Matus, and the rest of the good folks from Texas State Technical College are bringing us there. We even plan to have a TSTC student as a special guest. The nationals goes from Sept 20th through the 23rd.

On the 24th I'll be in Nashville TN for the Super Tech competition as a guest speaker. My good friend George Arrants made arrangements for me to speak before a national caliber group of future diesel truck technicians and many movers and shakers in the industry. This will be one exciting competition at the Nashville Convention Center. And for me, who has loved big trucks all my life, this will be a special treat.

On October 4th I'll be part of the Grand Opening ceremonies for the Erie Community College Auto Body Tech Expansion Project. The CAP CHARGER will be there featuring its award-winning (Best Appearing Car, Div 3 Norwalk, May 2007) body work and paint scheme. (Easy to remember the date. That's a big 10/4, Good Buddy!) We'll be right across the road from the home field of the Buffalo Bills. I always love visiting the gang from Orchard Park NY and having some beef on weck and wings.

Lots of folks have asked what happened with our chutes at Indy. Two qualifying attempts, two premature chute deployments. The reality is the problem isn't with the chutes, but deep within the car itself. Truthfully, I have not determined the root cause of all our problems yet, but there are vibrations, harmonics, and breakage in the car that are not normal. We will continue to look closely in the areas of the engine and the chassis up to and including complete replacement. Although we have been with our major sponsor, CAP, for 13 seasons, we have to watch our budget closely. So students and families associated with CAP need not be concerned that CAP is spending tons of money on racing, because it doesn't. My budget is quite limited compared with many of the teams we run against. We've enjoyed more than a decade working for CAP, but my chassis has served for more than a decade as well. I've managed to stay competitive within these constraints, but some of that is catching up with me. The downside is, that as a driver, and even as a team, it's hard to show our true potential, although people in the know have shown us a great deal of respect due to the time we've been out there and our previous record. And I appreciate their support and encouragement. Obviously none of us expected to have the kind of year we've had. Quite the contrary. With our new Charger body, and all the best new parts at the start of the year, we we're ready to be noticed in the best sense of the word. When you look at Indy, John Force and Warren Johnson did not qualify. These guys know adversity and tough times are part of racing. The champions are the ones who can overcome those and move forward having learned even more from the trials.

A lot of emphasis is placed on winning, but if you look at it closely, there are really only a few people who do it on a regular basis. The fact is, it's very hard just to field a car, as evidenced by the number of teams that disappear every year, or all the people who have race cars in their shops, but not the resources, be they money, time, or people, to run them. I'm trying hard to learn all I can from this slump. I won't give up. Then we'll see what happens. One thing is sure about drag racing, there are no guarantees. Thanks for reading.



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