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Mar 6, 2008
Author: Bobby Martin

I've never been more psyched about going to a race than I am about this year's Gatornationals. This is the "East Coast Lid Lifter" on the NHRA schedule and it's wrought with tradition and history. And now, as the new driver for Frank and Dan Parker's ParkerTech Racing Charger, I'm looking forward to hitting the track with a really great program run by true racers and true professionals. The Parkermobile is an awesome race car. It has all the best equipment and they work 7 days a week on it. But there's more. So far, the team chemistry is there too.

Everybody is just plain excited to get out there and see what we can do. It's so cool that the whole team of Mike, Larry, Kevin, and Kyle are along for the ride this year. Frank has shown that he's more than the great car owner and tuner that everyone knows. He's also a great team leader and an organized manager. One of the main advantages for me in this arrangement is that I can concentrate on the driving aspect of competing. Before I had so much to be concerned with that it compromised all of it, whether it was driving, tuning, inventory management, whatever. The level of competition in Top Alcohol Funny Car doesn't allow for the one man show anymore. Now you have tuning specialists, hired drivers, high-powered owners, and big budgets. The Parkers can compete in this arena, and I'm honored to be their driver of choice for 2008.

We're going flat out, and will be at plenty of events, although there's still an opening for a major sponsor. At the Gators, the car will be white with the logos of all the associate marketing partners we have on board so far. Another of Frank's abilities is that he can market with the best of them. We feel we have a strong combination in that department as well. CAP is still with me after 13 years, and VP Racing Fuels will enjoy their sophomore season with us. I'm proud to bring Permatex on as a new player at the party. Permatex has a legendary history in Funny Car racing and, as you know, I'm into that kind of stuff. They helped to get Whit Bazemore's career off the ground. Not much of the white will show with signs from Lane Automotive, All-Star Performance, Red Line Oil, Casebolt Financial, Aeroquip, Mopar, Hoosier, Sellars, NGK, Trick Titanium, Auto Meter, and Total Flow on the car.

So who is this team, anyway? When you pick up a CD, it tells you who the players in the band are. So here's the lineup for our team at the Gators:

Owner and Crew Chief:
Frank Parker

Co-owner, Co-Crew Chief:
Dan Parker

Bobby Martin

Larry Radke

Kevin Willhelms

Team Manager:
Lori Martin

Synthesizer on "Way Too Hot". just kidding

We only have two out of the "Fab Four" on the crew going with us for scheduling reasons. But Mike Meeks and Kyle Pelfrey are still first string players, and you'll be seeing them later on.

Ya know what? There are no test runs. The first time I strap myself into this beast, we'll be attempting to qualify for the NHRA Gatornationals. Watch nhra.com and dragracecentral.com for the results starting Friday, March 14. Then check back here to get the inside story. This is the beginning of a new phase in my career. You can go to CHRYSLERCAP.COM and click on "Bobby Martin" to see a really nice summation of my career edited and produced by Mike Collins, the National Manager for Vocational Education at Chrysler. I thank Frank and Dan Parker for the opportunity and you for your interest. Let's fire 'em up! Thanks for reading.

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