Oct 21, 2008
Author: Bobby Martin
It's always tough when we lose a fellow racer, and for me it hits even closer to home when it's a Funny Car guy. You're never ready for stuff like this, so Lori, Frank, Dan, the team and I were all stunned when we heard about Bobby Martindale's accident.
I always had a special bond with Bobby, not only because we were TA/FC drivers, and because we both drove Dodges. Even more than that, there was the quirky matter of our names. We had a lot of laughs about it, and it confused a lot of people. My favorite quote came from Speedzone Online Magazine reporting on qualifying at a national event a few years ago. It said "Bobby Martin and Bobby Martindale (wow, that is weird)." When I first met Bobby, he had already been racing a long time and I was just starting out. That sweet, gentle, friendly nature of his stood out immediately. Rather than see me as a threat to his ego, or worse, someone he didn't need around, Bobby offered to help. He was quick to offer advice.
Racers pride themselves that they are like family. Most will welcome you if you walk into their pits. But Bobby was the real deal. He didn't wait for you to come to his pit. He was usually the one who came around to chat. He was always excited just to be there. It was quite a while after I met him, after I learned the ropes a little, that I knew how long he'd been at it, because his enthusiasm was like that of a rookie. He actually match raced fuel cars in the '70's. That puts him in the hero category in my book! It's interesting that I didn't know that from talking to him. I guess he was just such a humble a guy he might have thought it was bragging.
I'm really going to miss seeing him at the races and reading about his exploits at the events I'm not at. But I'm really gonna miss that little Bobby Martindale-Bobby Martin thing that kept everyone scratching their heads at the races.
Some take comfort in the fact that Bobby died doing what he loves. True. It sure beats years battling some disease. But any of our lives can end in an instant even if we're not doing what we love. Then what? If you're good, you'll go to Heaven, right? Well, good's not enough in God's eyes. We've all fallen short of God's standard of holiness. That's why it's important to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. He atoned for our shortcomings so that we are "free and clear" in the eyes of the Father. It's as easy as ABC. Accept that you're a sinner who can't earn salvation on your own. Believe that Christ paid the price on the cross and won victory over sin at the resurrection. And then Commit your heart and life to Jesus. That's it. Now you're assured of eternal life. It's the greatest gift ever.