For Jeremy Martin, every mile traveled and every dollar spent was well worth it.
Martin, a resident of Aberglassyn, New South Wales, made the 10,000-plus mile trek from Australia to Valdosta, Ga., to perform on the big stage of small tire racing in the No Mercy 9 event, and what a performance he turned in.
Martin describes the influence of Ledford which drove him to give Radial Tire Racing, specifically in the Radial vs. The World division. And for Martin, he represents the bottom portion of the world.
“Josh Ledford, he is the tuner for this car,” Martin explained. “So with him and Pro-Line, Josh is a radial guy through and through. Back home in Australia, I run on big tires so we run quarter mile big tires, wheelie bars. You know Josh has been with me for a couple years now and he’s like, ‘Man, you’ve got to put radials on that thing.”
“So we had a big win in Sydney, Grudge Kings, it was $50,000 to win, it was Australia’s biggest payout. So we flew Josh over, we won that event, and then that night we’re like, ‘That’s it, we’re going to No Mercy.”
Thanks to sponsorship from Hunter Kitchen King, and each of the team pitching in, the unlikely journey materialized in a hurry.
“I’m definitely not a rich person in this sport,” Martin said. “I’ve got to work hard and go without things to get here. I’ve got a really good mate and major sponsor, William Gouchy with Hunter Kitchen King. So he offered to put up the transportation. So he’s the one that paid for the container to get the car to and from, and then I’ve had to cover the rest. My crew, they’ve all had to chip in and pay. They’re all friends and family, so we’ll tell this story forever, so it’s awesome.”
To race in the United States, and make this kind of an investment, a person has to want it really bad.
“Mike Gouchy comes up and goes, ‘How cool would it be to have the Commodore in another country?” Martin recalled. “And I’m like, ‘Hell yeah it would be, but man just the nightmare and the time and everything.”
“So he’s like, ‘Well I’m game if you are.’ So I’m like, ‘Done.’ It’s just awesome. And the reaction we’ve had from everyone is, they’re like, “Man it’s got four doors and then the steering wheel’s on the wrong side.”
So why a Commodore?
“In Australia we don’t have lots of two-door cars,” Martin explained. So we have everyday cars and we just modify and modify them up and just race whatever we can get. So this one here is a 1979, this is a VB Commodore. It’s the first model of the Commodore.
“The reason I chose that one is because it was cheap, and they’re good, solid. It’s only like a medium size car so it’s not a big brick. I’ve nearly had it 15 years. I paid $1,000 for it back then and I’ve just been beating up on it ever since.”
And on a Sunday in October, he used the beater to beat up on a few of the USA’s best.
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019