May 20, 2015 Posted by  in News

Battered and Beaten

15597_479502355533306_2683472173522065675_nDylan was sporting two new sponsors this race. One is Patio850, where you can go eat and experience ‘a truly unique atmosphere and unsurpassed culinary experience in Downtown Lakeland’. Owner Lisa Schaefer stated, “We are delighted to team up with Dylan Martin. He brings a unique twist to the racing industry as we bring to the restaurants of Lakeland. My husband and I take great pride in our food and service as Dylan does in his racing. We wish the whole DMR team great success this season.” The other is Enlighten Digital out of Orlando who said they are proud to be a part of the DMR success. They are a business partner with Blackwater Integration and decided to jump aboard for the race. Dylan was excited to be racing with both of these companies on his Super Late Model. The air was heavy and the sun was blazing hot but the DMR crew was able to get Dylan’s #7 hot rod dialed in. He qualified 5th but from second place qualifier to the seventh place was less than seven thousandths of a second. Okay, that means 6 cars were within a blink of an eye in speed. When you have top running cars that are performing that close together, it is going to be a tight action filled race. That it was! The top 8 cars pulled pills for their starting positions and Dylan pulled 3. He is starting 2nd row inside.

The Super Late Models lined up on the front stretch for the autograph session. Dylan starts this race tied for second in points with #64. It was a great turnout for the 3rd race of the Sunoco 100. Dylan shook hands, signed autographs and handed out his new Hero Cards. They were hot off the press. It is incredible to hear the veteran fans thank him for being such a good driver but also for his passion for racing and his charity work. Then of course you have the young kids that love them some Dylan Martin. His smile and warm spirit are contagious.

Well, it is now race time. The track clears and the 16 drivers climb into their seats and buckle up. It is a little after 9pm and it is still 81 degrees outside. Dylan’s spotter for the night, Dennis Dean tells Dylan to get his tires warm and be alert. That is exactly what Dylan does. The green flag drops and the pole setter goes high into turn 1 and Dylan is right there to captivate on it. Dylan drives his #7 to the lead. He runs first for a couple laps and then the #56 goes to the outside. He gets around Dylan in a lap. Dylan gets a bit loose and the #42 gets under him. This puts Dylan on the outside. The car doesn’t seem to be working very well up there as the 42, 30 and 98 get by him. Lap 6 the first caution drops for Dylan spinning in turn 3 and 4.

Dennis tells Dylan to come to the pits so that the crew can secure the damaged rear bumper and make a chassis adjustment. The DMR crew gets him back out there before the green flag drops. He restarts 16th. Dylan quickly gains a couple spots by passing the #25 on the outside on the back stretch and then the #97. Lap 11, caution for the 177 and 75. Dylan restarts 13th. It only take a couple laps for him to take 12th over.

Dylan has his hands full with the damage of the car. It is driving like it has no rear spoiler. But he stays up on the wheel and gains another spot on lap 21 by passing the #81 car on the inside. He catches the #23 car and begins to work on getting around him. He laps #75 and then laps #25. Dylan is doing everything he can to get by the #23. Lap 47 another caution for three cars that spun and stopped on the track. He restarts 6th.

After a chaotic restart Dylan falls into single file in 7th. Every driver is trying to either fight to keep his position or to gain a position. The #56 and #64 tangle and Dylan drops to the inside of them to try to take the spot but unfortunately he ends up in it. The red flag comes out for cleanup and as Dylan sits stopped on the back stretch in front of his spotter it is obvious there is a lot of damage to the car. When they go back yellow, he shakes the car down to make sure the brakes and steering are good.

Dylan restarts 6th. Caution on the restart, he lines up 5th this time. He gets a good restart. A couple laps later the #12 gets to the inside of Dylan and runs him side by side for a lap. He then drops to 6th. Lap 67, the #23 starts a trend and gets #7 on the inside. The next lap #98 gets him and then the #97. This puts Dylan 9th. He is fighting with everything he has to handle his car through the corners. Lap 74, caution for debris. The call is made to bring him to the pits to try to make some more adjustments to the car.

Restarting 9th, Dylan drives as hard as the car allows him to. Lap 76, caution for the #97 who spins in turn 1. Dylan now 8th. The field restarts and going into turn 1 Dylan finds himself going to the wall in turn 1 as the #97 comes up on him. The #97 gets black flagged and Dylan is able to by the #25. He is 8th in the line but #5 a couple cars in front of him is a lap down. As the last laps click by, Dylan’s car is a sight. Rear bumper dragging, right door caved in a foot and the driver’s door is flapping in the wind. He will get a 7th place finish with a battered racecar.

This is not how the DMR crew wanted to see their car after a race but Enlighten Digital was happy to be able to take a token of the race home. They had come aboard for this race and because of the beaten and battered racecar of Dylan’s they were able to take a piece of the car home with them. Thrilled to see their company logo on Dylan’s car was just a small part of it because now they actually have a piece of the racecar displayed in their office. Their company logo on the piece of wrecked racecar will be a continued reminder of Enlighten Digital’s support of a great driver and team doing great things. Thanks again to all the businesses that support Dylan.

The DMR crew will be getting it back together for the next race on June 13th at Desoto Speedway. Thanks to everyone that came out to watch the race and to all the sponsors for their help. Like the song says, “sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield”…Dylan was the bug for sure!

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(Photos by Ciara Martin and Kim Scheffler & Press Release Credit to Kim Scheffler)

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