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The Gift of Walking

Taylor 2“Hey look there is Dylan,” one of the nurses says as Dylan walks into the lobby. Dylan smiles as he sets down the soda tabs he has collected. He hosts a contest every couple months to gather as many tabs as he can to bring the kids. Lisa Buie, the new Public Relations Manager came around the corner and introduced herself. She has only been at the Shriner’s Hospital a couple months. “I had heard lots of great things about Dylan and how much he helps the hospital. Last week, I was able to meet him for the first time. He is a fine young man who loves to bring smiles to our kids’ faces. We appreciate the 30 pounds of soda tabs he brought with him. Those tabs really go a long way toward helping us continue our mission of providing expert orthopedic care to children regardless of families’ ability to pay.”

Dylan made his rounds through the hospital meeting kids. It is completely amazing that it doesn’t matter if he sees them in the therapy room or in the orthopedic fitting rooms, they are always smiling. These types of smiles are so contagious. I believe that is why Dylan is always smiling. He stores up all this joy he sees and it allows him to forever smile. In the therapy room he met, Taylor a little 5 year old that was working on reaching with her arms. As she placed each Disney princess in the castle she told Dylan that her favorite colors were green and yellow. She was quick to tell Dylan that she guessed his was red as she pointed to his firesuit.

Next stop was the wing that the kids are fitted with all types of orthopedic help. Katie Joy was so intrigued with Dylan’s helmet. As the nurse applied pads to the bottom of her cast so she could walk with them and not slip, Dylan and Katie Joy talked about going fast and his shiny helmet. As this little ball of sunshine climbed down the steps of the examining table, her mother looked at Dylan and said, “Thank you for making this fun.” It may just be for a moment but when Dylan visits with the kids, they forget they are in the hospital. Katie Joy then walks Dylan out of her room and down the hallway to leave. The greatest thing is, she is walking. Dylan smiles and tells her good bye. This is a good day.

Dylan is hosting another Soda Tab Contest that will end on July 28th. So keep collecting your Soda Tabs for these incredible kids.

For more information on the Shriners go to www.ShrinersHospitalsForChildren.org

To read about other visits Dylan has made to the Shriners go to www.DylanMartinRacing.com

(Photos & Press Release Credit – Kim Scheffler)

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Dylan meets Elijah & Naomi

20150507_111242_resized_2When kids come to the Sunshine Foundation, they are coming for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Some go to the amusement parks, others to the beach or on a cruise. But when they come to stay at the Dream Village and they request to meet Dylan Martin, the 17 year old Racecar driver from Lakeland…well, he shows up. Elijah and his sister, Naomi came down from up north for their Disney, Sea World and Legoland experiences. They were so excited to meet Dylan but I got a feeling the large swimming pool that The Dream Village has may have been the favorite that day. Dylan replied to Elijah’s mother when she thanked him for coming out, “No thank you for letting me be a part of your day and I hope you enjoy your time here in Florida.” As he walked away, Dylan smiled. He is grateful for these unique moments he has.

If you would like more information about the Dream Village go to www.SunshineFoundation.org

(Photos & Press Release Credit – Kim Scheffler)

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Springtime Brings Smiles to CARS Kids

20150506_192129_resized_3It is Springtime in Auburndale, Florida. You can smell the orange blossoms and the Bar-B-Q cookin’. The days are getting warmer and the colors of Spring are everywhere as Dylan Martin set up for his 3rd CARS Kids Fundraiser at his favorite Bar-B-Q restaurant, Smokin’ Jim’s. Every month this year, Dylan is hosting this event to raise money for Skyla, Lucas and Maci. These three children struggle every day with serious illnesses and Dylan wants to help bring a little joy into their lives. He has teamed up with Jim to get 10% of the night’s sales donated and the greatest band around, The Nathan Baldwin Band donates their talents to help out too. The Polk County legend, Joey Foley had this to say about being a part of this monthly event, “It’s always a blessing to work with Dylan Martin and his dynamic team for such a great cause. We are honored to help raise money for the kids. They have certainly stolen all our hearts.”

The night brought in almost $600. That brings us to almost $2,500 for the kids already this year. We are truly blessed to live in a small town that truly cares about its kids. We want to thank some local businesses that contributed to the raffle drawings: Patio850, Ted’s Repair Services, Smokin’ Jim’s, Southern Sass, Blackwater Integration, Dylan Martin Racing and the list goes on. There are some new businesses that will be putting items in the raffle next month, so be sure to come. Once again you are guaranteed to have a great time listening to music, eating good food and possibly winning some wonderful prizes. See you next month!

Skyla, Maci, Lucas and Dylan thank you all for your time and effort given!

THANK YOU!

To give online go to www.GoFundMe.com/DMRkids

(Photos & Press Release Credit – Kim Scheffler)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE NEXT EVENT TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE C.A.R.S. KIDS… WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10th 7PM TO 9:30PM

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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!

To stay updated with all of Dylan’s events and races go to www.DylanMartinRacing.com

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

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Long Day, Long Race

11169862_472607592889449_1274621885046948990_nDylan sitting on the ground in post tech inspection had this to say, “Lots of ups and downs, ending with an up. Race was uneventful but had to stay focused every single lap and not make a single mistake to keep the 177 held off.” The day’s heat and the long green flag runs had worn on Dylan. He had just run a 100 lap race where most of it he had to be ‘up on the wheel’ to keep his position.

With summer heat here to stay, the crew got the #7 Blackwater Super Late Model unloaded and ready for practice. The wiring issues had been fixed and everything looked good to go. By the last practice session out, Chad Pierce the crew chief had the car within two tenths of fast time. Dylan was happy with the handling of his car and was off to the driver’s meeting. The track starts it off with prayer for safety for the drivers, crew members and fans. The race director is very direct when he talks about rough driving and jumping the restarts.

The sixteen Super Late’s get lined up for qualifying. Dylan will be 4th to go out. Chad talks to him for a few minutes on the radio before his turn. Dylan fires up the engine and pulls onto the track. Quickly warming up the tires, he drives hard down into turn 3 to be at full speed as he comes out of 4 to take the green flag. He lays down a pretty quick lap, a 13.685 second lap. When all was done and said that time earned him 7th fastest time. Not the starting position he wanted but when 2nd through 7th were within .08 seconds, he knew they were all right there.

The crew then had some down time to eat. Smokin’ Jim’s always supplies a great meal for them. With sliced turkey and pulled pork, the guys were smiling and now rejuvenated. They were ready for race time. Dylan and the other 15 drivers pulled out onto the front stretch for their autograph session. After being interviewed by Speed 51, Dylan shook hands and signed autographs. This is the one time of the night that you will always see Dylan smiling. He loves the opportunity to thank the fans for coming out and meeting new faces.

As the announcer asks to clear the front stretch and the drivers to get buckled in, Michael, Dylan’s father walks over to him and gives him his good luck speech. There is a tradition between this father and son…Michael always locks in the window net and gives him a last ‘go get ‘em’. The spotter and crew chief asks for a radio check. Everyone is on and ready to go.

It is almost 9pm when the green flag drops. Dylan is actually starting 4th due to the #64 dropping to the rear of the field. With Dylan starting on the outside and his line not moving forward, it only takes a couple laps for the #42 and #5 to pass him. The field is single file now and Dylan settles in at 6th. By lap 4, he starts to work to the inside of #42 and they run side by side for a couple laps before Dylan takes the spot. The field runs this way for a while. The car looks smooth through the corners and Dylan’s times show that as he hits a 13.58 second lap on lap 10 (faster than pole time). Lap 16, Dylan laps the #1 car. Chad comes across the radio, “You are looking good kid, keep hitting your marks.”

11069952_472607672889441_3339293318923866845_nLap 26, Dylan laps the #1 car again. The entire field is single file. Chad tells him “to keep digging”. He laps the #97 and #58 by lap 36. Dylan has to be aware of lap traffic as he laps the #1 car again. The first caution flag drops on lap 56 for the #58 car. Dylan restarts 9th with the cone rule in effect. It doesn’t take a few laps for the next yellow to come out. Chad and Dylan discuss over the radio what to do on this next restart. Dylan decides to jump to the outside for the restart. He is restarting 2nd. The whole field is bunched up tight as they take the green on lap 62. Dylan get hit going into turn 1 and it gets him sideways. He quickly gathers his car back up but only after the #23s and #5 get by him.

Lap 70, Dylan gets under the #42 to take the 4th place spot. His times have slowed up but he continues to pull away from the #177. As the tires start to fade, the #177 catches Dylan and now is all over his rear bumper. He is trying everything to get around Dylan. There are even a few times he tags him in the rear. Dylan is not going to hand over his position that easy. He is driving the wheels off the #7 to keep his place. With 5 laps to go, Dylan has pulled away from the #177 to give himself a couple car lengths. When the checkered flag drops, Dylan Martin, the 17 year old from Lakeland has earned himself a 4th place finish, just outside a podium finish.

Dylan will be racing all eight races in the Auburndale Sunoco 100 series. He is currently 2nd in points, tied with Steve Dorer with 81 points. He is only 7 points out of first. So mark your calendars for the next Sunoco 100 lap race at Auburndale Speedway on May 9th. It will be another fender rubbing, paint swapping, high energy race!

Thanks to all the fans that come out to support Saturday night racing! Also much gratitude to all the people and businesses that support Dylan and his team. The DMR team has gathered the best. This bunch is full of knowledge, passion and dedication and will continue to work hard to keep Dylan up front!

To stay updated with all of Dylan’s events and races go to www.DylanMartinRacing.com

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

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