Jason Martin Ascs Lawton 6 22 23 , Jeff Taylor Photo #2
Jason Martin at Oklahoma’s Lawton Speedway. (Jeff Taylor photo)

Jason Martin Is Still Checking Boxes

Jason Martin has dedicated nearly the last quarter century to checking off boxes.

■ Capture feature wins. Check – lots of them.

■ Earn regional and track championships. Check – plenty of titles.

■ Start a race team. Check.

■ Produce a national championship. As of 2023, check.

The 41-year-old who resides in Lincoln, Neb., garnered the American Sprint Car Series National Tour championship last season. He led the 360 winged sprint car series with nine victories — three times more than anyone else and one third of the features contested. He was also atop the charts in top-five finishes (18) and top-10 results (24).

Jason Martin Ascs Win 81 072223
Jason Martin in victory lane at 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan. (TWC photo)

“It was quite relieving to be honest,” Martin said. “I don’t ever go to the race track with much pressure from my sponsors or my family, but I was putting more pressure on myself than anybody. You have to balance that out. Toward the end, finally I could sleep at night.”

The championship came on the heels of Martin claiming the ASCS National Tour Rookie of the Year Award in 2022, when he placed fourth in the standings.

“I had spent a lot of time in my younger years traveling all over the country,” he recalled. “We’d go to Phoenix or Albuquerque or Louisiana or Missouri or Wyoming. The middle part of my career we had a job and weren’t traveling as much. Last year when we hit the road it was kind of a refresher of getting used to the surfaces again. I had been to some of those places, but it’s 15 years later. Things change. My program didn’t change much. It was me getting up to speed and obviously racing at a higher level.

“Racing locally, you have two or three big guys and at a national event there are 10 or 15 really good guys,” Martin continued. “2022 was a really good learning year for what we needed for equipment. I’ve done the road racing a lot. It wasn’t too big of a learning curve, but you need to prepare certain ways. We came in 2023 with the same program and had really good success.”

Martin was victorious during the first three ASCS National Tour races of the season and never looked back.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” he said. “You’re obviously confident knowing what you are capable of. It’s one of those relieving moments of finally things are going my way. I think the format also helps with the way they qualify. We had a year under our belt the year before learning how to qualify. That was a huge bonus having a year to do that. Being a surprise? No. That’s the expectation. It’s harder to stay there.”

Martin relied upon experience to stay consistent throughout the year and hold off ASCS veteran Matt Covington to win the championship by 46 points — the closest ASCS National Tour battle since 2014 when Jason Johnson edged Jeff Swindell by 15.

It was a dream come true for Martin, who started racing a caged go-kart in 1995 and who ran micro sprints from 1996-’99 before his first opportunity behind the wheel of a sprint car arrived. He competed in approximately 10 races that year before moving full time to winged sprint cars in 2000.

“We haven’t chased much for points hardly ever,” he said. “In the beginning I lived in Kansas. We raced the NCRA sprint car stuff down there. We just raced as many races as we could.”

Martin spent the 2006 and ’07 seasons on the road with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. Those are the only two years he can remember not winning a 360 winged sprint car feature since 2000. In fact, Martin has produced more than 100 feature victories in the last two dozen years.

It wasn’t long ago that Martin was sparked to return to the road.