COMP — 21st annual O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Sept. 26-28, Memphis
Motivated Martel scores third win of the season
by Phil Burgess (Above) Arnie Martel, far lane, drove his Speedco-backed
B/Street Roadster to his third national event title of the
A s a successful businessman in the land-
development and home- and condo-building
business, Arnie Martel knows a thing or two about
season by defeating Kevin Self’s F/EA Bantam in the final
round. (Right) Martel, left, and his crew also have a
national event runner-up and a divisional win and runner-
motivation, and the Massachusetts motorsports up to their credit this season.
maven certainly knows how to channel it.
Already revved up to make good after giving away John Crupi and his wife, Karen, had been killed in a
a winning run at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals trying car accident.
to protect his index, Martel got another jolt of “It was just a horrible deal; my heart goes out to
inspiration late into the NHRA Carolinas Nationals them and John’s brother, Carl, who is a partner of
when he learned that Anthony Crupi, the 22-year-old mine,” said Martel. “I found out during the Charlotte
son of associate business partner and close friend event and just put my head down and kept racing,
but Memphis, this was for Anthony.”
Martel dedicated his third win of the season in the cutting lights of .032 and .018 against Todd
About the winning car Speedco-backed B/SR in the young man’s memory, Patterson and Kevin Self, both of whom had been
A rnie Martel originally purchased the Suncoast Race adding another Wally to the mantel and in another entry heavily penalized by the CIC.
Cars-built roadster from Allan and Todd Patterson. in the most memorable season of his racing career. In the final, Martel quickly caught Self’s handicap
Power comes from a 316-cid Patterson engine topped Martel may well have had an angel on his shoulder start, and both drivers throttled back with Martel
with CFE heads and manifold and Bob Book-prepped as he survived two .05-second Competition Index Control making it official via a (-.43) 7.89 to (-.28) 8.23 count.
carbs. Power is transferred through an A-1 torque penalties — in the first and third rounds — that had him “I had six or seven [hundredths] in the bag, but I
converter and ProTrans transmission. Stef’s, Jesel, and down a tenth of a second heading into the semifinals. didn’t want to have to use it,” said Martel. “I
Holley also contribute parts to the winning race car. “In the first round [against Chase Williams], I thought he might have had one or two left. I figured
Martel also acknowledged his appreciation to burped it a couple of times and knew I had plenty of if I had a good light, I could put a wheel on him and
Larry Allen and his wife, Betty; crewmembers Billy room, so I got all the way out of it and coasted stay there and be safe. He had a late light, and once
Nies, Peter, Sal, and Sam at Biondo Racing Products across the finish line and still went .55 under,” said I put a car or two on him, he lifted and gave up. My
(“for their continuing support and friendship and Martel. “In the third round, I was really late [.114 hat’s off to Kevin. He’s a gentleman, and I had fun
their great products”); Mark and Jeff Clark, Paul against Indy runner-up Adam Hickey]. I knew I racing him in the final.”
“Torch” LeSage, Scott Forthmann, Steve Bowman, missed it and had to make it up on the other end. Although Martel’s recent national event hot
Mike Barrett, and Don Coonce of Speedco; Charlie “After that round, my good friend, ‘Torch’ [Paul streak came after he had used up his allotted points-
Taylor; Carolyn Ashbee and David Farwell at LeSage], got me a pair of Oakley’s driving classes, scoring national events, he still has a great shot at
Goodyear; Fred Simmonds at GM; Marv Ripes and and it helped me get killer on the Tree. It changed winning the Division 2 championship and finishing
Adam Bowdish at A-1; Dave at Pro Trans; Ringer’s the whole filament of the bulb.” as high as third in the national standings.
Gloves; Dan Fletcher and Rick Braun; Bob Gerdes at Martel returned to form for the final two rounds, “It’s a shame I can’t count those national event wins,
Circus Paint; John Partridge at Bullet Cams; Joe but with the season I’ve had,
Santangelo; Jim Boudreau; Anthony and Malinda it’s hard to complain,” he said.
Bertozzi; Bob Kaiser; Rod and Chris Butcher
(“congratulations to Chris on his first win”); Jack The key race: “It wasn’t one
Beckman (“thanks for your winning ways rubbing off of my races,” explained Martel.
on me”); Kenny Koretsky at Nitro Fish (“for the free
hat; I started winning as soon as you gave it to me”); In the semifinals, Martel had to
Vic Santos; Tom Boucher Racing Engines; Dean duel with low qualifier Todd
Ribero; Clint Neff; Ed McDevitt, of New Hampshire; Patterson, who won this event in
Bob and Patrick Kelleher; John DiBartolomeo (“for all 1989. Patterson already had lost
of the exposure”); and “the NHRA tech and safety two-tenths to the Competition
people and everyone who helps put on these races.” Index Control and couldn’t match
Martel’s .50-under pace.
52 ✦ National DRAGSTER
(Top 16 of 32 first-round winners)
1. Todd Patterson, Augusta, Kan. (D/A ’08 Cobalt). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.667 (-0.693)
2. Kevin Self, Caddo, Okla. (F/EA ’32 Bantam) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.997 (-0.653)
3. Peter Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y. (I/SMA ’08 Cobalt). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.091 (-0.649)
4. Chad Voges, St. Peters, Mo. (K/A ’32 Bantam) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.903 (-0.647)
5. Bruno Massel, Woodbridge, Ill. (DD/AT ’08 Cobalt) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.284 (-0.646)
6. Brian Browell, Lafayette, Ind. (D/D) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.179 (-0.641)
7. Arnie Martel, Tewksbury, Mass. (B/SR ’34 Chevy). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.789 (-0.641)
8. Glen Treadwell, Sorrento, Fla. (F/EA ’23-T Ford) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.020 (-0.630)
9. Scott Benham, La Grange, Texas (E/SM ’05 Sunf