Modified men of Lefor
LEFOR -- Troy Hollinger and Fran Martin could easily race as a team. However, the second cousins who live less than two miles away from each others farms outside of tiny Lefor, said they prefer to race competitive and clean. "We run each other cl...
LEFOR -- Troy Hollinger and Fran Martin could easily race as a team.
However, the second cousins who live less than two miles away from each others farms outside of tiny Lefor, said they prefer to race competitive and clean.
"We run each other clean," said Hollinger before passing a glance to Martin. "When me and you can run side by side and really get after it, that's what's fun."
"That's what people come to watch," Martin added.
Martin and Hollinger are mainstays in the Southwest Speedway Modified class and have each started the year strong - Martin currently sits third in the Speedway's IMCA Modified points standings while Hollinger is ninth. - despite hitting some bumps during last Saturday's feature race.
Both racers had to pull out of the feature. Martin had his right side crumpled in a minor accident and Hollinger was the victim of engine problems.
"It was a difficult night," Martin said.
While last Saturday was rough, Martin and Hollinger hope to fall back into the groove today. The Southwest Speedway races are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Martin, 50, has won four Southwest Speedway Modified championships. Ironically, all are under different Modified sanctions and rules.
Hollinger, 40, has two mid-season Modified championships under his belt, but has never placed higher than second.
Off the track, the cousins give each other the helping hand most racers tend to.
"He's helped me out a lot with set ups," Hollinger said. "What works. What doesn't work."
Martin rebuilt the suspension on Hollinger's car over the winter.
"I'm not going to be racing forever," Martin said. "I'd like to help somebody out."
If Martin were to hang it up and help another racer, he'll likely set up shot as a wing man for Hollinger, whom he calls a far braver racer than he is. However, Martin jokes that most of that is a result of the 10-year age gap.
"He's pretty fearless, where I've settled back a little bit," Martin said.
Still, when one does better than the other on a Saturday night, the animosity doesn't run too thick.
"There's not a lot of bragging," Hollinger said. "We're just going out there and having fun."
While Hollinger believes he has a lot of tread left in his tires after just 10 full seasons of racing since 1990, Martin said he's winding down after 26 years behind the wheel.
Martin said race fans will know when he chooses to retire.
"You'll know when we you see the No. 25 on my door," Martin said.
He used the number until 1999. When he father died, he switched to No. 6 for personal reasons. He said he'll race his final season - whenever that happens - as No. 25.
However, don't expect Martin to hang it up anytime soon.
"This is one of those sports, once you get it in your blood, it's real hard to get it out," Martin said.