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Despite a youthful 19, Martin already a track veteran

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When one talks to Christine Martin of Wellesley Island you quickly find out that she is more than just a 19-year-old small-block modified driver at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville. The SUNY Canton student is always on the move.

Martin is in her first season driving a small-block modified race car at Can-Am. She is currently fourth in points in that division.

She has been around racing since she was about 6 years old.

“My dad (Wayne) took me to the races at Can-Am and I was hooked,’’ Martin said. “I started racing a go-kart at Can-Am, and I got to be pretty good. I won two national championships in Harrisburg, Pa.’’

Her first venture into a race car was competing with a mini-mod. She races for two seasons in that division and came away with two championships.

“I struggled to win a sportsman race in the years that I competed in that division,” Martin said. “I had several second- and third-place finishes in my five years in racing a sportsman. I was leading in my last race in a sportsman car last season, but I got taken out by another driver.’’

Martin injured her back in that race and had back surgery causing her to miss the remainder of last season.

One might ask why would parents allow a young girl to compete in a race car. Her mother, Christina, puts it simply on her daughter’s website.

“Racing is Christine’s dream and, as long as she is safe and happy, we couldn’t ask for anything more,’’ Christina Martin said.

Christine Martin’s pit crew is a family affair. The crew includes her parents, boyfriend and an uncle.

Christine Martin’s said she is learning to become a better modified driver. It handles a lot different than a sportsman car.

“There are so many things you have to adjust to with the extra horsepower,’’ she said. “You have so much more power with a modified and that helps going into a corner. It is much easier to get in and out of a corner with a modified that with the sportsman I was driving.’’

While she competes on a weekly basis at Can-Am, Martin has also competed at the Penn-Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pa. on Friday nights. She also plans to compete in a few races at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday nights.

Her parents recently purchased a big-block motor. Martin would like to compete with a big-block modified motor at some races in the near future.

Martin doesn’t have much down time even when she has a break from college in the summer. Besides racing, she is also kept busy helping her parents with the 11 dogs that they own.

The teenager is also a caring person.

“A close friend, Ben Towles, a South Jefferson Central senior is battling cancer,’’ Martin said. “I race for ‘I Believe in Ben’ because I truly believe in you, Ben and your strength and you have to win this battle.’’

She admits without her sponsorship she probably wouldn’t be racing. Among her sponsors are SUNY Canton, American Traditions Motorsports, FABCO and “I Believe in Ben for Lymphoma Awareness.’’

WEEKEND RacING Schedule

Regular race programs are scheduled on north country tracks this weekend.

Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne will have racing in the modified, sportsman, pro stocks, mod lites and bandits on Friday night beginning at 7:45.

Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville and Evans Mills Speedway have regular race program on Saturday night.

Joining the strong contingent of supermodified drivers at the Oswego Saturday night is 19-year-old Jarett Andretti, the son of NASCAR spring cup driver and Indianapolis 500 veteran John Andretti. Jarrett will compete the rest of the season at Oswego.

The Brockville (Ontario) Speedway has a regular race program with the vintage cars making an appearance on Saturday night. On Sunday night the Cornwall (Ontario) Motor Speedway will hold its first DIRTcar sportsman series race. There will also be a pro stock seres race along with regular racing in the modified, semipro and mini-stocks divisions.

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