One of the familiar Legends drivers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) is Taylor Martin. This is Taylor's third season racing in a Legends Car at NHMS and this young veteran driver is also the first female driver to ever compete in a Legends Car at NHMS. Last weekend, the Legends Cars raced a triple header; one race on the oval and two races on the road course. Taylor came away with her sixth straight top three in the Granite State Legends Series, and two more top ten finishes in the MOAT Mountain Road Course Series. This weekend, Taylor is heading back to NHMS for another triple header: "Yeah! I'm really excited for this weekend's triple header at NHMS. We're just doing a few final touches on the cars before we load them up."
The road course at NHMS has left and right turns long straight aways, paperclip turns, and rolling hills. The Mini Magic Mile also has a flat front stretch and a banked back stretch, setting up some close side by side racing keeping the driver constantly busy. So which race track at NHMS is Taylor's favorite? "To be honest, I'm more of an oval fan. I like racing on the road course because all the shifting keeps you busy but it does take a toll on you physically. And, I have been racing ovals all my life so it's what I'm best at."
After last weekend's race, the race team loaded up the cars into the hauler and headed back to the shop to get ready for this weekend to do it all over again. Taylor explains: "We are pretty much all set! Just finishing up a few things and then we'll be loading the cars up."
Last weekend's race on the Mini-Magic Mile was a National qualifier for the Legends race at Lake Erie Speedway. Prior to last weekend's race, Taylor had this to say: "To qualify for the National Qualifier I have to finish first in my division which is Young Lions." A number of drivers showed up to race for the qualifier, a few even in Taylor's class, but her third place finish clinched her spot for Nationals.
According to Taylor, the key to success on the road course and the oval track at NHMS comes down to just one thing: "The key to getting around the NHMS mini oval is to hit your marks in the corners. Same goes for the road course, the more consistent you are - the better you will be. Hitting your marks on the road course is the most important thing to do. One slight jerk of the wheel in the wrong direction will throw off your momentum and slow down your car."
Taylor is still looking for that elusive win, so will this weekend's race be Taylor's trip to victory lane and the history books? "Hopefully I will be able to get the win this weekend! My car is a great car but unfortunately it hasn't been refreshed in almost two seasons so that puts me at a slight disadvantage."
At age 15 and one of the few females racing in Legends at NHMS, I asked Taylor if she sees herself as a role model for all the young girls that want to go racing: "I do, which is why I always try and set a good example for the up and coming girl racers. Advice that I would give them is to not be intimidated by all the guys out there and always keep your eyes on the prize. Don't let anyone push you around on the track either!"