My Health by Thomas Martins

Some of you guys might’ve seen me posting hospital pictures on my instagram and twitter accounts lately. Just to give you guys an update as to what’s going on, I had a tonsillectomy, turbinate reduction, & adenoid reduction on May 5th in Oxford, MS.

As for the why & the why now - this was a procedure I had talked about having for a long time. I’ve always struggled with sinus infections & sleep apnea, and this was the only long break we had left in the NASCAR Truck Series schedule until the end of the year. The full recovery period on this type of procedure is usually 2 to 3 weeks.

The procedure went well, but they had to put a stint in my nose because of just how much they took out of my nose – apparently my breathing passageway was somewhere around 70% blocked. My doctor told me I had the biggest adenoids & tonsils he had ever seen, so I guess I get the trophy on that one as well.

The first week of this recovery has sucked, and it got a lot worse a couple nights ago when the wound in my throat opened up while I was sleeping. At 5 am, my parents and I had to go on a mad dash to the hospital while we tried to stop the bleeding. There was A LOT of blood. It freaked me out a bit. I had to stay in the hospital overnight last night for monitoring but they felt like my throat clotted up well enough to send me home today.

There’s still a chance the wound could open up again – about 25% he told me – so I’m staying close to the hospital in case I run into any more complications. I’m scheduled for a checkup & to have the stint removed from my nose on Wednesday morning, so that should be a big checkpoint in the recovery process.

Thanks to everyone who’s reached out to check on me and wish me well in my recovery. As always, you guys are awesome.

I’ll keep you posted if anything changes, but as of now I’m 100% sure I’ll be ready to go at Kansas.

See you soon,

Tommy Joe

Rough Start by Thomas Martins

Well, that sucked.

First things first, I have to say thank you to my awesome team & wonderful sponsors for all of their help & support this past weekend. We deserved a much better end to the weekend than what we actually got.

Practice went well. We went out and drafted a couple times & the Diamond Gusset Jeans Chevy handled really well. The only problem was that it didn't quite suck up to the other trucks bumpers the way that I wanted. Kevin Eagle, our crew chief, made a few changes to help lower the front end of the truck, which we felt would help us with overall speed. We made a few single car runs to prepare for qualifying, but we never made a full blown mock run, so we weren't totally sure how the thing would run.

I was disappointed in qualifying - we finished up 33rd out of 43 trucks - but I really don't know why. We're running SB2 motors (the old style compared to the new Chevrolet R07's) and that is obviously going to hurt us on single truck qualifying time at a track like Daytona. There were a couple things we learned that we could've done differently that would've picked us up a couple tenths, but as a whole, running a 51.84 - less than 2 seconds off the pole time - with an old style motor is a pretty solid effort.

We wound up starting 28th, but we didn't stay there for long. The truck was a BULLET. I was trying to play it safe for the first couple laps, but we were just so fast in the draft that I had to make some moves. I think we were the first truck to make the field three wide, but it was just so stable and easy to pass people that I never felt like we were really putting ourselves in harms way. We had made our way up near the top 20 by the fourth lap when our troubles started...

I'm still not totally sure what happened. Judging by the pictures, it looks like a tire went down or something broke in the right front of the truck. I did everything I could do to try to keep it off the wall in turn 4, but the thing just went straight up the racetrack. I'm just glad we didn't collect anyone else in the incident so early in the race.

At the time (and right after the race) I was pretty sure that Scott Lagasse in the 14 truck had bump drafted us in the center of the corner, sending us into the wall. Upon review, that definitely wasn't true. Scott is a veteran, and it was silly of me to think he would do something that dumb on the fourth lap of the race. So, I want to make sure I apologize to him and his team.

I brought the truck down for repairs, and the pit crew did a nice job getting all the sheet metal off the tire as efficiently as they could; we didn't even lose a lap! On the restart, the truck felt okay - not great, but okay. That didn't last long. We passed a few people, and while running on the high side going through turn 4, the truck made another sharp right and headed into the wall again. Kevin made the smart move and decided to just pull the truck into the garage, ending our night in last place - 32nd.

I think that's what I'm the most upset about, finishing last. It's a race, and we finished last in it. As a small team, there are some places that we won't have a chance to WIN the race, but Daytona levels that playing field & gives everyone a chance to get a great finish. We didn't capitalize on that opportunity, and some of our direct competitors in the standings were able to get top 10's out of the night. I knew that racing in Daytona could mean us having a torn up race truck, that's just part of it, but the competitor in me HATED our final finishing position.

I hate that we're starting off the season battling uphill in points, but we'll make the best of it. I'll be looking to make up of those points we lost at Atlanta, and I know Kevin and the crew will have another great truck for us there.

Tommy Joe