Richard Childress Racing
April 5, 2014
From the Pit Box: No. 3 Crew Chief Gil Martin
Crew chief Gil Martin is one of a few crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage who have won races in NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He joined RCR in 2000 and has been a key member in the organization’s success since. This year, he is working with Austin Dillon on the No. 3 program in the Sprint Cup Series. He resides in Concord, N.C. with his wife Rhonda and son, Ford.
How do you set up the No. 3 Dow Powerhouse Chevrolet for Texas Motor Speedway?
“Texas Motor Speedway is a difficult track to setup for because the track changes so much throughout the course of the race. You have to think two pit stops ahead. You have to constantly think deeper down the road about the way that the track will change. The track is similar to Charlotte Motor Speedway in the way that the weather can affect the race. Everything changes with the temperature. You have the same challenges with both the Spring and the Fall events.”
Texas is the track where Austin earned his first pole award in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Do you think you could sit on the front row here in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with him?
“You know, I really hope so. One of the things I have told him is that I think he is going to have an advantage this year in that some of the drivers on Friday can jump in the car and make one lap like they’ve had to do in the past, but to have to make three laps every time you advance at a place like Texas Motor Speedway in the same afternoon is hard. It’s hard to hold your breath that many times. I’m sure many people can attest to that. As the tires wear out, you still have to go out and move that car to the top of the board but the handling starts diminishing every time you make a run. I think the youth movement is going to have a big advantage there.”
What is your most memorable racing moment?
"My most memorable racing moment is my son Ford’s first Go Kart win at Milbridge Speedway in Salisbury, North Carolina in 2012. We’ve also had some very memorable moments in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Richard Childress Racing. A lot of guys on the team will tell you the Coca-Cola 600 win in 2013 was pretty memorable. I think that race was very significant because the World 600 is such a historic race. The track transforms so many different times throughout the race."
What race is on your “Bucket List” of races you want to win most?
“The Bristol Motor Speedway night race is my favorite race of the year, because of the atmosphere. It’s just a fun race. That’s why the Bristol Spring race was so much fun this year. With the rain, it turned into a night race. However, the race that I want to win more than anything is Darlington Raceway. It’s the most prestigious place ever. It’s the most prestigious race we have and it’s the toughest race we have. I want to win it bad. We’ve almost won it twice. From a racer’s standpoint, I think that would be the most rewarding. Darlington is just complex from so many different angles.”