Hal Martin started off Daytona in fine form by topping the speed charts during testing, and during practice while qualifying sixth. However, everything fell apart during the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 when Martin blew a tire, triggering a nine-car wreck and leaving him to finish 30th.
"I knew after working with (crew chief) John Quinn, a veteran at Daytona, that we had the right setups on the No. 55 NOLA Motorsports Toyota Camry," Martin said in a press release. " We knew that tire wear would be low, and coming into the race week, it would be all about mastering the draft and fuel management. The car was perfect, and going into both practice sessions, we knew we were a super competitive team."
At the beginning of the race, the New Orleans native stayed in the top 10, running in the single-car train around the track. During the second caution at lap 18, Martin made a pit stop, putting him back to the 13th position.
On the restart, he quickly made his way up to fifth before the third caution, where the team decided to pit again for two tires and fuel.
On the restart at lap 49, Martin restarted 18th and started to work his way through the field with his Venturini Motorsports teammates.
However, on lap 64, Martin blew a tire, and when Arpin tried to avoid Martin, he caught the front of Milka Duno's car. In the aftermath, six other drivers got caught up.
The flat tire was caused by a tire rub, which began to show during the previous corner.
"It was a disappointing end to such a good run this week," Martin said. "All I can say is that we're taking what we've learned about Superspeedways to Talladega in April. It was a great overall experience, and I wish I could have wheeled the No. 55 to Victory Lane - but it happens. We have to keep going and keep racing, and I have to thank everyone at the Venturini Motorsports shop for working so hard to give us a great race car all week."
The next race for the ARCA Series is Talladega on April 15th, which will be shown live on SPEED.