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NASCAR Owner Christina Martin Leading by Example

16 August 1997


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Despite a paralyzing disability and her position as one of 
the few women in the high risk world of auto racing, Christina Martin has 
overcome numerous obstacles to become one of the premier car owners in 

In May, she was featured on the Lifetime Television Network special "Women In 
Racing" and at venues across the country, she is a tremendous spokesperson 
for her sponsors and her sport. 

Directing the day to day activities of the Alibi Pontiac Sunfire Race Team 
and keeping them a competitive force in NASCAR's Goody's Dash Series is just 
one of the challenges that this 24-year-old veteran owner faces every day of 
her life. 

"Racing isn't everything to me," says Martin.  "But it is a very important 
part of my life. Most of my time I like spending talking to young people, 
especially at the high school level. I feel like I have an important message 
to bring to them concerning the dangers of alcohol and drugs." 

At the age of 18, Martin was severely injured in an automobile accident that 
left her a quadriplegic. Rather than give up, she decided to charge full 
steam ahead, directing her energy towards trying to keep similar incidents 
from happening to others. 

"I'm fortunate in that I'm still young enough so that the kids will listen to 
me," explains Martin. "I think they realize that what happened to me could 
very easily happen to them. If I can help them avoid a tragedy like that in 
their lives, then that's about all I can hope for. To me, that's more 
important than any championship will ever be." 

The mere mention of competition and racing brings a quick smile to the perky 
young lady from Bradenton, Fla., that reflects a love for the sport that has 
given her a new purpose in life; to win the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 
championship and the Rookie of the Year title with their talented driver, 
Charles Powell III. 

"Charles' story is pretty interesting in itself," explains Martin. "We put 
him in the Sunfire as a last minute replacement last year at Myrtle Beach 
(SC) and he went out and won in his very first race in the car. I think we 
all knew then that we wanted Charles in the car this year for a run at the 
series title and a shot at Rookie of the Year. 

"With his short track, Saturday night racing experience and Winston Racing 
Series championships, Charles seemed to fit into our program very nicely. All 
he really needed was a little polish and a lot of superspeedway experience in 
order to be successful in a touring series. He's learned a great deal of that 
this year. Right now, we're in the top-10 in the championship standings, so 
we're extremely happy with his performance." 

Martin and Powell have earned the respect of their fellow competitors this 
year with Powell driving the Alibi Pontiac Sunfire consistently to the front 
of the pack and doing so with the savvy of a seasoned veteran. In July, they 
won their first race of the year at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in 
Greenville, S.C., and are currently sixth in the point standings. There's 
little doubt though that it's Martin's leadership and inspiration that drives 
the man behind the wheel.

The cars of the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series are a unique breed. These are 300 
horsepower, four cylinder engines bolted into 100-inch wheelbase steel 
tubular chassis, covered with all steel bodies.  The Pontiac Sunfire setup is 
by far the predominant body choice throughout the series. 

"Aerodynamically, structurally and economically, the Pontiac Sunfire offers 
us the best package for this series," said Martin. "In fact, Pontiac Sunfire 
Division's involvement in the series has been very valuable to us. These 
aren't old beat up jalopies. They're extremely sophisticated, highly 
technical racing machines and Pontiac gives us the technical support that we 
need to stay competitive. If we didn't get the input that is needed from the 
engineers and designers at Pontiac, we'd be searching in the dark for 
answers. The help we get from Pontiac is extremely beneficial." 

Pontiac has been the dominant manufacturer in this racing series since its 
inception in 1975. Prior to the Sunfire's emergence in 1994, the Grand Am and 
the Sunbird SE won numerous championships. Today, it's Christina Martin and 
the Pontiac Sunfire; a winning combination overcoming obstacles both on and 
off the race track. 

By Performance Marketing Group: