The Ragin' Cajun

289Despite the fact that Hal “the Ragin’ Cajun” Martin did not get behind the wheel of his first race car until he was 15 years old, he has been around racing his entire life.

Starting as a toddler playing with 1:64 scale diecast cars to now racing in some of racing’s top series, this 6th generation Cajun has come a long way in his racing career.

Hal was given the opportunity to race in his first race in 2002, the Gumbo Grand Prix in Houma, LA benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities. After that, he was hooked. Hal began competing in 80cc and 125cc shifter karts, racing around the Gulf Coast and winning the 2004 Louisiana State 80cc Shifter Kart Championship.

Before making the jump straight into full bodied cars, Hal attended multiple driving schools to help him learn and improve his driving skills. He attended the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, AZ the Buck Baker Driving School in Rockingham, NC and the advanced course at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

After successfully completing these three driving programs, Hal was ready to start trying his hand in even bigger and faster cars, at which time he attended Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Driving School at Michigan International Speedway. Here, Hal raced against other drivers in race setup ARCA cars. After completing the course and one-on-one test in Lakeland, FL, Hal was approved to compete in the ARCA Series.

Hal’s success on the track has not been limited to karts and driving schools. In 2007, Hal took home the Mobile International Speedway Track Championship in the Pro Late Model Division and was crowned the 2007 Louisiana State Champion by Late Model Digest. Hal continued his winning ways in 2008, taking home two more wins as he raced around the Gulf of Mexico, gaining experience at more tracks.

In 2009 and 2010 Hal started to expand his driving resume even more, racing in a variety of different cars at tracks throughout the Southeast and Midwest. His 2009 season provided Hal the opportunity to race in Gulf Coast regional late model races, ASA Late Models competition, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the ARCA Series. He has raced on everything from a 3/8 mile short track to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway and the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway.

To help him achieve his racing goals, he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Orleans as well as completing the Dale Carnegie: Effective Communications and Human Relations Principles Course. Hal hopes to one day sit in the driver’s seat of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car but realizes that he must pay his dues and take one race at a time.

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