Feature: Raymond Martin K/AA
By: Bob Unkefer
Photo courtesy Robert Grice, Xtreme Photography

<img border="0" src="" width="400" height="206" align="left">For the past 38 years Raymond Martin has had an on again, off again affair with NHRA drag racing. During that span he has captured Divisional wins and championships while competing with some of the legends of the sport. Raymond has also captured wins on the National event level, sending some of the best in the business packing in the process. But there have also been years when he’s stepped out of the picture completely. And anyone that’s ever been bitten by the addiction known as drag racing knows it’s tough to stay away.

Over the years this soft-spoken Texan has battled the “addiction” by taking home the Division 4 Modified championship (1971) racing against the likes of Lee Shepherd, Carroll Caudle and Mike Edwards in a small block powered Gremlin. By 1974 a small block powered Vega had found its way into Raymond’s race stable, and another Division championship trophy found it’s way to the mantle, this time for the Pro Stock title. Pro Stock in the 70’s was contested on the division level also, and running in the south central “Good Guys” division was always tough. Race weekends would see a line up that included the likes of local racers Lee Shepherd, Ritchie Zul, Herb McCandless, and Don Grotheer to name a few. And if that list wasn’t tough enough, just remember that many of the “touring” Pro Stock racers were known to pull through the gate as well.

By 1976 Raymond had returned to the Comp eliminator battles, claiming his third division championship. In 1977 Raymond won the biggest of them all, capturing the Comp title at Indy. But winning the “Big One” seemed to finally satisfy the competitive urges, as Raymond sold his entire race operation after that season and walked away from the sport. It wasn’t until 1984...
What a difference a week can make!

Rodger Brogdon and the RoofTec race team captured the Comp Eliminator win at the opening event in the Division 4 Lucas Oil 2006 points chase this weekend. But, it certainly wasn’t without major calamity, both before and after the event.

After suffering damage to two different engines in Rodgers D/SM Cavalier last weekend in Phoenix, the team was forced to burn a large amount of “midnight oil” during the week in preparation for this win. Pete Smallwood, Scott Benham and Brian Self all pushed into the wee hours of the morning throughout the week to get the team cars refurbished and ready for action again.

While on the 17-hour drive home from Phoenix, the team was on the phone arranging for the much needed parts for repair. Michael Gianoni at MGP “expedited” a set of rods that had to be delivered in time to get the bullet rebuilt for the Belle Rose meet. Once the rods arrived, the lights in the shop never went dim before 4:00am for the next 4 days, with the final dyno pull being completed at 3:30 am Thursday morning.

Loading the rig, and getting to Louisiana came next, and the team was rewarded for all the late night work with not only the number one qualifying spot, but number two as well, with both cars dipping into the seventy under zone to claim the positions. The event itself saw the top three cars at -.70 or better, and it took a -.57 under to make the top half. New records were set in D/SM (Brogdon), C/SM (Brian Self), G/SMA (Scott Cashio), and H/A (Charles Watson Jr.). With ‘prime time” atmospheric condition, and an exceptionally prepared race track it was an action packed day of racing

Final round action saw RoofTec team owner Rodger Brogdon taking the win over the quickest and fastest A/ND (6.856 191 mph) in the country, the machine of Craig Bourgeois. Both drivers had inflicted the wrath of the CIC during eliminations with the D/SM of Brogdon taking a permanent five hundredths during the event....
Comp Records fall, field is fast at D-4 LODRS event in Belle Rose.

Final Comp qualifying for the Lucas Oil event opening the Division 4 2006 points chase saw records set in four different class’s and an all time low ET in yet another.

Brian Self took the #1 qualifying spot with a record setting 8.164 153.16 lap in the RoofTec C/SM (-.776). RoofTec team owner Rodger Brogdon set a new D/SM record at 8.452, 158.61 mph to take the #2 qualifying spot (-.748). Scott Cashio has the numbers to set the G/SMA record at 8.779 and sits #3 in the field (-.701). Craig Bourgeois rocked the A/ND ranks nationwide with a 6.856 191mph lap for the #4 position, and Charles Watson Jr. sits #5 with his record holding H/A Chevy Lumina 8.743 153.16 (-.667)

The 23-car field also saw the debut of two beautiful new EasTexas racecars. Jeff Miller’s B/SMA Cavalier sits in the #6 position (-.641) and Chris McGaha’s B/SM Cobalt with but 2 laps on the car already showing strong potential (-.524) for the #16 spot on the ladder.

Conditions at Belle Rose have been spectacular, has the weatherman has provided cool, crisp, dry air with corrected altitude consistently below the 800’ level. Sunday elimination conditions are forecasted to be the same, and with the excellent track prep being provided by the No Problem Raceway crew, race day will be a challenge for everyone to avoid the CIC.

Final eliminations could become interesting. Pete Carbery has yet to unleash the full potential of his B/A and sits at the bottom of the qualifying sheet, and could be the “unknown factor” before all is said and done. Past division champs Raymond Martin (K/AA, -.625) and Mike Trumble (B/AA, -.536) are also in position to make a run at this very strong field.
Division 4 Comp Racers competing for 2006 bonus fund

Thanks to the efforts of racers Shane Heckel and Rodger Brogdon the purse for the Comp Eliminator category in Division 4 has grown by $21,000.00 for the 2006 race season!

Besides the Lucas Oil divisional purse, additional funding from eight additional sponsors has been procured that will be dispersed throughout the seven race series in the “Good Guys” division.

Comp racers will find an extra $3000.00 per event during the Lucas Oil points chase, with additional payouts going to virtually everyone. First round winners pick up an additional $75.00, and quarter finalists collect $100.00. Semi-finalists pick up an extra $300.00 with the runner up ($500.00) and winner ($800.00) collecting the balance.

Division 4 competitors held a meeting today at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA to determine the per race payout structure. During the meeting the racers expressed their thanks to the following sponsors for their support in this new and innovative program!

Barnett Auto Group
EasTexas Race Cars
Poly Dyn Performance Coating
Kent Services & Trucking
Brogdon Racing Engines
T & E Auto Haulers
Custom Trucks & Trailers
Ballistic Race Craft

With this type of support in its initial season, it’s firmly believed that this program holds tremendous potential for future growth. Anyone interested in joining this program is invited to contact Shane Heckel (832-689-0749) or Rodger Brogdon (281-807-9993) for additional information.

In other Comp eliminator news, it was also announced that RoofTec Racing is sponsoring 5 gallons of VP fuel for each of the top 10 in the Division 4 points chase at each and every event during 2006.
Brogdon looking for another hot start in Phoenix

(2-23-2004) - When Rodger Brogdon’s RoofTec race team rolled into the pits at Firebird International Raceway last February, they never realized what impact their weekend adventure would have on the balance of the 2005 NHRA racing season. After qualifying in the No.1 position and winning four eliminations rounds, they claimed the Checker Shuck’s Kragen (CSK) Nationals title in Competition Eliminator. This win ultimately threw them into an intense battle for the Lucas Oil national championship. At the end of the season when the points were tallied, Rodger finished in second place, missing his first national championship by the slimmest of margins. All was not lost, as Rodger was able to claim his second consecutive championship in NHRA’s South Central Division competition.

As Rodger and the team enter Firebird raceway for the 2006 edition of the CSK Nationals they do so with the same mindset that existed a year ago, taking the season one race at a time. However, this year there have been some major changes that will make this one of the most formidable teams in this seasons’ championship hunt.

The RoofTec team will now consist of Rodger and two other drivers, Brian Self and Scott Benham. Each of them brings national event final round and top-10 credentials to the table. Collectively, they have claimed a total of 5 Lucas Oil divisional championships as well. Rounding out the crew is Pete Smallwood, a 25 year friend who (although he never had a brother) considers Rodger the only “brother” he ever wanted or needed to have. Of interest in the history of this team, is the fact that all are second-generation racers: Brogdon’s father raced in Super Stock; Smallwood’s dad a former AHRA Comp racer; Benham’s father, Crawford Benham, a former champion in the old Modified eliminator category; and Brian Self grew up under the guidance of not only his dad but also his uncle competing in the...
Lucas Oil Sportsman Series to be featured on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD
courtesy NHRA Communications

GLENDORA, Calif. -- NHRA and ESPN announced that ESPN Regional Television will continue to produce 16 one-hour shows with coverage from select NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series national events in 2006.
The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series shows will be showcased on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on a taped-delay basis as part of NHRA's exclusive relationship with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.

In addition, each of the 41 half-hour episodes of NHRA 2Day presented by Lucas Oil, NHRA's weekly news magazine show that airs each Sunday on ESPN2, will feature a Sportsman Spotlight segment focusing on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA's member track network.

Veteran motorsports announcers Marty Reid and Paul Page will anchor the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series telecasts and split the schedule, as each announcer will host eight events. Veteran NHRA announcer Bob Frey will serve as analyst in the booth for all 16 shows. David Rieff will serve as the pit reporter.

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series 2006 Television Schedule

CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals Original Air, Noon - 1 p.m. (ET), Feb. 19
Pomona, Calif. (host-Marty Reid)

NHRA Gatornationals Original Air, 7 - 8 p.m. (ET), April 1
Gainesville, Fla. (host-Paul Page) Repeat, 2 - 3 a.m. (ET), April 9

O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Original, 7- 8 p.m. (ET), April 8
Houston (host-Paul Page) Repeat, 2 - 3 a.m. (ET), April 16

NHRA Nationals Original Air, Noon - 1 p.m. (ET), April 16
Las Vegas (host-Marty Reid) Repeat, 2 - 3 a.m. (ET), April 27

Summit Racing Equipment Nationals Original, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (ET), May 14
Atlanta (host-Marty Reid) Repeat,...
Pro Race Communications Group
media relations

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2006
Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications

Hanna launches new site,

RICHWOOD, Texas - Will Hanna, creator of the popular drag racing site, has created a new site,, devoted to covering racing action in NHRA's Competition Eliminator category. Hanna, who has a sportsman racing background and currently drives a Top Alcohol Funny Car, hopes to develop his new site into the same 'niche' community that has made a success.

The 26 year old graduate of the University of Houston-Clear Lake isn't afraid to think outside of the box. While most look how to broaden their reach, Hanna is looking to take the road less traveled and cater to the comp and alcohol markets only.

"I want to create a site where a Comp racer can get most of the information he needs to know pertaining to his or her team," said Hanna. "We have a variety of different forums where racers and fans can catch up on the latest news, rumors, discussion, buy and sell parts, ask questions and plan their race schedule. We've been pretty successful in creating that at We don't get science fiction traffic, but we get a solid amount of viewers a month, and a good percentage of our membership are actual competitors, so it creates a great medium for fans and racers to all interact."

"I'm a racer myself," added Hanna. "I've been pretty heavily involved with the alcohol cars for the past few years, but I've always kept an eye on Comp, and worked with several teams. Before I started driving in Top Alcohol Funny Car last year, I bracket raced my Super Comp dragster. I definitely have an appreciation of the heads up nature of the class, coupled with what the driver has to do; cutting a light on the bottom bulb and driving the stripe hard to save...
Welcome to! There are many things in the works for racers and fans of Competition Eliminator. This site is devoted to providing racers a forum to discuss issues, get the latest news, buy/sell parts, find crewmembers and help you plan your race season.

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