Todd Martin was sold on appearance alone.
When he actually saw his new Mustangâ€™s performance, the infatuation only continued.
The Pro Extreme driver debuted the new lightweight Mustang at the final event of the 2011 ADRL season, the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VII presented by Summit Racing Equipment, at Texas Motorplex and, needless to say, it was love at first sight.
â€œYouâ€™re anticipating it, and then when you get it youâ€™re scared to death and donâ€™t want to scratch it or anything,â€ Martin said. â€œI was real excited about getting it. Once I got it, I was really impressed.
â€œI got a lot of good comments from people regarding it.â€
It wasnâ€™t just about looks, though the car is certainly an eye-catcher.
Martin kept his â€œLethal Threat Racingâ€ theme and the new car immediately made Martin a bigger threat in the ADRLâ€™s quickest class.
Martin qualified for the quickest Pro Extreme field in ADRL history, running a 3.727.
He lost to eventual winner Jason Scruggs in the first round of World Finals eliminations, but a string of consistent runs in the 3.70s left him more than pleased in the carâ€™s debut.
â€œI was ecstatic with the new car. It had less than three passes and qualified for the quickest field in ADRL history,â€ Martin said. â€œI was extremely pleased.
â€œI didnâ€™t want the season to be over. To qualify at every race we went to this year was an accomplishment for us and to get in the low 3.70s in the first time out for the new car, weâ€™re really excited to continue racing.â€
That immediately made it one of the heaviest in the class, but Martin put together strong performances all year and was a contender for the â€œBattle For The Beltsâ€ until a wreck at the U.S. Drags in August forced him to miss the next two races.
Almost immediately, Martin could notice the difference in weight.
â€œI was really impressed with the attention to detail on the car,â€ Martin said. â€œYou could really feel the weight difference with how easy the car moved and the way it stopped. It was like a night and day difference.â€
Even on the 3.72 run, the blower belt on the car broke at the 3.2-second mark. That gives Martin the indication that there is plenty of potential in the car, and heâ€™s already making moves to unleash all of for the 2012 ADRL season, which starts March 30-31 in Houston.
Martin and his team have already taken the car apart to make more adjustments and continue to make it lighter.
By the time the 2012 racing season comes around, Martin expects the Mustang to be more than 400 pounds lighter than the Studebaker.
That should lead to plenty of runs in the 3.60s, which will again leave Martin infatuated with his new car.
â€œThe 3.60s are most definitely the goal and I donâ€™t have any doubt that weâ€™ll be consistently in the 3.60s next year.
â€œWeâ€™re already working on the car and doing some stuff to lighten it up.â€
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)