Matt Sackman entered last weekend’s Burndown at Sundown at Route 66 Raceway with just a handful of Top Alcohol Dragster passes under his belt. Late Sunday evening, he left the event with five additional passes, the No. 1 qualifier award and the NHRA North Central Region event victory.

“To be able to qualify No. 1 and win the race in my debut is pretty unbelievable,” said Sackman, a cylinder head specialist on Don Schumacher Racing’s Antron Brown-driven Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster. “It definitely shows there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that all of the hard work is worth it. This opportunity will hopefully lead to more opportunities in the future. I’m just very fortunate that everything worked out the way it did.”

Driving one of the potent Randy Meyer Racing entries, Sackman, 25, kicked off his Top Alcohol Dragster debut Friday evening with a 5.26-second pass at 275 mph. A strong 5.31 at 274 mph followed during Saturday’s rain-shortened qualifying, but it was the first pass that held up for the top spot out of the 13 cars trying to qualify for the eight-car field.

“I knew Randy had the car running well because Justin Ashley qualified No. 1 in it at Indy the week before,” said Sackman, whose teammate, Julie Nataas, qualified No. 2. “Running that 5.26 in hot air on the first pass definitely got my attention. I couldn’t believe the guys when they told me it ran 5.26 at 275.”

Sackman notched his first Top Alcohol Dragster round win Saturday evening when he used a .048 reaction time and 5.326 at 274.39 to defeat J.P. Gutierrez and his supercharged entry.

“It felt great to get that first win light out of the way,” Sackman admitted. “Both of my qualifying passes were singles, so first round was my first time driving an A/Fuel car with another car in the other lane. I was fairly nervous about that because I didn’t want to mess up my routine or hang JP out. Fortunately, it ended up working out.”

Man and machine were...
The Martin Family, Will, Cindy, Andrew, & Alaina alongside Ron & Hunter Williams and the Martin’s new Gen 4 Victory Race Cars Built Chevrolet Camaro TA/FC

When the Martin’s made the decision to step away from Nostalgia Funny Car racing at the end of the 2017 season, a lot of people thought they were done with drag racing. At that time, little was known that Will, with the encouragement and support of his wife Cindy decided to pursue a class that he has always wanted to compete in… Top Alcohol Funny Car.

“We had just completed a test session at Auto Club Famoso Raceway with the Speed Racer in September of 2017. My husband had just started to make the tuning decisions and the car was showing results. “On the way home from that test session Will and I talked and I heard him say how the class as a whole has changed.” Before he built the nostalgia car, his original dream was to expand upon his previous success in alcohol racing and move up to Top Alcohol Funny Car said team President Cindy Martin”. It was during that car ride home we decided that now was the time to make the switch and begin the process of chasing that unrealized dream.

“I can remember as a kid running from my parents pits to the fence at Pomona, late at night to watch guys like Brad Anderson, Lou Gasperelli, Jett Field and others run their TA/FC’s” said Will Martin. Thought they were so cool when I’d hear the drivers bringing the rpm’s up then dropping the clutch.

The Martin’s have taken a ground up approach to this entire project. The Martin’s chose Victory Race Car to build their new car. “My last 2 cars were built in Indiana”, said Will Martin. “While those cars were good, my involvement in the build process was always very minimal. The car I received was always the same as our competitors. How could we ever have a potential performance advantage if we do things the exact same way? This was a main deciding factor as to why we chose Victory. Their experience...
JOLIET, Ill. (July 9, 2018) – Top Dragster driver and Top Fuel crew member Matt Sackman will make his NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster debut this weekend at Route 66 Raceway’s Burndown at Sundown NHRA Division 3 event, July 13-15. With support from Gemini Farms and Hangsterfer’s Metalworking Lubricants, Sackman will drive a nitromethane-injected A/Fuel dragster out of the Kansas-based Randy Meyer Racing camp.

“Entering a race in Top Alcohol Dragster is something my dad and I have always wanted to do, but my race schedule and the regional race schedules just never lined up,” said Sackman, 25, who earned his Top Alcohol Dragster license after the Las Vegas national event in November of 2015. “This year we realized our home race was on one of my off weekends from the NHRA Mello Yello Series schedule, then Randy had one of his cars available, so it worked out great.”

Sackman will drive the Meyer-built Randy Meyer Racing entry typically fielded by Justin Ashley, who sits in the No. 11 spot in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series national points standings with a regional event victory at Virginia in April.

“I feel very lucky, honestly,” said Sackman, a cylinder head specialist on Antron Brown’s Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster. “Randy has one of the best A/Fuel programs out there. To be able to show up to the race and drive a competitive car like that is a huge opportunity and I feel very fortunate.”

Sackman, who made test passes in one of Meyer’s cars in Las Vegas last fall, will compete alongside Randy Meyer Racing driver Julie Nataas.

"We are honored to partner up with the Sackman family for the Chicago regional race,” Meyer said. “Matt has shown talent as a driver and as a crewman and is the right fit for our team. We are excited for Matt and Julie to race together this weekend and carry the momentum from our previous wins this year. These kids are the future of our team and our sport, and they will carry us in the right direction with their...