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ARCA Driver Martin Killed in Crash

October 9, 2002

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) _ A driver on the minor league ARCA series crashed into a wall Wednesday and seconds later was broad-sided by another car, killing him and injuring the other driver.

Eric Martin radioed his team, ``I’m all right″ after he spun and rammed the wall backward coming out of the fourth turn during practice at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. But the other car, driven by Deborah Renshaw, came around the turn going at least 160 mph and plowed into Martin’s car on the driver’s side.

The 25-year-old Renshaw was taken to University Hospital in Charlotte and was alert and talking. Martin, 33, was dead before reaching the hospital.

They were practicing for the EasyCare 150, the final race of the season for the Automobile Racing Club of America, a training series for drivers hoping to move up to NASCAR.

ARCA drivers are required to wear head and neck restraints. They usually drive old Winston Cup cars and the safety requirements are not as strict.

Team owner Wayne Hixson said he started working with Martin about four years ago, and they had run in all the ARCA races this year.

``He was learning real good with the car and he either got in some oil or blew a right front″ tire, Hixson said. ``He hit the wall. He came on the radio and said, ‘I’m all right.’ And then the 75 (car) just came around and broad-sided him.

``It was just a racing accident, that’s all.″

After the crash, the engine and a part of the wheel assembly sat on the track as the wreckage was lifted onto a tow truck and covered with a blue tarp.

Martin was from Hixson, Tenn. He is survived by a wife and two children.

He was 20th in the points standings in ARCA, which competes on many of the same tracks used for Winston Cup and Busch events.

Martin’s death is the 15th at Lowe’s, the seventh involving a stock car driver. Blaise Alexander was killed last October at an ARCA race in a wreck involving Kerry Earnhardt.

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