Saturday morning, March 1, the Elko Speedway racing family lost one of our own. Dick Martin, father to Elko Speedway muti-time track champion, Jeff Martin, passed away at the Lodge on Natchez Hospice facility just miles from the track. Dick, age 74, was a long-time Lakeville resident and dedicated race fan.
Dick loved tinkering on every mechanical device he touched. Dick’s view of life was that there was no need to buy something if you could make it. He enjoyed working on anything that moved: tractors, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, old Fords, new Fords and especially Ford race cars . When asked if he would like to drive another make of truck Dick responded, “I would love to but I’m afraid I would end up with a terrible rash on my backside.”
Dick’s love of racing started at an early age. Dick was fond of showing friends and family a picture of his father’s 1936 Ford at local tracks.
Is it any wonder that when Dick and Myrna’s oldest son Jeff decided to go racing it was in a Ford? Jeff went on to be one of the most dominant competitors the nearly 50-year-old facility has ever seen. Jeff starting winning championships in 1978 competing in the spectator drags, hobby stock and late model divisions. Jeff raced at Elko Speedway through the 2006 season and collected 14 track championships in all.
Dick and Myrna were avid fans of racing and attended virtually every race event at Elko Speedway for over 30 years. Dick and Myrna always set their blanket in the same spot on the same bleacher and were surrounded by family and fellow Jeff Martin race fans.
Always quick with a joke, Dick was a joy to be around. We will truly miss him and our prayers go out to his wife Myrna and their family.
Dick Martin’s visitation will be at Highview Christiania Lutheran Church, 26690 Highview Avenue, FarmingTon, MN on Tuesday March 4, 2014 from 4-7 p.m. The funeral, also at Highview, will be on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation one hour prior to the funeral.