2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
Off Road Enterprises: Wade Martin
by David Holman
The age-old adage, “You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover,” certainly rings true when speaking about Wade Martin. When you first meet him, he appears to be your average-Joe. But once you sit down to talk with him and get to know him a little better, you soon learn he is anything but average. Wade was born in Stockton in April of 1963. Growing up, he and his father, Bill Martin, had a very close relationship and that special bond still exists to this day. In fact, he was his father’s young sidekick and they were inseparable. Since a very young age, Wade has been involved with motorsports in one form or another, from off-road four-wheeling to dirt racing to motorcycles to auto racing. In 1985 Bill founded Off Road Enterprises, specializing in drive-train parts and services which Wade took great interest in and became immediately involved. In the early 90’s, his dad began to sponsor racers at Stockton 99 Speedway and Wade apparently learned some very valuable lessons in sharing and honesty. Two years ago, Wade took over the reins at Off Road Enterprises and has been running the business very successfully ever since.
Recently, I invited Wade up to the Press Box at Stockton 99 Speedway and we sat and talked for a while. I found him to be a quiet-mannered, very polite young man, almost to the point of shyness, especially when it came to talking about himself. I asked what he thought about Wade Martin becoming a household name at Stockton 99 Speedway, “I never really expected anything like this, but it’s kind of neat when people you don’t even know, know who you are,” said Wade. “But that’s not why I do what I do. I was so excited when I heard 99 was going to re-open, I could hardly contain myself. And, since my dad sponsored many drivers back in the 90’s, I wanted to continue the tradition at Off Road Enterprises, and, at the same time, show my appreciation as well by giving something back to the racing community so 99 might not close again.” And give he does, indeed. He sponsors everything that comes along, even the little things. But especially drivers, so they might have the opportunity to get their cars out to the track. Ask any driver at the Speedway and they will know who Wade is and most likely will say Wade has helped them in one way or another. The very special thing about Wade is, not only does he offer up his money for sponsorship, but he offers up himself as well, for friendship, no doubt a rare commodity apart from the material world in which we live.
Long-time friend and colleague, Charles Christy of Christy’s Rentals said, “I’ve known Wade for more than twenty-five years now, and he’s always been a giving person like that,” then added, “That’s just Wade.”
Stockton 99 Speedway Co-Promoter, Carol Noceti said of Wade, “He is an icon in the racing community. This man has not only helped people build cars, he has helped people with their cars to get them ready for this because that’s his business. And, if that’s not enough, he also gives money every week directly from himself to the racers. If we had ten Wade Martin’s, could you imagine what we would have to offer out here? We can’t tell him thank you enough for everything he does for Stockton 99 Speedway and all the racers out here and he is much more appreciated than we could ever tell him in words.”
ALSC/Street Stock Points Leader Jeff Ahl won a sponsorship from Off Road Enterprises earlier in the year and this is what he had to say: “Wade Martin is a great guy. Great sponsor, great guy, good friend of mine. He comes through every time. I had problems with my rear-end this morning, pulled it out and had it at his shop at 8 AM and he was done by 10 AM, back in the car. He’s way dependable. If I had any problems with gears or anything, I’d go to Wade at Off Road Enterprises.”
There are manifold methods people use to reach out to others in this technological, fast-paced world, but Wade Martin prefers the old-fashion, hands-on approach of direct communication by giving of himself each and every week at Stockton 99 Speedway. Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes and from every walk of life. Although to label someone a hero might be a gross overstatement of facts in any case, I’ll just bet if you ask one of those drivers, who, without Wade’s help would not be able to race each week, to define hero, they just might answer with: “Wade Martin.”