Page 11 - AZ Extreme - AEM Volume 8 Issue 4
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Farewell to a Friend – Rey Martinez
It’s always hard to say goodbye to a friend, but much more so when that person was also a good business
partner. Rey Martinez was just such a person. He was the graphic artist who did all of Speedworld’s ads & flyers;
he came up with our very successful Imports VS Domestics drag racing program and most notably, the Glamis Status sanddrag & mudbog program.
As a matter of fact, were it not for Rey and his ideas and business talents, Speedworld would probably not survived the downturn of 2008-10.
Back in 2004, when I took over the entire Speedworld operation, one of my first drag racing ventures was with Rey. At that time, he was a very young man to be doing this sort of thing, mid-to-late 20s. But what I found was that he and I thought a lot alike as regards this sort of event. At one point, when side-by-sides were first coming out, he came up with a concept for the motocross track called “Down ‘N Dirty”, which involved have
a race that was also a party and a lot of fun. It was wildly successful, with a huge spectator turnout as well as a good race entry. We tried it a couple more times but while it was OK, it was never quite that good again. In 2007 we started trying to come up with something to duplicate the fun times at the dunes, and we needed to figure out something
under the lights during the summer for these guys to do. So we decided to try sand drags. I currently had a promoter running sand drags, but he just couldn’t come up with the right combination
that worked, event after event. Our
sand drags were ok, but we realized it
just wasn’t enough. You have to realize, that all of these ideas were hashed over during our great breakfast staff meetings (which I became very fond of) with the rest of our team. These meetings weren’t always a cordial, happy deal [Ed: mild understatement!] but everyone had ideas and were encouraged to share them with the rest of the group. Of course, they weren’t all good ideas, some were flat out unworkable, but like any brainstorming session, the good stuff filtered through and became part of our programs. You could always count on Rey to come up with a flyer or ad that really portrayed our ideas and concepts to our customers - often during our meetings he’d sit at his laptop and have the complete flyer done before the meeting was done! He was an incredibly talented artist, for sure.
We started adding additional elements to our facility. We’d moved half of our dragstrip area stage over to the new sand drag track, and Rey developed
the Glamis Status program, which is basically a big desert party. Loud music, fast cars/bikes/ATVs, mud, you name
it, there was something for everyone.
We decided a couple of years after we started that the 9/11 was beginning to fade from people’s memories, so Rey and I developed our 9/11 Memorial events, which featured every venue at Speedworld: drags, motocross, sanddrags & mudbogs, all for one price, which made it a very popular and successful deal. It was all very patriotic, with different military color guard troop flag presentations, National Guard displays (complete with 155mm cannon!), R/C plane flybys, jet dragsters and more. We always donated a portion of the receipts to some military organization, which again, was Rey’s idea.
Rey was more than just a business partner, he was a good friend, good husband, good father. When the track closed, we remained close and we’d go bowling together - sorry Rey, you never got the chance to beat me. He’d come by my house and his daughter would
go swimming while we’d chat, my wife babysat his kids, that sort of thing. Our friendship remained long after the track had closed. The week before Rey’s tragic UTV accident in Payson, he’d called and said that we need to get together and
go to breakfast.... and it unfortunately never happened. I’m really going to miss Rey, he was a great friend and business partner. v
By Dan Matthews and Hal Sanguinetti VOLUME 8 – ISSUE 4 , 2018 11

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