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DEHARDE: Is Anthony Martin’s Best Move to Stay Put?

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

There is an unknown to Anthony Martin’s future as he has yet to announce which Pro Mazda Championship team he plans to join in 2017, but perhaps the that campaign won’t see as much change after all.

In 2015, Martin drove in the USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda for John Cummiskey Racing and the Kalgoorlie, Australia native won Rookie of the Year after finishing fourth in the championship.

Martin’s results and funding were enough to secure a seat at Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for the 2016 season alongside Parker Thompson and Nikita Lastochkin. Martin and Thompson were head and shoulders above the rest of the field as the duo captured 11 of 16 race victories, 12 of 16 pole positions and 10 of 16 fastest laps.

The No. 8 Burgess/BLA Mazda found its way to Victory Lane seven times and earned for its driver the $363,800 scholarship to move up to Pro Mazda next season.

But where will the newly crowned champ go? Where should he go?

Martin has his choice of drives for 2017. If the same teams for 2016 will join in 2017, he can either remain with Cape Motorsports, or move on to join Team Pelfrey, Juncos Racing or JDC Motorsports.

Team Pelfrey is the obvious choice as they won the Pro Mazda title in 2012, 2015 and 2016. However, it is this writer’s opinion that Martin might be best served staying at Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

He is very familiar with the Cape brothers and how they operate a team. Plus, the team has had good results in the Pro Mazda category since expanding to that championship in 2014, finishing second in the standings that year and again in 2015.

Familiarity might help out Martin more than it did Jake Eidson and Nico Jamin. Both drivers drove for the Cape brothers in the 2016 Pro Mazda campaign. Although Eidson suspended his campaign mid-season, both drove for the team in USF2000 – with Jamin winning that title in 2015 and Eidson finished third in 2014. Jamin had two victories in the Pro Mazda Championship this year but would only finish third in the standings.

Martin is plenty talented to help lead a team forward, but his climb up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder could rest in the decision to stay put or move on to the defending Pro Mazda champions.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.

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