This Saturday night, April 27th, 2019, the mighty Tri-State Speedway will once again pay tribute to and honor our fallen racer, friend and police officer, Danny Martinez, Jr. The night's program will offer free admission to any law enforcement, firefighter, first responder, EMT or paramedic, with proof of service, free admission to the grandstands for the night's races. The program will start with a memorial parade lap of all area police, fire and other emergency vehicles. The first lap will be in silence during the national anthem and their second lap will be with their sirens and lights to honor Danny. It is definitely something that you do not want to miss.
The race program will follow with point racing in the NexGen, Factory Stock, Super Stock, USRA B-Mod and USRA Modified classes.
Officer Daniel C. Martinez, Jr.,33, had been with the Fort Smith Police Department for eight months when on March 23, 2007, he was dispatched to responded to a call to help a desperate mother get her 3 year old child from a residence where she had a run in with her ex-boyfriend earlier in the day.
The ex-boyfriend had since been arrested and the mother had returned to pick up her child. She met Officer Martinez in the parking !ot. They went to the front door and the brother of the man arrested earlier answered and told them to wait a minute and then shut the door. He returned shortly with a 9 mm handgun and shot Officer Martinez, then shot the mother in the back, shoulder, and elbow as she fled. The shooter fled from the home in a car and killed himself before Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers found him near Spiro, Oklahoma.
Officer Martinez had served for several years with the Poteau Police Department, Panama Police Department, Shady Point Police Department, and Wister Police Department, all of which are in Oklahoma. He had joined the Fort Smith Police Department on July 3, 2005. He is survived by his wife Alice and five children.
Not only was Danny a revered and well-respected police officer but he was also a life-long race fan and later became a racer right here with us at Tri-State Speedway. He was also in the process of building a car to race with us when he was tragically killed.
The officer Daniel C. Martinez Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is was founded in 2OO7 and is sponsored by the River Valley Marine Corp League Detachment # L248 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The scholarship is open to college students who demonstrate a financial need. Scholarship applicants must have maintained a 3.0 grade-point average but can be studying any college major. The scholarship fund awarded its first scholarship in 2014. The goal of the scholarship is to eventually make this a full-ride scholarship to cover tuition, books and room and board. It is awarded by the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith which will decide on a recipient each semester. Don't forget that all donations are tax deductible. Please contact the University of Arkansas Fort Smith if you’d like to help this great scholarship fund.