The Royal Enfield Build Train Race series launched at the Virginia International Raceway on May 20, 2022. Kayleigh Buyck took the victory and hasn’t looked back since, winning three of four races. That all changed at the New Jersey Motorsports Park when Crystal Martinez captured her maiden Build Train Race win.
Attaining that first victory wasn’t an easy feat, though. Martinez qualified on pole but a wheelie away from the starting line pushed her back to second place. After threatening to overtake Buyck, Martinez momentarily dropped to third after Chloe Peterson charged into the runner-up spot. She didn’t stay there long, passing Buyck and seizing control of the race.
Once Martinez squeezed by Buyck as well, the contest quickly turned into a two-horse race between Peterson and Martinez. The two not only traded places on several occasions but also traded paint, nearly going down at one point in the competition. Fortunately, they both righted their respective ships and delivered a last-lap battle for the ages.
Heading into the final section, Peterson opened a sizeable gap back to Martinez. Sadly, a mis-shift killed the race leader's drive at the final corner, allowing Martinez to blow by Peterson on the straight en route to victory. Despite the unfortunate and frustrating circumstances, Peterson showed her class and composure in a post-race interview.
"What an epic race!" Peterson proclaimed. "I was a quarter-second off first. That was the hardest, most aggressive I have ever ridden. I did things during the race I never thought I would be capable of at the beginning of the season. I'm bummed, but I'm also focused on the positives, that I really grew my comfort zone and leveled up my race craft."
Now, the Royal Enfield series will head to Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park for the season finale on September 23-25, 2022. With Buyck only holding a 10-point lead over Martinez and a 16-point advantage over Peterson, the championship is still up for grabs.
"It's my first win of the season and I have a lot of emotions,” admitted Martinez. “Now I want to focus on what I can do better for our last round at Barber. I'm second in the championship and it's still up for the taking."