Martino’s automotive engine building and racing career stared in 1977 in grass roots bracket racing at local tracks. In 1978 Martino’s first full year he won the local track points championship with a car and engine that he built himself. He raced as a serious sportsman racer until 1995 with multiple wins, a division points championship and national top ten finishes, all with engines that were built with his bare hands. He was a threat to win at every race.
During this time Martino was learning and honing his skills as to how to build a competitive wining race engine. During this same time from 1990-2002 he worked at Jesel Valve Train as part of the research and development team. While at Jesel, he learned valuable information and experience running an extensive dyno and spintron operation. He decided to put his knowledge to use in NHRA Pro Stock.
Starting in 1996 until 2002 he raced NHRA Pro Stock and had much success with multiple wins and top ten finishes including becoming a member of the 200 MPH club. Martino also leased his engines to other competitors including one that carried V. Gaines to his first win in Pro Stock and a member of the 200 MPH club. All this was done with engines built by Tom and his team, which included Tom Kling and Bob Cave. From 2002 until present he has been a crew chief on several pro teams and has continued building competitive race wining engines for Pro, Sportsman, Marine and Circle Track Racers under the business name of Tom Martino Racing LLC.
Since the mid 1970s, Bob has been a regular fixture in winner’s circles and record books all over the country. Cutting his teeth at the age of 16 in Modified Eliminator and gradually stepping up each season thereafter. In 1984, Benza built a Monza C-Gas car, and began competing in the NHRA's Competition Elimination class. Before long he was tearing up the local circuit, setting numerous records and picking up trophies across the Northeast, including two for best-engineered car.
Within a couple of years Bob upgraded to a Smith Brothers Firebird complete with some stout horsepower from David Nickens famed engine shop in Houston. Bob won the 1986 NHRA Summernationals at Englishtown and followed up the win with two more divisional wins, and two runner-ups. That same year he finished fifth in Division 1 points and 11th in national points in Competition Eliminator. Bob followed that up with another stellar year, taking runner-up honors at the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, after qualifying third out of a very competitive field of 153 cars vying for only 64 race-day spots. In 1988 Bob entered, and won, the IHRA Summernationals in the highly contested Factory Modified class, the minor league equivalent of Pro Stock.
Racing part-time in Comp for the next few years Bob's next move in racing involved buying a series of Jerry Haas-built Pro Stock cars, one of which he currently races. Eventually, with a rented motor from Tom Martino, Bob entered the 1997 Keystone Nationals with his first Monte Carlo Pro Stocker. In 1998, Bob qualified in only his third event in Pro Stock, and won his first round of competition at the same event. During his rookie Pro Stock season, Bob qualified for 4 of the 8 events he entered.
In 2006, Bob partnered with his good friend and colleague, Tom Martino, to develop their own Pro Stock engines on a part-time basis. The next year, the duo decided to take their partnership to the next level, launching a brand new engine-building business. Over the course of the next 5 years, MB Race Engines was developed. After working tirelessly to produce top-level horsepower, during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, MB Race Engines proved themselves to be big-hitters in NHRA Pro Stock with multiple qualifying spots earned in the extremely competitive class. Today, MB Race Engines has a brand new shop with a state-of-the-art dyno facility, and an ever-growing list of customers.
Throughout his career, Bob has applied his knowledge of civil engineering to racing, winning his team two NHRA Best Engineered Car awards. Bob also brings to MB Race Engines many of the principles and techniques acquired from his success in the business world.
Bob Cave is no stranger to the racing world. Early in his career, Bob worked for Paul Rebeschi’s Pro Stock teams as a crew chief and engine tuner. Before joining Tom Martino on his Pro Stock team in 1999, Bob worked as crew chief and director of the Pro Stock for George Marnell & Ken Black, a team that proved themselves to be winners several times.
In 1999, Bob teamed up with Tom as crew chief and then, later at engine builder. He worked for Tom until 2002 when he began a career with Jesel Valvetrain. Bob worked at Jesel from 2002 to 2009 in their research and development department. He ran the spin tron for the company, and was involved in the building of several engines that went on to set records at the salt flats in Bonneville.
In 2009, Bob left Jesel and joined the MB Race Engines team, where he has been instrumental to the success of the BNB Racing team in Pro Stock, as well as several circle track and sportsman race teams. Bob has helped to build many record-setting and race-winning engines.