MDR/Team Matt's Racing Report Springfield Labor Day Weekend

NEWS September 9, 2009

MDR/Team Matt's Racing Report Springfield Labor Day Weekend

Wow! What a crazy weekend this was! Started out on Saturday night at the short track and Matt had told me at breakfast he felt he was going to do good tonight, he could just feel it. I was excited and hopeful for him. We met George at the track and right away, qualifying went very well and Matt was first in the freebie round. I was so excited for him, he looked fast and was loving the tacky track. We went out for the 2nd qualifying round and he was 2nd, still great and was consistent in times. The rain came and several delays later we were out on the track for the final qualifying round at 10:00-11:00 at night. They got the first heat race completed and then Matt went out and lined up on the pole. He got a great holeshot and was leading off turn two when a whole pile of bikes crashed in the back of the pack. It had started to rain again and they called the race off for the night. Matt was disappointed as he felt so good this day; he thought it might be his night for his first podium ever.

The weather was not looking good again on Sunday and we thought that we may not get to run the mile either. The sun broke out for a while and the tractors started prepping the race track. We all scrambled to get set up and ready, it was going to be a shortened program and hurried along due to possible rain and /or darkness. There were only two qualifying sessions, so they both counted. The track was nothing like it's ever been for us, it was so tacky. Matt went from 9th to first on the 2nd lap of qualifying and left the pack by a good distance. He was second fastest and was loving the surface. His bike handled awesome and the gearing was perfect. He had a stacked heat race with Carr, Kopp, McCoy & Murray; they did not disappoint the crowd, as they put on the best show of the day. All four riders passed multiple times every lap with Matt taking the high line and passing everyone in the turns, only to be drafted and passed back down the straights, it was awesome. Dad had taken the transmission out of the Harley early on in the week and polished it a little, but really didn't find anything major from Indy when it jumped out of gear on the start. Matt lined up for the main event and was truly excited for this Springfield Mile. He knew he was fast enough to run up front for the first time at this track. I stood on the truck as the riders took the start and couldn't see the start/finish line.

When I couldn't find him in turn one, I knew what happened. This time Guy actually saw the bike torque up and launch, only to jump out of gear and stop. My heart sank, I felt so bad for Matthew. He rode like a man possessed for the first few laps and started catching the back of the pack when I heard the bike down the back straight and it sounded flat. Matt was able to run the entire 25 laps, he said the bike intermittently ran and acted like it was on one cylinder or running out of fuel, but didn't make any engine noises, so he kept going. There were several bike failures and he did pass a few riders to salvage a 12th place finish. For the bike not running right, he still put in some good lap times as he never lifted through the turns, it was a huge disappointment for all of us. He had made a lot of new fans though, they were still remembering the awesome heat race performance. He desperately needs a "mile motor" for these big tracks and is trying to get some sponsors to help him buy one.

Monday we were back at the short track and now it was going to be a day race. Matt had raced here as an amateur and knew the track had the potential to be dry slick during the day. He went out in qualifying and they gave the riders two laps that didn't count and then the four usual ones. Of course Matt's first two laps were the fastest, but he still ended up 2nd behind Wiles in that qualifying round. The 2nd round they inverted and he got the dry track and got stuck behind a couple riders to end up around 9th. His heat race looked like a main line up with Kopp, Schnabel, Mees, Johnson, and several others that were going good. He got the holeshot and there was an immediate red flag as Bonsey had crashed on the start line. They lined up again and he did not get a good start and was running 4th - 5th when another red flag came out. This time there were a few riders down and they decided to water. The track was so dry slick, it was unsafe. Third one is a charm and he got a holeshot again. He got wide down the front straight one lap and Kopp went by taking the lead. He stayed a consistent second with Jared keeping him honest all the way to the checkers. Finally, he had made a dash again and was excited for this and the front row start. The dash didn't go so well, he was actually hooking up too good and couldn't keep the bike on the track. They made some slight adjustments to the bike and it was time for the main event.

Matt got the initial reaction but got together with another rider which then pushed him out into another rider. It looked like bowling in turn one, but everyone kept it upright and he was on the outside in 3rd or 4th and was trying to get to the inside. He said he looked for an opportunity and when he didn't see a tire there, he ducked to the low line and was now in 6th or 7th. He passed a couple riders into 5th and Carr pushed him for several laps and then fell back a little. He was all by himself for the remainder and was still right there with the leaders until the last lap when Halbert caught him and bumped him on the inside to take 5th place. This would be his best singles finish ever and George seemed very pleased with the day. A huge thanks this year to George Mack from Mack Daddy Racing for the singles program. The MDR '09' CRF 450 was working great all weekend with Boughner racing suspension & Ron Hamp motor.

VISIT: for a link to all his great sponsors and contact information.

Our year is winding down and Matt is hoping to get a bike to ride at Pomona for the twins finale. He is talking to some different people and hopes to put together a Twins ride for 2010. Mom and Dad are officially retired from professional racing. We are very proud of Matthew, he is an awesome rider and an all around good guy!

  • Dunlop
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Howe Enterprises
  • MotoBatt
  • Saddlemen
  • Sunoco
  • Thom Duma Fine Jewelers