Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

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Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:30 pm

I don't think I need to explain this much. We all know the drill. And yes, there will be spoilers.

ARLA Elite Series
Matthews just misses Rookie Shootout top five, finishes sixth

Ryan Matthews' return to full-time racing didn't quite go the way he planned.

"I wanted to win," he said after finishing sixth in the Apex Racing School Rookie Shootout. "Don't we all? (laughs) Seriously, though, I really wanted to win. I thought we had a good enough car to do it, but I had a lousy start compared to (Jim) Hayes and Joe (Olenick), and that just killed us. Especially after Jim goes out there and waxes us like that. Welcome to ARLA, indeed!"

The former TM Master Cup driver is beginning his first full-time season in ARLA, after driving a partial schedule in 2012.

"I'd like to think the few races I had here last year were good prep work for this year," he said. "I also made it a point to study her race notes," referring to his late wife Tiffany, who competed in this race in 2012 en route to a ninth-place final points finish. "They helped, but you can't beat on-track experience."

He also talked about his fellow rookie class members.

"Some of those guys are pretty damn good drivers," he said. "Jim, Joe, Trey (Ashby), the Leckliters...guys like them. Then there are those who don't belong out there at all. One of them could make Derek Dudding look like Benny Dwyer."

Matthews closed his remarks talking about his difficult off-season.

"I don't think anyone would want to go through the off-season I have," he said. "I didn't mind losing my Cup ride, because I knew I'd land on my feet. It's the nature of racing. But losing her, well, there isn't any way anyone can prepare for that kind of blow. The healing process from that is going to be long and difficult, but I've got good friends and family supporting me, so I'll get there eventually. It's just going to take time."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:04 pm

ARLA Elite Series
Matthews collected in Lap 27 wreck, DNFs
Ryan Matthews' first start as a full-time ARLA driver went about as well as his first Master Cup start one year ago.

It, like his debut at Las Vegas, ended in disappointment.

Matthews got caught in the Lap 27 incident that saw Herbie Finkelberg end up on his roof, causing major damage to his No. 116 Lenard that proved to be terminal.

"Well, that sucked," he said. "I went to an ARLA race and a demo derby broke out. Seriously, though: I thought with the caliber of drivers that were in my round we'd have a clean race. Apparently I was wrong!"

Matthews returns to action at Daytona International Speedway, where he hopes things will be cleaner.

"I just hope we show a little more patience at Daytona than we did out there tonight," he said. "I don't think it'll be a problem, but you never know."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:05 pm

TM Master Cup
New car, same result: Matthews disappoints at Fontana
Ryan Matthews hoped to make his return to the TM Master Cup Series a triumphant one.

Instead, his efforts mostly fell flat.

Hampered by a general lack of speed, Matthews finished outside the points, and he was left shaking his head after the race.

"I don't know what to say," he said. "It seems like I could've gone out there running a brisk jog and have done better. Oh well, at least we stayed out of trouble and had fuel at the end. So that's something, I guess."

The former Majestic Motorsports (now Lynxe Racing) driver finished fourth among the six Independent drivers that competed in the Round of California. It was the debut of the 2013 iteration of the Aspira, the car which ASCC regular Joe Olenick put in the field at Decatur last November.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "This was the Aspira's first real go-round on the track, and it was just plain slow. But the car really wasn't designed for superspeedways like Fontana, but for short tracks and road courses. I'm encouraged enough that with Carbondale coming up we haven't seen what the car can really do. So the jury is still out."

"At least we know it gets good fuel economy," he added with a smile, referring to the number of drivers that had to pit late in the race to take on a splash of gas.
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:43 pm

ARLA Elite Series
Late engine failure ruins solid Daytona run
Superspeedway racing more often than not involves more luck than skill.

But for Ryan Matthews at Daytona, luck wasn't quite in enough supply.

Matthews, who at one point ran as high as second place at one point in the race and hung around in the top 10 most of the race, lost a header late in the going, relegating him to a 23rd-place finish.

"That's a switch," he said, jokingly. "At least we weren't wrecked this time. Eh, you really can't do anything about that. Lenard's got a new engine that I think we and the A9 are using, so a few hiccups are to be expected. I'm disappointed, naturally, but when you have an engine failure there's not a lot as a driver you can do."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:59 am

Dash Cup
Rogers picks up where she ended 2012: in the top 10
It may have been a race late, but Kellan Rogers' 2013 has started like many of her races in 2012 ended.

In the top ten.

Rogers, making her season debut as a full-time driver for Eichholtz Atlantic Racing in the team's No. 30 E231, avoided the opening-lap shenanigans and finished sixth in her first visit to the Norisring in Germany.

"What a race," she said. "I don't know what happened back there on the start, but I was lucky to be in front of it. I just wish the car looked better...I miss the old paint job. But I'm glad I could give my new bosses a good effort. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come!"

Rogers scored four top-10 runs in 2012, and if history is any indication, she might just be right.
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Thu May 02, 2013 9:55 pm

(OOC: Catching up, so there will be multiple items in this post.)

TM Master Cup
Matthews "steals points" at Carbondale, sits 2nd in Independent standings
Sometimes a top-20 finish feels like a victory.

That's how Ryan Matthews felt after his 19th-place finish at the Round of Carbondale, the second race of the 2013 TM Master Cup season.

"We stole points out there, pure and simple," he said. "Even though it was only two points, considering where we started from, I'll take them."

Matthews moved from fourth to second in the Independent's Trophy standings, behind Ike Durbin.

"To be second in the Independent standings is pretty cool, but I think it's going to be tough to beat Durbin," Matthews said. "The Timmies have their act together this season, and I think they're the team to beat. But we'll see if we have anything for them."

Matthews now takes time out to prepare for the Karjala Grand Prix, an event that he has yet to qualify for in his previous two attempts.

"We're going to throw everything we can at the car for the Grand Prix," he said. "I just hope we can get in the field this time."

ARLA Elite Series
Moral victory for Matthews despite 22nd-place run at Montgomery
Ryan Matthews hasn't had a lot to celebrate in his first two ARLA Elite Series starts as a full-time driver.

And while most drivers wouldn't be happy with a 22nd-place finish, Matthews, on the other hand, was thrilled.

"We finished for once," he said with a smile on his face. "Plus, we were part of the first official green-white-checkered finish in ARLA history, so that was pretty cool. But we still have a lot of room for improvement, so we'll take it as we go."

Matthews' next race is at the Texas Motor Speedway - the place where wife Tiffany, along with four other drivers, lost their lives last November at the Hanmore World Championships.

"I knew I'd have to head back there eventually, but it just feels like it's too soon," he said. "But I still have a job to do, and I'm going to do it. I only hope I can do well in the race."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:23 am

TM Master Cup
Aspira approved for Karjala Grand Prix, customer teams
Two years of development are starting to pay off.

With Matthews Motorsports's purpose-built chassis, the Aspira, showing promise on racing's biggest stage, people have begun to take notice.

"We've been approved to offer the Aspira to other Master Cup teams," team principal Ryan Matthews said. "This is effective at Karjala. Obviously we're very excited at this development, and it shows that all the R&D we've put into this project were well worth it."

Interest in the Aspira has been present, but so far none of the more prominent Master Cup privateer teams have bought in.

"We've had interest from some of the smaller teams," Matthews said. "The bigger teams are still buying the more-established Lycoias and Omechas, but I'm hopeful that if we turn some heads at Karjala they'll take notice."

Matthews wouldn't discuss which teams have placed orders for the Aspira so far, but he did say he's gotten calls from teams as far away as Australia.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "I think the teams that have put their faith in our product will be pleased they did."

ARLA Elite Series
Texas a house of horrors for Matthews
Ryan Matthews was in a sullen mood after the Henry Walker Memorial.

"This weekend sucked," he said. "I don't know what it is, but it seems like every time we race on St. Patrick's Day we're terrible. This was no exception. I think we've only finished, what, one race this season? I really hope we shed this black cloud that's over us, because it's getting ridiculous."

Matthews ended up in 22nd.

Viva Mexico? Matthews nearly misses top-10 run
ARLA's first trip south of the border proved to be a blessing for Ryan Matthews.

Plagued by a series of mishaps and mechanical issues in three of the first four weekends of the 2013 season, Matthews went to Autodromo Ciudad de Mexico hoping for a turnaround.

Slotted in the second race, Matthews watched with intent the first round, in which he noticed a common trend.

"People were binning it like crazy going into 3," he said. "They're going in there too fast for these conditions. If I can avoid that and let other people in front of me do it I've got a good shot."

His strategy worked for a little while, but before long even he fell victim to Turn 3. The first time, he was lucky: he didn't hit anything and got away unscathed. The second time he wasn't.

"I just went in there a little too quick," he said. "I was hoping I didn't mess up the back end too much, but it ended up being just as bad as everyone else."

Late contact with the spun-out No. 50 of Leslie Riggs damaged his car further, ending any hopes of finishing on the lead lap.

"It looked like I was over enough, but I think I nicked the 50 enough to mess up the left front," he said. "That probably cost me a top-10 run as we had to pit late. But I'll take 11th. It's the best finish of the season for us, and I hope we can build on it."

Next is the first split weekend for the Elite Series, and while Matthews believes he'll be in the field at the Grand Detour of Western Illinois, he's also preparing for Grundy County.

"I love racing at Grand Detour," he said. "That place is a lot of fun. But I'm looking forward to Grundy County too. I've never raced on dirt before, so I'd love to do that too. Either way, I'm excited for the next weekend."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:56 pm

Dash Cup
"Princess" no more: Rogers Queen of Mallory Park
It took a little while and a near miss, but Kellan Rogers has finally shed the label of bridesmaid.

Rogers took advantage of a stellar late-race pit stop to claim her first career victory at the Mallory GP, the third race of the Dash Cup season.

Rogers' podium celebration was boisterous, as she enthusiastically sang along to the Canadian national anthem as it played.

"Finally," she said in her post-race interview. "It's good to get that first one out of the way. After I got so close at Motegi last season, I wasn't sure if I'd ever get it. But I did!"

"I can't thank the Eichholtz Atlantic people enough," she added. "They put a great car under me. When you've got equipment like that, it makes my job a lot easier."

The victory moved her into 10th in the points standings. But more importantly for Rogers, she also retired a nickname she wasn't too fond of.

"Princess Slow is dead!" she said, referring to the not-too-flattering nickname brother-in-law Ryan Matthews bestowed upon her after her ill-fated Mini Indy 500 attempt last season. "I don't think Ryan will be too upset about it. He'd rather see me win anyway."

With any luck, Rogers' first victory may be the first of many to come.
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:44 pm

ARLA Elite Series
Matthews scores Top 10 in "scary" Grand Detour stop
The Grand Detour of Western Illinois carries the nickname "Death Bowl" for a reason. Fast and treacherous, the track has seen its share of scary and spectacular crashes.

The FABricators Body & Detailing 100 was no exception. And for Ryan Matthews, it was another reminder about how dangerous motorsports can be.

"We had a good run," he said. "We came home 7th in a damaged race car, so I can't complain about that. But it's been overshadowed by what happened back there on Lap 60."

Matthews referred to the horrific crash involving Joseph Howard, Todd Stater, and Kurt Walker, in which Stater's car went up the banking, over the Armco guard rail, and airborne into the catch fence.

"That was a scary wreck," he said. "That was the worst one I've seen in my near-20 years of racing. I've never seen a car do what Stater's car did. My God, that was awful."

Matthews' thoughts were with Stater.

"I'm really worried for him," he said. "I hope he pulls through. We've had enough tragedy in the last 12 months as it is."
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Re: Matthews Motorsports 2013 Team Thread (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Post by RyanB06 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:57 pm

ARLA Elite Series
Matthews flops in dirt debut
Prior to the Williams Grove 150, Ryan Matthews had never run a race on a dirt track.

Based on his comments after the race, he'd rather it be his last.

"I just sucked, pure and simple," he said. "I couldn't even get through the first lap with out getting in someone else's mess. That really put us behind, and we were just trying to - pardon the pun - dig ourselves out the rest of the race after that first incident. That second crash was more of a mercy killing than anything else. That was no fun out there at all."

Matthews hopes to rebound at the road course at the Mosport International Raceway.
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