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- Photos: Bowman Gray Stadium July 9, 2016
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Matt Waltz Puts Langley Competition on Notice
- Updated: March 20, 2014
NEWPORT NEWS, VA :: If you couldn’t make it out to Langley Speedway in 2013 and you wondered who that guy in the no. 2 car at Martinsville was, the one who was leading the event for most of the race giving the two-time consecutive National Champion Lee Pulliam fits trying to figure a way around him, that driver was Matt Waltz. Waltz drive for a single car, family owned and operated race team whose driver is a recent graduate from Old Dominion University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. If driver talent is essential in the sport of racing then being educated on it sure won’t hurt the program.
Anybody in racing can go fast, but if you can’t figure out why you’re fast, you can never stay fast. Matt Waltz knows why he’s fast, the success him and Waltz Racing enjoyed in 2013 has only served as a foundation to build upon. Simply put, the full potential for Matt Waltz in 2014 is realized and certainly achievable. Not good news for the strong Late Model competition at Langley Speedway, the very best from Matt Waltz has yet to come. Focused on race wins and a championship, expectations are as high as ever for Waltz Racing in 2014.
Matt Waltz had three wins, 15 top five’s and 16 top 10’s in his 21 starts in the 2013 Langley Speedway race season. Most any racer would marvel over such success and call it a great year, but not Matt Waltz. Proud of the success is Waltz but what bothers the young Newport News racer is the ones that could have been and the one or two they let get away. For the 2014 race season comes a year older, a year wiser and another year experienced is Matt Waltz. Just recently I spoke with Waltz about winning races, the ones that got away and the expectations for this upcoming race season.
“We’ve come so far in racing since we started, it’s been a really long time since we won a race before 2013, I mean since way back,” Waltz explained. “We won a pole back in 2009 but never won a race in a Late Model. To be able to win, to be able to build it and to be able take nothing and turn us into a winning race team has really set in. It’s not like we hired a big time crew chief to set my car up and make me win races. You know, we build our own stuff. That whole thought process of how we can take our race car, our race team and make a winning race team out of it is just amazing. Winning that first race in 2013 was just incredible, I just couldn’t believe it. Then to back it up with another win later that night was awesome.”
Next, Matt Waltz talks about being a single car race team, helping out the family business and working on his race car throughout the week while trying to stay focused on being a race car driver.
“It’s one of those things where I’m on that game myself. You know, you kind of have to wear different hats, setting the car up, taking care of the car during the week and making sure that when I get strapped in that I’m a race car driver. Yeah, it’s a lot to do and being I guess kind of the team leader, I have all the confidence in the world of myself and the rest of the crew. I just got to make sure that come race time I’m out there getting the job done”.
After we talked about the first win, along with the performance at Martinsville in 2013, I asked Matt Waltz just where is he at in his racing career and if he along with Waltz Racing are ready to win championships.
“I 100% think we are and its one of the things we’ve been working hard towards over the winter. We’ve never won a championship before, kind of looking back, looking at the other teams and how you must go about it, you just can’t quit. Championships seem to be won on the down nights, salvaging either a bad race car or a bad situation dealt to us and we have got to absolutely make the best of it. You can’t get knocked down and stay down, you got to step it up and keep digging harder. It is how I plan to be and I’m pumped up about 2014.”
Now that the race fans and race competitors know that Waltz Racing is coming in 2014. I then asked what we can expect this race season and just what happens when Matt Waltz see’s that green flag wave.
“Definitely the run at Martinsville and the end of 2013 has given me a lot of confidence going into the 2014 season. I feel like we can do it, sit on the pole, lead every lap and win the race, ultimately that’s my goal. Not saying that’s what’s going to happen every week but that I have the confidence that we can do that especially after Martinsville. Knowing we can run with the best of them, I believe we can and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to execute that every weekend, I’m so ready for the challenge.”
Finally, Matt Waltz took time to thank the ones that make it all happen at Waltz Racing.
“I definitely have to thank my mom and dad for giving me this opportunity, I so appreciate it, especially the time being able to work on the race car and helping out a little bit with the business this year. I just got to give a big thanks to them and Waltz Engineering Sales which is our company here. Kyle Waltz (older brother) has been such a big help at the race track, a lot of other guys have been helping too. Brandon who does my tires has been coming over quite a bit, Daniel (younger brother) helps out to and is also my spotter. There are just so many people to thank, so many involved and to my sponsors. Thanks to my engine builder Billy Banks and Bobby Creech at Creech Motorsports. Everybody has been such a big help in being behind the scenes making sure we have all the best parts and pieces for our race car”.
Matt Waltz with honest humbled beginnings and the hard work getting to this point in his career is very much aligned in position to win. With the strong love, support of his family and friends, success at the race track is evident and forth coming. Last season, Matt Waltz won a few races and maybe let a few get away and knows he got moved away from some as well. Nothing is ever so as important in winning as learning how to win consistently. Judging by the experience and the focus for the 2014 race season, the very best of Matt Waltz is yet to come. I think it’s fair to say that the competition at Langley Speedway in the Late Model division has hereby put on notice.