#33 Matt Slye
Born: July 15, 1981 (33)
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA
Hometrack: Langley Speedway
Education: B.A. from UNC at Greensboro
Occupation: Personal Lines Manager at Middle Peninsula Insurance and Financial Services
Sponsors: Dean Case Racing Engines, Peerless Restoration and Carpet Care, Middle Peninsula Insurance and Financial Services, Atlantic Specialty Lines, Williamsburg Outlet Mall Inn, Kinfolks Knives.
“Racing is something my family has always been involved in,” Matt Slye, driver of the #33 Modified. Born in New York and now living in Williamsburg Slye has very fond memories of going to the races at Oswego Speedway with his family, growing up watching his uncle Mark race. “My uncle was… or is a very successful racecar driver and my grandfather was very involved with his racing,” commented Slye. Racing was a common bond Matt shared with his grandfather not to mention something he always wanted to try.
“I raced a Grandstock back in 06 and 07,” Slye tells The Weekly Racer. “I didn’t have much success which was touch for me!” He was used to showing up to the track with his uncle and winning. I can see how that would be frustrating, think about something in your personal life or work life where you were good. Now think about when your boss saw how good you were, or you thought you were good and took another job with more responsibility only to find out it wasn’t working out! Matt would end up selling that car and didn’t run another race till much, much later.
“Mark had a lot of success in the modified division, so we decided to go back to what we knew.” Matt also told us the moment he first got into one he had made up his mind what he wanted to race. “Light car, small tires, and lots of horsepower makes for a good time!” The team had Bret Hamilton, well known chassis builder in the modified division, build a brand new chassis for them. The crew ran their first season in the modified at Langley Speedway ultimately finishing the season fourth in points and taking home Rookie of the Year honors. The following year was a bit tough for Slye and his team, only running a partial season.
2013 was really the turning point for Matt and his time in the modified. This time finishing third in the points at South Boston but more importantly grabbing his first win. “I had ran decent and finished second seven times but I was never able to get that elusive win,” Slye said. “When I won that race I finally felt like I could run with these guys. It really changed how I approached racing mentally.”
2014 was another short year for the team due to funding, Slye however, was not far off the pace when he did hit the track in 2014. Running just 5 races that year the team was able to finish inside the top five in each one. Not to mention grab a pole and a win, a win I feel was a little over shadowed but a win nonetheless!
Plans for the 2015 season are still up in the air a bit as the team still looks for funding, “If the money comes through we will be racing a lot. Mark caught the racing bug again decided to build a new modified so we plan on having him at some races, me at some races, and both of us at a couple or races.” The team seemed pretty excited and optimistic about what the 2015 season has in store for them.
What is the last movie you saw?
Did you like it?
I thought it was a great movie that opens our eyes to the sacrifices made by American soldiers and their families. Anyone who puts on that uniform and steps into enemy territory to protect our freedom has my respect.
The very first car you owned. What was it?
A 1989 Ford Tempo. It was actually the exact car that I drove in my driver’s ed class. When I first got it, it had yellow reflective tape on the sides but I didn’t care, I was just happy to have a set of wheels!
What is the go to “midnight snack” for Matt Slye?
Growing up or even now did you have or do you have any nicknames?
Slye, Slyedog, and Mighty Matt
Perfect vacation spot?
Las Vegas is a lot of fun, but I like going anywhere that involves a beach too.
What is one thing that you have recently checked off your bucket list? Something that still needs to be checked off?
I would like to watch the Yankees play in the World Series in person.
In the fifth grade I think kids all over were telling teachers, parents and family what they wanted to be when they grew up. What were you saying?
Shortstop for the New York Yankees.
Do you like to read? Is so, what are your favorite books or publications to read?
I read racing and insurance magazines, that is really it.
The last time you got a speeding ticket away from the track.
I was following my father in law. One cop pulled us both over and gave us both tickets!
Marty McFly has lent you the keys to the Delorean and said you can go back and chat with anyone from the past. Who would you choice and why?
I hate to get all sappy on you, but I would have to say my Grandfather. We were very close and unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly before he got to see me get married or win my first race and that has always bothered me. I would give anything to talk to him about the things that have happened since he has been gone. As far as racing goes, it would be cool to sit down with Alan Kulwicki and pick his brain.