Tag Archives: Tyler Matthews

Tyler Matthews Set to Make 2018 Truck Series Debut with MDM Motorsports at Martinsville

Tyler Matthews celebrates in victory lane at East Carolina on a Sunday after noon in September 2016. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

It was announced earlier today that Richlands, North Carolina native and 2016 North Carolina state Late Model Champion, Tyler Matthews, will be making his Camping World Truck Series debut later this year in the No. 99 truck for MDM Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway. Matthews, who currently competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock series, earned Rookie of the Year honors for North Carolina in 2015. He continued his rise through the stock car ranks the following year after winning both the Southern National Late Model track championship, he also finished third in points at his home track of East Carolina Motor Speedway – all while working on his degree from East Carolina University.

2017 would bring Matthews even more success as we would go on to win seven races and collect nineteen top fives, twenty top tens all in twenty starts en route to yet another track championship, this time at Carteret County Speedway, Matthews found himself, however, in a rather precarious position coming into 2018 after his Late Model was destroyed following a wreck at Carteret.

“That is kind of how this whole thing got started,” Matthews said in an interview with The Weekly Racer. “We took a step back to see where we wanted to go from there. I do plan on running some of the bigger Late Model races. This is a great opportunity with a really good team.” Matthews told The Weekly Racer once we caught up with him. “I owe everything to my parents and the people behind the scenes getting this deal together. They have believed in me since day one and now it is up to me to get it done.”

The three-race deal will kick off later this year at Martinsville Speedway here in Virginia. The following two races are set for Iowa and Gateway Motorsports Park where Matthews should get approval to run some of the bigger tracks on the Camping World Truck Series schedule.

“We are approved for 5/8 tracks,” Matthews went on to explain. “After Martinsville, we will get approved for Iowa and after Gateway, we should be approved to run the bigger mile and a half’s. Once we get approved for those we plan to run a few more races during the second half of the year. This team has had a lot of success with several different drivers. So I feel good about of chances to run well out of the gate.”

Matthews will certainly have his hands full making the jump from a stock car to a heavier, more powerful race truck, however, Matthews is keeping himself focused and setting smart goals for himself as he takes on this next step in his racing career. We also asked Tyler if there was any added pressure coming into a program that Monster Energy Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace took to victory lane towards the end of the 2017 season.

“You always want to win,” Matthews said. However, I would be really happy with some consistent top ten runs and keeping my nose clean. I want to learn as much as I can. I would say more confident because you know the team and the equipment is capable of winning but there is definitely some high expectations there.”

 To learn more and keep up with Tyler Matthews in 2018, make sure to follow him on his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tyler.matthews.731572.

Tyler Matthews Takes the Checkers in Physical Late Model Feature

Robersonville, NC  ̶̶  Eight NWAAS late models came to the high banked 3/8 mile oval in Southeastern North Carolina for a 50 lap feature. Thomas Burbage set the fast time in qualifying with a 15.088 second lap and defending NC and ECMS champ Tyler Matthews qualified second with a 15.207 second lap.

Burbage would lead until eleven laps in when Matthews passes Burbage up as he seemed to struggle and was falling backwards. Wesley Johnson wound up in second place but couldn’t gain any ground on Matthews. At lap-25 a competition caution was thrown and Burbage would set up behind Matthews for the restart.

Burbage runs Matthews hard into the corner shoving him up high and causing mayhem behind him coming out of two. Louis White ended up rear end first in the turn-3 wall after already wrecking in almost the same spot earlier in the day and Wesley Johnson had a flat tire and stopped on the front straight to not damage the track or car.

After a brief red flag period to get the cars off the track safely the race restarted with Burbage out front, Matthews in second, and Jeff Shifflett trying to get by Tyler. Farther back Johnson was coming through the small field quickly after getting a new tire mounted on his machine. On lap-42 Ryan Haddock spun out and set up a restart that most could have predicted would be crazy.

Matthews falls in behind Burbage and dumps him going into turn-1, payback for earlier in the race. Burbage turns it around and starts going BACKWARDS on the race track in an attempt to wreck Matthews on the front stretch after the caution is out. He gets sent to the end of the longest line and Matthews keeps his position. Burbage made quick work of everyone in front of him and finished second behind Matthews, and then he tried wrecking him again after the race was finished. Matthews took the longest Kuliwicki victory lap I’ve ever personally seen and ended up nose first towards Burbage. In victory lane Burbage was visibly upset but track promoter John Vick was able to calm him down eventually. Wesley Johnson was able to finish third after having his tire go flat and starting at the rear.

Street Stocks

Mike Cooper qualified on the pole with a 16.534 second lap. As the green flag flew Travis Roberson made quick work of Cooper passing him on the outside and jumping out to a second and a half lead. James Horner gets by Scott Lawrence on lap-10 for fourth position and by lap-15 the field was stretched thin. Lawrence came down pit road to end his race on lap-22 and two laps later Horner also has some problems that ended his day. Roberson cruised the rest of the way to take the checkers.

USAC Speed2 Eastern Midgets

Nine USAC midgets came together for a very fast and entertaining 35 lap feature. Brandley Riethmeyer ran a quick 15.067 second lap to grab the pole over two time 2017 winner George Kurtz. Riethmeyer led until lap-19 when Chris Lamb worked his way from starting fourth to take the lead passing Kurtz and Jessica Bean in the process. Lamb would cruise to the win with Kurtz and Bean finishing second and third.
Late Model Results

1. Tyler Matthews
2. Thomas Burbage
3. Wesley Johnson
4. Jeff Shifflett
5. Ryan Haddock
6. Travis Roberson
7. Chris Perry
8. Louis White

From Rookie of the Year to State Champion – Tyler Matthews Making a Name for Himself

Oh how much difference a year can make. One year your struggling, the next you find your self on top of the world. One year your the lapped car, the next your lapping cars. Things are not always that extreme, sometimes you find yourself like Tyler Matthews, a 19 year old Richland, North Carolina native, who is slowly making a name for himself within the Late Model Stock Car community. Matthews began his journey in this crazy lifestyle we like to call Late Model racing last year in in 2015 and wound up winning the North Carolina Rookie of the Year award at just 18 years old.

Matthews, a two sport athlete in high school – Football & racing ATV’s found himself in a pretty tough spot with some decisions to make. Starting off in the world of racing ATV’s Matthews spent most of his Friday’s traveling to race. Once he started playing football with his high school, Friday travel days to the race track were all but impossible to make. Instead of giving up on one of the sports he loved Matthews just made an adjustment.

“I used to race atv and we were traveling on Fridays,” said Matthews. “Then I started playing football we couldn’t travel around to races so we started doing something closer to the house that we can race on Saturdays and not have to travel all day Friday”

Matthews played middle linebacker, tight end and fullback for his now alma matter Richland Hights High School while driving his Late Model Stock Car. “I had some DII football offers to play in college but turned them down to go racing,” Matthews told The Weekly Racer.

One year later Matthews found himself at the top of the leader boards again – this time as the North Carolina State points champion. Competing in thirty-four races between two tracks, Matthews – who calls East Carolina Motor Speedway home – found himself with with four wins, eighteen top fives and twenty-eight top tens to edge out fellow competitor Brenden Queen by just two points, and Late Model veteran Louis White by fourteen points. Crediting ECMS with the top three drivers in the state who listed East Carolina their home track in 2016.

Though Matthews found himself finishing third in the season finale at ECMS behind Louis White and Brenden Queen, (Louis White Wins Second Ronnie Barnett Memorial at East Carolina Motor Speedway) it was just enough to lock up the sophomores second NASCAR accomplishment in just his second year of racing. “You know it really hasn’t set in just yet,” Matthews spoke about winning the title. “Last year it didnt set in till we got to Charlotte and you walk and your surrounded by all these great drivers. Last year we finished fifteenth in the state which wasn’t really all that bad and locked up rookie of the year.”


Tyler Matthews celebrates a second place finish in the first of two 40-lap twins along with girlfriend Kodie Drake. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Matthews started the season out strong running between his home track East Carolina Motor Speedway where he picked up a couple wins while visiting Southern National on the off weekends. “We came out this year and lead the state early,” Matthews told us. “Mainly because we just had more finishes than every body. We hit a lot of bad luck there in the middle of the season and didnt really get the finishes that we wanted. We put a strong run there though specially with guys like Matt Bowling coming down and trying to get full field wins. We definitely couldn’t have done it with out him last week. To split [a win] with him, thats probably one of the biggest weekends of my career yet. Not sure how his night went but if he locked up the National title thats going to feel pretty awesome to split with a national champ this late in the season.”

NASCAR took just a little bit longer than their normal Tuesday to release the points information, our guess was just to take the time to check and re-check points to make sure they were correct. Matthews told us in our interview that he was blessed to be able to call himself a state champion.

“Not many people have one those you know,” Matthews spoke about state championships. “In racing or even high school sports, its pretty cool to be able to say you are a state champion.”

The season isn’t quite over the young driver however as he has even more opportunity for achievements. Matthews enters this weekend as the Southern National points leader. A hefty 50 point advantage over Ricky Jones. With national points concluded Matthews merely just needs to start the races and he will also be able to add “Track Champion” to his resume of things he has accomplished in young career as a Late Model Stock Car driver. Gates will open tomorrow at SNMP at 5 PM with racing getting underway around 7 PM.




Tyler Matthews Continues to Ride Hot Streak Right Into Victory Lane At East Carolina Motor Speedway

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – It’s safe to say that winning on Sunday’s is what every NASCAR driver wants to do. Granted there is a little more to that sentence and usually is a reference to the Sprint Cup Series. This weekend however, Tyler Matthews rom Richlands, North Carolina, found a way to put his #63 machine in victory lane at East Carolina Motor Speedway to end the weekend on a high note.

After earning a victory and a   place finish the night prior at SNMP, Matthews packed up and headed east to run ECMS’ Twin 40-lap features in companion with the Southern Modified tour, a race that was supposed to be on Labor Day weekend but was rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Hermine. East Carolina has been a track that Matthews has proven he knows how to get around all year long and did so again Sunday afternoon.

After qualifying second to current track points leader Brenden Queen, Matthews was able to battle through some thick racing to score a second place finish in the first set of twin features which not only allowed him to gain some ground on Queen in the State race, it also allowed him to start on the outside pole of race number two as the speedway deviated from their normal qualifying procedures.

Matthews did what few are actually able to do around that 3/8-mile high bank oval and that is make the top groove work. Powering around Bowling on the outside to lead lap one and that was just about all she wrote! With only three caution flags throughout the entire 40-lap feature, and one of them coming from contact between Louis White and Brenden Queen, there was not a car in the entire county that had anything for Tyler Matthews.

Though things were easy sailing for Matthews at the front of the pack things certainly were interesting behind him. With Matthews out front that left the trio of Queen, White, and Burbage to duke it out for position, and if you have been following East Carolina all season you know neither one of these drivers wants to give an inch. It actually would cost all three of them a few positions on the track when on a late restart Queen, on the low side, entered turn one with Louis White to his right, the two would make contact sending White around up the hill and left Queen with some heavy nose damage. Burbage, who in just my personal opinion, got the worst end of the deal, had nowhere to go bellow him and was forced up to the wall just behind the two. Burbage would have to start further back in the field because his car came to a complete stop.

With the two victories in four races over the weekend, the 2015 North Carolina Rookie of the Year was able to jump ahead of Queen in the State points by two and was overall pretty happy with how things played out.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for us,” Matthews said in victory lane Sunday evening. “We unloaded at Southern National pretty sporty and sat on the pole and lead most of the laps. Bowling gave me a pretty good run for the money on the outside. The car was off just a little bit till the pressures came up and then the car came to me and we won.”

Matthews and crew would then have to head back to the shop and change the setup over to East Carolina as they are operating with just one car as we close out the NWAAS.

“The crew worked through the night,” Matthews explained. “We don’t usually do something like this. We are used to running one weekend and going to the house and working on it. We got her tuned up using out notes from this track and went out and sat on the outside pole. We just got hung up there on the outside and had to survive all that stuff going on in front and around us, that was a challenge in itself. Battled back to second and by that time Bowling was checked out.”

The second feature was later in the afternoon and probably more importantly after the 150-lap feature from the Southern Modifieds laying down a lot of different rubber. Matthews was able to tweak on the car to get it just right and the team hit on something good because once he got around Bowling on the outside there was not catching him.

“Once we got around him [Bowling] on the outside we just got out there clicking laps off,” Matthews said. “According to Race Monitor Louis White was coming though. I never saw him but my spotter was letting me know he was coming. We were just trying to stay consistent and save tires. We were able to push go when we needed to and survived all the restarts. I just couldn’t do this without my crew and family, of course the fans, just everyone that puts this thing on for us, its been a great weekend.”



P1. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P2. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P3. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P4. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P5. #7 Louis White; 40
P6. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P7. #12 Dean Shiflett; 40
P8. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P9. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P10. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P11. #5 Paul Williamson; 29
P12. #26 Eric Winslow; 15
P13. #67 JT Jackson; 12
P14. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P15. #88 Thomas Marks; 5
P16. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P17 #83x George Brunnhoelzl, 5
P18. #0 Justin Snow; 3

Tyler Matthews Sets Fast Time for 75-Lap Feature at East Carolina

IMG_7889Robersonville, NC – Tyler Matthews set the fastest lap in qualifying with a 15.440 second lap at the 3/8th mile high banked East Carolina Motor Speedway. “I under drover the car that first lap. I knew there was a lot left in the car so I just went with it. Either first or last.” Matthews commented after qualifying was over. Tyler’s team won a pole in a similar way last season with a rain shower between practice and qualifying so they knew not to make any changes between sessions.

He also led green to checkered in that race. “We sat on the pole a couple times here last year and won a couple of them,” Matthews said. “I usually like to go out first and set the pace. The other drivers see the fast lap and it kind of messes with their head. Matthews crew didnt change much on the car between practice and qualifying after the rain washed away most of the rubber. Thomas Burbage was .023 off the pole sitter’s pace and last week’s winner Brenden “Butterbean” Queen will start in third with a 15.501 second lap.

There are 5 support divisions running tonight as well with the Grand Stocks from Langley Speedway making the trip and the regular ECMS divisions for UCARS, INEX Bandoleros, and the Street Stocks with the Bomber division combining and the bomber cars starting in the rear due to car count.

Make sure to keep an eye out on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer) for lap-by-lap coverage of tonights racing action

Late Model Qualifying
Tyler Matthews – 15.440
Thomas Burbage – 15.463
Brenden Queen – 15.501
Louis White – 15.510
Jeff Shifflett – 15.523
Ken Mercer – 15.626
Wesley Johnson – 15.636
Rusty Daniels – 15.714
Malik Koonce – 15.893
Tyler Horne – 15.921
Even Horne – 16.215