Chase Mattioli, 21-year old member of the Mattioli/Pocono racing family, is doing his best this weekend to juggle his Nationwide debut at Homestead, along with his midterms at Fordham University and his passion for all things environmental.
[media-credit name=”chasemattioli.com” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Mattioli will be on the track for the last Nationwide race of the 2010 season, the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 20th. He will be driving for Baker Curb Racing and will be behind the wheel of the No. 27 CollegeComplete.com Ford Fusion.
“We have had our eye on Chase and what he has accomplished both on and off the track, for quite some time,” Matt Crews, Baker Curb President, said. “He is exactly the type of driver that we want to represent Baker Curb Racing.”
Mattioli for his part is most excited to get behind the wheel, especially for a Nationwide ride, which he has not had since the Loudon race in 2009. Mattioli has been racing in the ARCA Series this year, as well as making his first Truck start at his home track, Pocono Raceway, this past summer.
“This has been a real exciting week getting ready to do this Nationwide thing,” Mattioli said. “It’s kind of weird how we’ve been struggling and struggling to find sponsorship and get the right opportunity and then the last race of the year everything just kind of falls into place.”
Mattioli, who is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx, has also found the perfect match as far as a sponsor for this race. His race car will sport the logo of CollegeComplete.com, a company that helps connect potential students to the colleges and educational institutions where they will be most successful.
“We are extremely proud to join forces with Chase, who is completing his undergraduate degree at Fordham University while pursuing his racing career,” Bill Brebaugh, founding Principal at Ed Ideas, the parent company of CollegeComplete.com, said. “He is the perfect example of a non-traditional student and is an inspiration to those trying to balance earning a living with obtaining the education they need to survive in today’s competitive job market.”
Mattioli can most certainly relate to the struggles of balancing racing with his college pursuits. In fact, he is smack dab in the middle of his junior year, having to fly to Homestead at the last minute for the race after completing his class room obligations.
“I have four classes before I fly to Homestead, so I have to make sure that I make all of them,” Mattioli said. “The cool thing about Fordham is that we have midterms and then finals so I can go racing in between that.”
Mattioli has also just added another sponsor for the Homestead Nationwide race, one that he is extremely passionate about, the environment. He has successfully partnered GreenTree Environmental Consultants, a unique recycling company, who in conjunction with CollegeComplete.com, will provide a scholarship for a deserving student.
“I’m really excited about this because I’m all about recycling,” Mattioli said. “It’s something I’m really trying to push with my racing.”
The amount of the scholarship, however, will be based on how Mattioli performs in his Nationwide debut. If he finishes in the top 20 at Homestead, the matching scholarship will be $15,000 and if he finishes in the top 10, it will be $30,000, providing just another added incentive to the young driver.
“Working in conjunction with Baker Curb Racing and CollegeComplete.com, we have entered into an agreement with HCC Specialty Underwriters where the matching scholarship could now total up to $30,000,” Tim Drillette, CEO of GreenTree Environmental Consultants, said. “Education is a key to a green world and Chase is helping to spread the word.”
Mattioli knows that he has his work cut out for him at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but is trying to keep himself as “humble and mellow as possible.”
“This will be my first real competitive Nationwide start to date,” Mattioli said. “Based on the performance of Baker Curb Racing, we’re definitely going to go and try for a top 15 or top 10.”
Mattioli is, however, aware that he also has a great deal to learn and fully expects to respect the regular season racers, as well as the veterans on the track.
“You just have to show them the respect that they deserve,” Mattioli said. The young driver is fortunate that he has a guaranteed starting spot and will not have to qualify in on time.
Mattioli is also cognizant that there will be many eyes and much media attention on these last races of the season in all three divisions, Truck, Nationwide and Cup.
“Homestead is one of those cool places where all the championships are finalized,” Mattioli said. “Fortunately the Truck and Nationwide championships are decided but the Cup championship is the best I’ve ever seen so far. I’m excited just watching it because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Unfortunately, this young driver and race fan himself will not be able to stay and watch the Cup race. Mattioli has classes bright and early back at Fordham on Monday so he is flying out of Homestead Sunday morning.
The racer, college student, and environmental champion then intends to join his family for a much needed Thanksgiving break, complete with all the trimmings cooked by his grandmother, Rose Mattioli, and the rest of his Pocono Raceway family.
“We’ll have about 15 people over and cook for 90,” Mattioli said. “I’m really excited to go home and see them all.”