May 29, 2011. The 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire season opener took place this past weekend at Mosport Speedway near Bowmanville, Ontario. The driver that drew plenty of attention was New Liskeard, Ontario’s Steve Mathews. The #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford was fast right from the start of practice and Mathews continues to impress every time he takes to the race track.
The #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford was the car everyone was chasing during practice and Mathews showed great speed and maturity. He ran plenty of laps to get comfortable in the seat but didn’t abuse the car. “It felt so good to get behind the wheel of the car for the first time this season” said Mathews. “I just knew we’d run well and couldn’t wait to get started.
Mathews backed up his notable practice speeds by qualifying the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford third for the 200 lap feature event. Mathews wouldn’t remain in third position for very long. Right after an early caution period the race was restarted and Mathews powered his way to the front of the field and took over the race lead on lap eleven.
Maintaining a comfortable pace Mathews had no difficulty staying at the front of the field. “I wasn’t pushing the car at all” said Mathews. “I was setting the pace and it felt great to get out and lead some laps early on” he added.
During a long green flag run and the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford would relinquish the lead and the half mile track that batters brakes would also hamper Mathews. “Because we went green for over 100 laps the brakes were heating up and I just didn’t have a chance to get them cooled down” explained the driver. “That put us back a bit in traffic and it got a little messy after that” he added.
Instead of being out front and in control of circumstances, Mathews and the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford was back in the field and would become tangled with another competitor. The contact would knock the alignment of the front end out and eliminate any chance of Mathews regaining the lead.
Steve Mathews would continue to fight for every position the rest of the way. #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford would finish the race in tenth position. “It’s a bit frustrating and I’m not in the best of moods right now talking about it” said Mathews after the race. “But I guess to be fastest in practice, qualify third and lead a lot of laps is positive. I know we’ll be just as strong at the next oval race at Delaware, I run really well at that track. First though we’re going to race at Circuit ICAR. Our team built a new road course car this winter and we’re looking forward to that event” he stated.
Steve Mathews and Mathews Motorsports will participate in the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series which features twelve events from coast to coast in Canada. All races can be seen on TSN. You can follow the progress of Steve Mathews by logging onto the new website www.stevemathews.ca