June 24, 2012. Round four of the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series had the usual excitement of close racing and intense competition. In the middle of the action this past Saturday was driver Steve Mathews as he piloted the #15 Mathews Motorsport Ford with skill to another solid run before a mechanical failure ended their night.
Right from the start of the afternoon practice session Steve Mathews demonstrated he would be one of the front runners in the EMCO 200 taking place later that night. Mathews recorded the quickest time in the first session and had consistently fast laps in the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford during both 30 minute sessions. “We had a great car here last year when we finished fourth and I knew this team would be good right away” said Mathews.
Mathews backed up his practice showing with a wonderful qualifying effort posting a time of 19.311 seconds around the half mile oval. For the second straight race Mathews would start the event from the outside of row one. “I was pleased with the qualifying run” said Mathews. “We didn’t need to adjust much at all to the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford and it was a good solid effort for us” he added.
As the EMCO 200 began Mathews looked to take over the lead of the race but relented so as not to use too much of the car too early. “I knew we could run with the top cars but I wasn’t about to put us in a bad position early in the race, so I just settled into a comfortable pace” said the driver.
Mathews would be rewarded for his patience later as the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford took over the race lead on lap 57. “We stayed out when others stopped for fuel because a lot of cars were going a lap down and we thought that strategy would work best for us” explained Mathews. “For the first ¾ of the race I was just riding around at a comfortable pace” he added.
As the race progressed Mathews would surrender the lead but continue to run at ease with the lead group. When it came time for the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford to stop for fuel and fresh tires the crew would complete the service and return Mathews to the race running fourth.
Poised for a charge to the finish Mathews began to notice something amiss with the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford. From the driver’s seat he quickly diagnosed that it wasn’t a flat tire or problem with the driveline, but in the suspension. “The car had a noticeable change in handling on the left front” said the driver. “But in the late stages the only thing to do was ride it out as best I could” he stated.
Unfortunately Mathews would be unable to complete the full distance. Under the strain of the race the upper control arm would eventually fail and force the early exit of the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford. “It’s too bad we had that failure” said Mathews. “The car was really strong and we definitely had something left for the end of the race. It’s frustrating we didn’t get to show our hand completely but sometimes that’s how it works in racing. We’ll lick our wounds a bit and be ready for our next NASCAR race later this summer and also be right back at Delaware for a Late Model event next week”.
Steve Mathews will participate in select events of the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in the #15 Mathews Motorsports Ford. You can watch the EMCO 200 from Delaware Speedway on TSN Sunday July 8th at 3PM Eastern. Race fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Steve Mathews by logging onto the website www.stevemathews.ca and on twitter@15Mathews
Mathews Motorsports is also seeking additional sponsorship partners for the remainder of the 2012 racing season. You can get more information by contacting them at (705) 715-5911