Funhouse: Dillon Moltz Enjoying Making Himself At Home At The Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – Dillon Moltz says he isn’t trying to strike fear into the hearts of his competitors in the Late Model division at the Waterford Speedbowl, but if that’s a byproduct of his driving style, he doesn’t mind.

Dillon Moltz

A change in scenery has brought a change in attitude when it comes to racing this year for Moltz. After years of competing in the Late Model division at the Stafford Motor Speedway, Moltz has come home in a sense in 2012, and in the process has rediscovered fun in racing.

The Waterford resident is in his first year competing in the Late Model division at the Waterford Speedbowl and has quickly established himself as a force on the track, racking up four victories along with a reputation for not being afraid to fight aggressively for positions on the .375-mile shoreline bullring.

Moltz takes a 26-point lead over three-time division champion Bruce Thomas Jr. into Saturday’s 300 show at the track. Keith Rocco is third in the standings, 58 points behind Moltz.

Moltz is driving a car owned by former Speedbowl Late Model competitor Mark Cooper.

The Late Model division runs a 50-lap feature on Saturday at Waterford, 20 laps more than the usual distance for the division. At Stafford Moltz had a knack for running well in extra distance events, winning two 100-lap events in 2008 there and one in 2009.

Moltz was the youngest winner in the history of the Late Model division at Stafford when he won there for the first time on Sept. 7, 2007. Over the next four seasons Moltz continued stockpiling the wins at Stafford. In just over four seasons of competition at the half-mile he recorded 17 victories, eighth all-time in the division’s history.

But he said the weekly grind at Stafford started to feel like more of a job than a passion. His family decided after last season to leave Stafford and look to another avenue for competition. Over the winter Cooper approached Moltz about driving his car part-time at Waterford this year.

“This was only supposed to be a few shows I was going to do and he was going to do and I was going to take some time off, but I guess it’s come together where that’s not the case and I’m having a blast,” Moltz said. “Four wins, not even halfway through the season, nothing wrong with that.

“We were thinking at this point in the year we’d just be getting our game together, just the meshing of a new team. But me and Mark get along great. I’m having 110 percent more fun [at Waterford] I’ve been smiling. I don’t feel like it’s a job. I’m having blast.”

Moltz celebrated his 21st birthday on June 16 at Waterford with his fourth win of the season, and it came in dramatic style for him, a habit he’s made this year at the Speedbowl. Moltz has shown, despite being the new guy in the Waterford ranks, he’s not afraid to mix it up.

Moltz understands that he’s built a reputation as an aggressive driver, but doesn’t agree with those that categorize him as dirty.

“I know I’ve never gone out and blatantly wrecked someone, no matter how mad I was,” Moltz said. “I’ve never spun anybody out all year long and there’s multiple guys that are winning races and running up front that have done that. That’s not my style. I’m going to run you hard, 110 percent, every lap. You give me an inch, I’ll give you an inch back. If you take three from me I’m going to take three from you. I’m here to win. I don’t want it to be checkers or wreckers, but if I can go for it I’m going to go for it. But if I don’t have a fast enough car I’m going to take what I can get. People who get greedy are the ones that get wrecked.

“I guess [having a reputation as aggressive] works to your advantage, but my objective every week isn’t to put fear into people.”

One thing Moltz has carried over to Waterford from his days at Stafford is his wild post-victory celebrations, something he says he doesn’t expects to change any time soon.

“Run every lap like its your last and treat every win like that,” Moltz said. “I’m not a big [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] fan, but one thing I took from him a long time ago is that, everyone would ask him why he would get so crazy celebrating every win if it was just another race. Well, you never know when you’re going to get another one, that could be your last. I’ve taken that to heart and no matter what it is that I win I treat it like it’s my last.”

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