Matt Swanson Named Whelen Modified Tour Rookie Of The Year

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Matt Swanson

Matt Swanson

Matt Swanson is unique among his high school peers.

While the other student-athletes at his school participate in a multitude of sports, Swanson is the only one who is a full-time race car driver. And Swanson has excelled in his first season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. So much so that he’s clinched the tour’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors with a race remaining.

The Acton, Massachusetts, teenager finished fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September and eighth at the NAPA Fall Final at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway to pull away from Craig Lutz and secure the honor for first-year competitors.

Heading in to the season final this Sunday at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Swanson has won 12 Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors in the first 16 events.

“We set goals for this season and one of them was to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,” Swanson said. “We started the season just wanting to run well and things fell into place where we now can celebrate this honor.”

Swanson added that his team was also looking to use this year as a learning one to build on for the future.

“The guys on the team worked hard all year and we began the season building our notebook of notes for each track we race at on the schedule,” Swanson said. “We were concerned more with that to start the season and didn’t really worry about finishes until later in the season when we realized we could lock up the ROY award.”

Swanson’s best finish this season so far is a third-place at Thompson in June, but it was his most recent finishes that made the difference for the teenager.

“The third-place finish we had a Thompson was great and that one along with coming from 20th to fourth at New Hampshire and coming home strong at Stafford last weekend helped us a lot.

“I just want to thank Sunoco for this honor and award each week and at the end of the season because it gives new drivers coming in to the series something to race for and as hard as it is to get sponsors in racing these days, every bit of help we get is appreciated,” Swanson said. “This is something I’ll always remember and hope we can build off of this honor like many others have done on the tour and went on to win races and contend for championships.”

Heading into the final race, Swanson leads Lutz 154-134. Andrew Krause, Nick Salva and Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. rounding out the top five.

Rookie points are earned on a 10-to-1 system with the highest-finishing first-year driver in a race scoring 10, the second nine, and so on down to one point for the lowest finishers.

Swanson will receive the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award on Dec. 10 as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.


  1. Awesome awesome AwEsOMe !!! Well deserved !! Great Team and Owner behind him giving him the support he needed. He is a great role model for up and coming drivers behind him. Congrats Matt and Team.

  2. Could not have sais it better SKL fan, great job Matt. Congrats!

  3. Could not have said it better SKL fan, great job Matt. Congrats!

  4. Way to go kid…give em hell this weekend.

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