Airwaves: Matt Swanson Learning To Conquer Whelen Modified Tour NHMS Draft 

Matt Swanson (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

By Denise DuPont

LOUDON, N.H. – Matt Swanson started the 35-lap Whelen All-Star Shootout for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway third.

He maintained a run with the leaders until mid-race. Then he tried a bold move on the outside to challenge for the front position. Without a drafting partner, and a blistered tire he was hung out to dry losing positions lap after lap. At race end Swanson was tenth.

The #89 team took the lessons learned from the All-Star Shootout and incorporated them into Saturday’s plan for the Whelen Modified Tour Eastern Propane & Oil 100.

Notebook updated the team was ready for Saturday morning’s qualifying. Swanson started seventh in the stout field of thirty-four modifieds and was ready to go.

The 18-year old ran a consistent 100 lap race staying in the same ranks where he started in the field.  Swanson has limited experience on drafting and the “Magic Mile” but he is learning fast from the best and will soon be running for the win.

“All in all it was a great weekend,” Swanson said. “Our Starrett Tools Ford was really good.  It just got better all weekend. Even though it was good, we continue to get the car better. I also had to get use to the drafting all over again after not doing it for a while. This is the strongest that our car has been in a very, very long time. If not ever. I feel like the 89 ran real good.”

A Mandatory caution was called on lap 30 of Saturday’s race to allow teams to add gas or change tires during their pit. The #89 of Swanson had an issue during the stop and re-joined the field in 20th.

“We just had a mishap during the pit stop,” Swanson said. “But to go from 20th to seventh in 16 laps is pretty good. It is almost like a win for us. I just cannot thank everyone enough on my crew, Starrett Tools, Swanson Buick-GMC, Spafco Race Chassis, Robert Yates Racing Engines … all my sponsors and everyone that helps us with this race car.  We had a strong car, but just not the strongest.”

The Starrett Racing Ford team packed up their hauler to head back to home base. They will now review their race weekend and get the equipment ready for the 28thAnnual Starrett 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on August 3.

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