Digging Deep With Denise: Visiting With Matt Swanson

Matt Swanson (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

“Digging Deep With Denise” is a semi-regular question and answer feature with local racers and racing personalities produced by RaceDayCT’s Denise DuPont

Matt Swanson – If you have a chance to drive an SK Modified at Stafford, do it!

Matt Swanson  is a third generation racer from Harvard, Mass. At the end of the 2021 race season Swanson was waiting for a meeting to discuss his 2022 ride with the Boehler Racing Enterprises team. But the meeting never materialized. Instead there was a phone call. The Boehler team had made the decision to pursue other driver options for the iconic No. 3 Ole Blue ride for 2022. So after three and a half years together Swanson and the Boehler Racing Enterprises team parted ways.

Swanson initially was shocked and blindsided by the Boehler team’s decision, but a racing family does what they have to do – go forward. The family had already started pulling together a new car. Northeast short track veteran Tom Bolles had reached out for Swanson to fill the seat full-time in a team car in his stable, the No. 78 Bolles Chrysler Dodge Jeep SK Modified at Stafford Speedway. And team owner Gary Casella still needed a driver for his No. 25 Ceravolo’s Auto car for Open Modified events. So with a switch in direction, Swanson headed to the track and continues the family tradition in 2022.

“The meeting that I thought that we were going to have never happened. It was just a phone call which changed the path and direction that I was going to go this year.” Swanson said about parting ways with the Boehler Racing Enterprises team. “Fortunately enough my father and I had been discussing getting a family car again for a long time. So having those plans in place made it a lot easier. I also already had my plans established to drive for the Bolles this year. I knew I was going to be racing, but it was a culture shock not to be in the blue car anymore.

“All and all, this year I am having more fun than I have had in a long time. Racing with my family again is something that I take a lot of pride in. Because it is my family and friends that puts the time in with the car. And I am having a lot of fun with the [the Bolles team]. And the same thing with Gary Casella and the No. 25 team. We have had great success so far this year. Everyone knows when we are there. We are getting better every week.  We are just having a lot of fun and hopefully we can keep it going.”

How did the Bolles deal come about?

“I was actually [at Stafford Speedway] with the No. 50 team last year and it was the night before the [NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour] race at the Fall Final. Tommy [Bolles] was having some health issues. I was laying under the No. 50 car and my phone started ringing. It was Tommy and he said: ‘Hey, I am not feeling too good. Can you come and drive the car?’ I ran out and got my fire suit and I have been racing with those guys ever since. It was a split [second] decision deal which was kind of how my whole career has gone with all the rides that I have gotten. A spur of the moment ‘I need a driver’ turns into a really good relationship.  So far so good. We have not been up front but every week we are getting better and better. We are growing as a team and hopefully every week we continue to get better and be in Victory Lane shortly.”

Driving weekly at the unique Stafford Speedway, your thoughts?

“Racing every week at Stafford was something that I thought that I was going to have the opportunity to do a couple of years ago. I drove for Ken Barry and the SPAFCO team in their SK Light [Modified]. Half-way through the year we had some engine troubles and that turned us into going tour racing. We kind of flipped the switch big there that time. But now that I am in an SK Modified with a well-known team with a lot of good guys backing it, it is a lot of fun.

“I look forward to every Friday. It is almost like a vacation day to come racing here at Stafford. And then when you get out on the race track it is like no other. The competition in the SK Modified division is unbelievable. If anyone in the country get a chance to drive an SK Modified at Stafford, do it!

“It is the most fun that I have ever had. It is hard, clean racing. You get into some jingles with people but you are going to have that when you race against each other 25 weeks a year. At some point you are going to hit someone and someone is not going to be happy with you. But you know that you have to race the same people every week, so it is almost like the respect that you give is the same respect that you are going to be given back.

“I am having a blast doing it. I am really thankful for the opportunity that Tommy Bolles and all those guys have given me. We just have to be getting better and better every week and there is no doubt in my mind that with the great equipment that Tommy provides us we will be upfront here shortly.”

We will check in with Matt Swanson later in the year for updates on his season

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