Matt Swanson Looking To Start Monaco Modified Tri-Track Streak In Return To Star On July 22 

Matt Swanson (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Walking through the pit gate at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. is nothing new for Acton, Mass. Modified racing veteran Matt Swanson. 

The 23-year old has been racing a Modified at Star since he was 13 years old. 

But he knows when he walks through the pit gate at the track on July 22 for the annual Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series event at the quarter-mile banked bullring, there will be a little different feeling. 

Swanson will walk through the gate that day as the most recent series winner following his first Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series victory on June 28 at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. 

“I’ve never been in this situation,” Swanson said. “It’s something that I’m not really used to. But I think I’ll have a different sense of confidence. But just because I won one and everyone says the rest of them will come a little bit easier after winning, I’m still going to put the same amount of pressure on myself, I’m still going to be hard on myself and I’m going to go to the race track to drive every single lap that I can as close perfect as I can.” 

Swanson and his Casella owned team will be carrying momentum into Star. In addition to winning at Seekonk, Swanson finished third in an Open Modified event at Star on July 1 and won the Milton Cat Modified Racing Series event at Wiscasset (Me.) Speedway on Saturday. 

Swanson goes into the event at Star as the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series points leader after two of six series events. He had a fifth place in the season opening event at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt. on May 28.

“When it comes down to it these races are not easy to win,” Swanson said. “If they were easy to win everyone would run them. It takes more than just a good driver, it takes a good crew, a great crew chief and really good equipment to perform well at the level we’re trying to perform well at. I think we have a really good team, a really good car and everything is going really good right now. We just have to keep fighting and keep the red No. 25 out front.” 

The emotional ties to Star are deep not only for Swanson but also for Casella and car chief Steve Mullins. 

“Star Speedway means a lot to me,” Swanson said. “It’s what really started my career. The Webber family [owners of the track] is really the reason why I am where I am today. They gave me the opportunity at 13-years old to driver a Tour Type Modified. Without [the late] Bob Webber Sr.. Bob Webber Jr. and Marco Turcotte, who was my car owner at the time and since passed, without those three people none of this would be possible. Who knows where I’d be if it wasn’t for them giving me an opportunity. Star is always been a place that has a special place in my heart and it’s always a place that I’m excited to go to.

“Star is a place that I haven’t gotten that elusive [Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series] win and it’s one that I really really want to get. It’s one of those one’s at the top of my list. And it’s a place that is not only close to my heart but it’s close to [car owner] Gary Casella’s heart as well. Gary raced there. And our car chief Steve Mullins, he raced there. It’s a place where when we know we’re going there we make sure we put 150 percent effort into the car in the shop.” 

In five Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series events at Star since 2019, Swanson has two seconds and a third. 

“I feel like I have more second or third place finishes at Star Speedway in Tri-Track events or Open events than most people have starts there,” Swanson said. “I think throughout the last few years, if we haven’t had a mechanical problem there we’ve either finished second or third in all my Tour Type Modified races there. 

“It’s a place where we’re always really competitive we just always either seem to have a wrench thrown into our strategy that holds us back or we have a second place car. It’s a place that I want to win at more than pretty much anywhere else. It’s just another thing to look forward to with the momentum we’re carrying with the No. 25 car right now. We had a really good run there in the 100-lapper [on July 1]. We definitely have a good baseline to go back with. We’re just going to keep working hard.” 

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