Matt Long won the season-opening event for the FASTRAK Racing Series in 2019 at Toccoa Raceway. While the path there has been a turbulent one, FASTRAK will once again kick off its 2020 season at the Georgia race track this Saturday, and Long hopes to again start the year with a win at the facility.
Long joined Speed51’s “The Bullring”ahead of Saturday’s race at “The Fastest 1,650 Feet of Dirt in Georgia.” It is a track that has changed a lot in the decade or so Long has been making the trip to Georgia.
“The first time I went there, it was probably 12 years ago, I thought it was closed,” said Long. “I thought there was no way they would race here. Long story short, we raced there and it was a lot of fun. I lost by half-a-car on the last lap.”
Now, Toccoa is one of Long’s favorite places to race. Long’s appreciation for the track has only grown since Mike and Jackie Davidson took ownership of the facility a few years ago.
“Every time I’ve gone back there since the new ownership, I’ve been amazed at the facility, what they’ve done with it, the racing, the atmosphere. It’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been to. I love racing there, it’s a lot of fun.”
While Long has plenty of reason to be excited for the race after winning last year’s season opener, he is mostly excited for the environment he expects there and the fans in Georgia being able to watch the event. As Georgia’s oldest continuously operating short track, there is a lot of history packed into the facility.
“I’m looking forward to Toccoa. It’ll be a great show. It’ll be great for the state of Georgia and that region, because they love it. I think it’s the oldest track in Georgia. I’m extremely excited.”
Another thing he loves about Toccoa is its unique racing surface. Along with its 5/16-mile distance, a rounded backstretch and a compound that allows for multiple grooves over the course of a race gives drivers plenty to think about.
“The cool thing is, if you watch the race, the guy who was second started running more of the top during three and four, where it’s banked a lot more abruptly. The groove sometimes moves. I finished second in the second FASTRAK race there last year to Carson Ferguson, and you can search for the cushion or get back to the bottom.
“That’s what makes it unique. You don’t get that a lot in the south. It’s nice to have a track where the groove moves around like that.”
Fans who missed Speed51’s “The Bullring” on Monday can see Long’s interview in its entirety, as well as the rest of the show, by clicking here.
Speed51, the Official Video Home of the FASTRAK Racing Series, will be at Toccoa Raceway on Saturday, June 27 for the season-opening event. Monthly and yearly subscribers will be able to watch a live video stream of the FASTRAK race for no additional cost.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo