Coming off a win in his first-ever pavement Modiifed race, Joey Coulter’s focus will be back on the Rum Runner Racing Dirt Late Model program this weekend. Coulter hopes some of that beginner’s luck will carry on to his driver this weekend, Matthew Nance.
Nance, a former FASTRAK Racing Series champion, will be making his first-ever appearance in the Rum Runner entry Thursday night as part of a tripleheader weekend. The ‘Ronda Rocket’ will compete Thursday at Tri-County Race Track (NC) in the Schaeffer’s Fall Nationals Series, then join the Carolina Clash Super Late Models Saturday at Lavonia Speedway (GA) before heading north to Laurens County Speedway (SC) with the ULTIMATE Super Late Models.
Coulter shared the news on Speed51’s “The Bullring” on Monday following his SMART Modified Tour win at Florence Motor Speedway (SC).
“I’m going to be running the car most of the time when I can get back,” said Coulter. “This weekend, Matthew Nance will be running the car. We’ve got to do a little schedule work after that to get caught up with our program.”
Nance knows he’s in for a busy weekend of racing but is ready for the challenge.
“It’s going to be a busy three days. I’m sure we’ll all be tired when we get back on Sunday,” said Nance. “It’s a pleasure for him to let me fill in for a while. I’ll be in some really good equipment. We’ll see what kind of notebook we can build.”
While this weekend marks Nance’s first-time in the driver’s seat for the team, he has been a part of the Rum Runner Racing family for several years.
“Since 2015, he’s been working part-time at our shop, helping us hang bodies and stuff like that,” said Coulter. “Him and his family are a great bunch of people. We’ve had a lot of great people around us.
“He’s a hard worker. We love giving people like him opportunities because they show that grit and work ethic to push harder. That’s what it takes in dirt racing, it’s not for the thin of skin.”
Nance admits that working with Coulter and Rum Runner Racing has taught him a lot of racing lessons, both in the shop and on the track in his own personally-prepared Dirt Late Models.
“My racing program, even my own stuff, has picked up over the years learning from them. It’s helped me driving wise and helped my stuff get better, too, so it’s been worth it.”
While Nance is a proven racer, he admits this weekend adds a little pressure compared to his normal efforts as an owner/driver.
“There’s a lot more pressure when you’re running someone else’s stuff to run good. When I run my own stuff, it’s on me. It’s my pocket if we run good or not, my equipment if I tear it up.”
Nance hopes to score some strong finishes throughout the busy weekend to build some momentum into the fall months, and believes they could even be within reach of a checkered flag if all the cards fall right.
“With this being the first time I’ve driven for them and working with Harold [Holly, crew chief], I’d like to get a top-10 all three nights and a top-five, that would be great for our notebook. You always like to win, that’s what we’re going for, but we’ll see what notes we can come up with. I think we should be in the ballpark.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo