From wreckers to checkers, Massachusetts native Matt Swanson experienced quite a weekend in the state of Connecticut. After a violent crash at Stafford Motor Speedway during Friday’s Open Modified 100, the Acton, MA young gun put on a clinic Saturday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for his first Modified Racing Series victory.
Teaming up with veteran car owner Gary Casella for both races on the weekend, Swanson had to shake off plenty of soreness, and the team a hefty repair list to focus on putting the second car in victory lane. In the first MRS event of 2020 and the first racing event at the Speedbowl since October 2018, Swanson did not hold back, leading wire to wire after starting from pole position.
While Swanson normally drives for Boehler No. 3 team, and Casella teams with Ronnie Williams in the No. 25, this is not the first time this combination has run together. But, Saturday was the first time the duo collected a trophy.
“I took one of the hardest hits of my career the night before,” Swanson said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to come here today just because of how extensive the damage is on the other car. But, Gary trusted me, believed in me, and said we’re coming here today to chase a win.”
Keeping the likes of Eric Goodale, Richard Savary, and Anthony Flannery in his mirror over the 75-lap event, Swanson gave credit to the fast, red No. 25 out of the Casella garage.
“From when we unloaded off the truck this morning, the car was really good. I know Gary always has a good piece here and just thankful we could rebound from last night.”
Anthony Flannery held on to the runner-up spot, while Donnie Lashua fought to finish in third ahead of Eric Goodale and Andy Shaw.
The next Modified Racing Series event is scheduled for September 5 at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH).
In the meantime, Swanson returns to Ole Blue No. 3, while Casella welcomes back Ronnie Williams for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series on August 15 at Monadnock Speedway (NH).
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51