The world of sports is one of no guarantees for even the most seasoned competitor; this is especially true in auto racing. Competing mostly on the dirt tracks of the Mid-Atlantic states, Maryland Super Late Model driver Matt Cosner has experienced this fact first hand in the last year.
After a tough 2018, spent mostly on the ULTIMATE Northeast Super Late Model Series, the same troubles seemed to linger into 2019, that is until less than two weeks ago. Competing at The Great Cumberland Raceway, Cosner at last broke through to reach the top step of the podium once again in the Queen City 50 event.
Now, he hopes to have momentum on his side heading into Saturday’s ULTIMATE Northeast event at Tyler County Speedway (WV).
“We were way overdue for a win. We have been struggling since last year and even going into this year, we struggled with the car and couldn’t get anything to come together," Cosner told Speed51. "But, we were right there in the ULTIMATE Series and it makes me wonder what we would have been able to have done. So, hopefully we’re back on track now."
For the majority of his career, Cosner has been at his best as a home track driver, but now he hopes to continue molding himself into a winning touring competitor.
“Started off running mostly Bedford, that’s where I cut my teeth Super Late Model racing," he stated. "We got our first win in 2015, then I won nine features in 2016 including five in a row to end the year at Bedford. In 2017 we won four races, then last year we didn’t win any. Now we that we got the monkey off our back, hopefully it’ll continue to go well.”
In order to up his game in 2019, Cosner traveled down to the Deep South for Georgia/Florida Speedweeks with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, where earned a Strawberry Dash victory on one night.
“We went to East Bay and Golden Isle. We wanted the opportunity to get the experience of running with those guys," he said. "Florida was a big learning experience, we made half of the races we entered in, and that was my goal going in. Not too bad overall. But, racing with that caliber of guys helps you out no matter where you go or who else you compete against; it makes a big difference.”
He hopes that his time spent over the winter ups his game, including heading into the weekend ahead at Tyler County, a track where he does not have much track time.
“I don’t have a ton of experience there and it’s been mostly in Modifieds, that was back before I had a Late Model. So I’ve been there some, with the Late Model its only been about three times, just for special shows really. Last year, we didn’t run that great at the ULTIMATE race there, still finished top ten. But I like the track, we may bring both our cars, but we’re probably going to concentrate on the ULTIMATE race. There’s going to be some good guys there, but we should be able to compete for the win.”
Going into the remainder of 2019, Cosner looks to run the majority of the ULTIMATE Northeast calendar, while running as many big races as possible.
"We missed the first race for ULTIMATE Northeast this year, but we are going to run as many as we can going ahead. There’s a lot of overlapping races that we would all like to do, we just have to pick and choose where we go instead of committing to one deal is kind of what we’re doing. So, we’ll bounce around and do what makes sense. So, we’ll do a lot of ULTIMATE, Lucas when they come around, and some big money shows at Bedford."
Race fans can follow the ULTIMATE Northeast Super Late Model series throughout the year on the Speed51 Network, "The Official Video Home of ULTIMATE and FASTRAK."
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com