Growing up just down the road from Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, Matt Bowling was destined to race. During his racing career, he quickly rose to prominence in Virginia’s Late Model Stock scene, culminating with the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Championship in 2016.
Just as quickly as Bowling reached that mountaintop, however, he quickly faded away. Last seen at the 2018 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 driving for Nelson Motorsports, Bowling now works for the family business, Bowling Logging.
“I’m working for my family business with my dad,” Bowling told Speed51. “I’m helping him run it, and it keeps me pretty busy. We try to get as many loads as we can during the day, and we’re working six days a week. We’re staying pretty busy.”
Away from the track, Bowling is now starting a family, and he just celebrated the birth of his first son.
“I’m trying to raise a family and help the family business, do all of that. I’m just trying to make a living. Me and my wife just had our first son. I’m really enjoying being a dad.”
With the business and family, Bowling stepped away from racing following the 2018 season. Before that, he was an incredibly accomplished Late Model Stock racer.
Bowling’s crowning achievement came in 2016, when he won the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Championship. With 14 wins over the course of the year, Bowling competed in four different states pursuing the honor.
“It was a great year. I was very fortunate to win what we did. I’m thankful for having that success. It was an awesome year and we won a lot of races. It was a fun year, that’s for sure.”
Bowling was also a three-time track champion at South Boston Speedway. It was there that he scored what he calls the biggest win of his career.
In 2014, Bowling won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Along with the top Late Model Stock racers of the time, that year’s race featured NASCAR Cup Series competitors such as Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan.
“Winning the Short Track Showdown, that was a pretty cool race to win.”
Bowling’s primary focus for now is his family and providing for that family with Bowling Logging.
“We’re staying pretty busy. Dad’s keeping me busy, that’s for sure. I enjoy doing that.”
However, at just 26 years of age, Bowling won’t rule out a return to racing if the circumstances were right.
“I always keep the door open. I’ve loved racing my whole life and I love to win. If the best opportunity presented itself, I would definitely consider it.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51