SPOKANE, Washington -- Matt Hall, a former late model star at Tri-City Raceway, has quietly put together a solid sophomore season on the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring division. With four races to go the Spokane, Wash. native sits in 13th place on the points ladder, only 36 short of twelfth place and 47 behind Wes Rhodes in 11th place.
A constant goal for the 2002 season has been to finish in the top-10. Hall earned his first top-10 finish of the season on August 3 at South Sound Speedway. Aiming for more will be the primary focus for the remainder of the year.
“We’re looking to get top-10 finishes. That is our main goal for the rest of the year,” Hall said. “It would be nice to get into the top-10 in points when the season is over but we need to get better finishes and get more track time.”
“Every week we have been getting better results.”
Hall, like many of the drivers on the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, is a second-generation racer. His father Ron has been a car owner for many famed Northwest drivers including Kirk Rogers, Monte English, and Greg Biffle. Biffle’s lone win on the Northwest series came behind the wheel of the No. 28 Hall Motorsports Chevrolet. Matt said having those drivers, including Biffle, as resources has molded his young career.
“He (Biffle) is so smooth and that’s what I’m trying to be like in the car,” Hall said. “He’s taught to be smooth in the dog leg of Tri-City Raceway and it’s really helped out.”
Hall admits that he has to bring his own driving style to the team to find success. “We’ve had to throw our old notes out because I’m driving and there is a difference in my style and those drivers with our race cars.”
Hall honed his driving skills in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series late model division at the .500-mile West Richland, Wash. facility before last season’s rookie run in the Northwest series. Hall said he looks forward to the Labor Day weekend racing action on his home turf.
“I’d love to bring a win home from there,” he said. “My mom has been battling cancer and she’s going to be at this race, she said she doesn’t want to miss this one.”
As a young parent with the demands of raising a family, coupled with the support needs of a loved one battling cancer, Hall has found that being behind the wheel of his American Way Collision Center Chevrolet is soothing during a race weekend.
“I put all of the distractions of my life behind me when I’m out there in the race car,” he explained. “It’s been hard but you have to do what you love and stay focused.”
An additional source of comfort comes from aligning with A.C. Nutter and his well-known racing engines. One of Hall’s fallbacks in 2001 was motor failure in the early going. Since he added the Nutter horsepower to the race car, his confidence level and consistency have improve Hall said.
“We’re doing a lot better this year because we have the Nutter motors. They’re staying together for us and A.C. is a great guy to deal with. He has treated us right over the last year and that has been very nice.”
Hall and the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series stars run the Tri-City 125 on Sunday, September 1 at Tri-City Raceway. For ticket information call (509) 967-9271 or log onto the track’s website at www.tricityraceway.com