Matt Dumesny wheeled Rod Tiner’s number 83 Sprintcar entry to a strong podium finish at Calistoga Speedway in California over the weekend.
In his first racing experience on a half-mile circuit, the Simmons Civil Contracting-backed racer kicked off the event with a fifth place 19.719s qualifying performance to set him up for a successful night on the challenging circuit.
“The track was gone for qualifying, it was really slick and difficult so I had to be really smooth with the throttle and drive really straight,” Dumesny said. “I was pretty happy with my qualifying result considering I hadn’t raced a half-mile track before.
“The half-mile track is definitely something else compared to anything we have back at home in Australia – it was pretty unreal.”
With improvements made to the Calistoga Speedway circuit ahead of the heat races, the 24-year-old continued to gain confidence as he drove to a comfortable heat race victory.
“For the heats they had actually done some work to the track and it turned out pretty good,” he explained. “We started out of two and grabbed the lead from the get go and I pulled a whole straightaway lead within five laps. We had one restart due to a yellow and I just kept it consistent and we went on to win the heat.”
Starting out of fourth in the A-main following a fourth place finish in the dash, Dumesny controlled his half-mile debut nerves as he pushed his way into third place to capture a career-first podium finish on American soil.
“It was a really good night bringing it home for third place in my first time racing the half-mile,” Dumesny commented. “I was quite nervous going into the race but I just tried to pace myself as it’s a longer race on the half-mile track.
“It was unreal, the speeds are just ridiculous and it’s unlike anything I’ve done before, so I just tried to drive smart and not lose my cool. I already can’t wait to go back and race a half-mile track again.
“I have to say a big thanks to Rod Tiner, he had the car set up awesome all night and it was rolling really well. Also I have to thank Nick Simmons from Simmons Civil Contracting for his continued support as I chase my racing dreams.”
Following a challenging start to his 2018 American racing campaign, the current New South Wales Sprintcar champion now looks ahead to bigger and better performances in the coming weeks.
“It was good to get the monkey off my back and put a night together,” he said. “We’ve been solid with speed each night and we had quick time last week, but we just haven’t been able to put a full night together. It was good to get a podium and I think from here we can work on that performance and try to go a couple better next week.”
Dumesny also touched on the tragic loss of fellow Sprintcar competitor Jason Johnson and sends his heartfelt condolences to Jason’s family and friends.
“My thoughts are with Jason Johnson and his family at the moment following the tragic accident that happened at Beaver Dam Speedway on the same night,” he added. “It’s a sad time for the entire racing community and our thoughts are with Bobbi, Jaxx and the entire Johnson family.”
Dumesny will make his next US appearances this weekend at Placerville and Petaluma in California where he will pilot both the 410 and 360 Rod Tiner-backed 83 machines in a double-header weekend of racing.
For further information on the Simmons Civil Contracting/Matt Dumesny Racing team visit www.mattdumesnyracing.com or Matt Dumesny Racing on Facebook.