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Q&A with West Virginia Super Late Model dirt racer Matt Cosner

Photo: Kyle McFadden/The Racing Experts.

Kyle: How many years of racing is this for you now?

Matt: This is actually our 20th year racing.

K: How old are you?

Matt: I’ll be 28 next month. Been racing since I was 7.

K: So you’ve basically raced your whole life.

Matt: Yup.

K: Everyone’s goal is to win out here, but what keeps you going as a race car driver?

Matt: Obviously trying to win out here is the best part. I just enjoy being competitive. If I’m not competitive, I’m not having a good time. If I’m running up front with [Jason] Covert, [Jeff] Rine and those guys, having a good time and knowing I have a good car — but if I’m not, then I’m not happy.

K: Based on your stats — three top fives and seven top 10s in eight A-mains in the Mid-Atlantic region — you’re up front and being competitive this year. 

M: We’ve actually struggled a bit this year. We’ve been in the back of the good cars, is the way I describe this year. We’re right there. We’re not far off. We’ve had a couple issues the past couple of weeks. Motor hasn’t been running right. Thought we had it fixed, but last night [at Williams Grove] we realized we didn’t have it fixed. Tried some more things [Saturday at Selinsgrove]. Hopefully, that’s the issue to why we are off a little bit.

K: What do you think is going on with it?

M: We’re not really sure. We think it’s an electrical issue of some sort because we’ve tried two different motors and it’s doing the same thing, and we’re still replacing stuff, trying to figure out what it is.

K: Does that give you more confidence as a racer knowing you’re up front with not the juice you need?

M: Definitely. I hope that’s the little bit that we’re lacking. I hope that’s it. I think it is.

K: Obviously still looking for that first win of the season, but how many wins do you have in your Super Late Model career?

M: Um, 15 I think.

K: What would you say your biggest win is?

M: Biggest win would have to be the Labor Day 55 at Bedford [Fairgrounds].\

K: What year was that?

M: 2016.

K: How did that race play out?

M: I don’t really remember to be honest with you. [Laughter].

K: Haha. Did you dominate or something?

M: I think so. I can’t remember if that was the race Rine led a while and I ran him down and passed him or if I led most of it. I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I think I led most of that race; [Dylan] Yoder and Coleby [Frye] were behind me, I think. They caught me right at the end and it was pretty close.

K: Is that one of their bigger-paying races?

M: Yeah. It was $5,000-to-win.

K: What would you say your favorite racetrack to go to is?

M: My favorite track right now would probably be Port Royal.

K: Because of the layout and facility?

M: There’s just no other track where you can race all over like that, honestly. It’s been a little bit different this year; not quite as good, but still really racy — race all over it. Two and three-wide the whole race. There’s no place else you can really go to and do that.

K: For sure. What’s the one track you want to win at next?

M: Port Royal. [Laughter].

K: [Laughter]

M: We’ve led several races there. We’ve led a lot of laps there and just can’t put a whole race together. Always get passed toward the end and I really want to win one there. That’s a goal of mine. Before the year, we said, “We want to win a race at Port Royal this year.” And we haven’t had the car to do that yet. We’ve led another race up there this year, too.

K: Well, there are lots of Super races left on their schedule this year

M: Yeah.

K: How’s your personality inside the car compared to outside the car?

M: I like to think I stay pretty much the same. I don’t get turned into a jerk or anything like that. I put my helmet on try to drive people clean. I’m a clean racer. I take care of my equipment because I have to fix it. That’s the way I drive. I have to take care of my stuff.

Photo: Kyle McFadden/The Racing Experts.

K: You own this car, right?

M: Yes, I do.

K: Are you running Roush-Yates Engines in there?

M: Yeah. Hershey builds them for us, but it’s a Roush-Yates motor.

K: Back to your driving style. If you get into a driver, does it matter to you if you apologize?

M: Yeah, I mean, if it’s something … All of us racers know if something is on purpose, or not. Knowing the situation to race in. If I feel like it’s something iffy, and the person needs to know it was an accident, and it was, I’ll go talk to them after the race or whatever. A lot of the times, everybody knows there’s some give or take, and there’s a lot of mistakes out there. I’m not the one to go run into people. So…

K: Haha yeah. So, what’s the biggest compliment somebody could you as a racecar driver?

M: I don’t know. I always like hearing, “You’re fast.” [Laughter].

K: [Laughter]

M: But haven’t heard that much lately. It’s always good if someone calls you a clean driver and stuff like that. Seeing kids come up and [ask for] autographs after the races. That’s what it’s all about — the fans. That’s what makes it fun. Even on a bad night, if you have kids coming up to you, wanting to talk to you and stuff, you have to turn the frown over and talk to them. I do get enjoyment out of that.

K: Yes. Definitely. My next question kind of spins off what you said. What’s the one thing you wish you could change about dirt racing or a few things you think that could pique the interest of more people?

M: Well, it’d always be nice if it was cheaper. [Laughter]. But that’s not going to happen. I don’t know. If you can get the series’ and the tracks to work together, I think it would make the racing a lot better, you know? Get a lot more cars in one location. If a specific track isn’t racing every week, maybe they could put more time into prepping their racetrack. And then maybe the racetracks would be better because, honestly, we haven’t raced on many good racetracks this year. A lot of tracks need work and they need to get them better. Racing in the rubber is no fun. We’ve been doing that a lot. That’s just my opinion on what would make the racing better.

K: Last one. You’re running the Northeast Ultimate this year, do you have plans on moving up to the World of Outlaws or Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series one day?

M: Ah, no, not really. As long as I’m driving my own stuff, that’s not something we’ll be able to do. We only have one car. We only have a couple motors. We have one car, so it’s hard to do something like that. You never know what will happen in the future. It’s not something in our plans now, no. This year weve stepping up and traveling the Northeast a little bit. Before, we were just regular Friday and Saturday racers. Felt like we wanted to step up and do this. As we have more success, you’ll never now what will happen in the future.

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