March 14, 2019
Swanson Excited About 2019 Season
A Matthew Wiernasz article
ACTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Matthew Swanson is excited to get the 2019 season underway. This season he will return to drive for one of the most Nostalgic modified teams Boehler Racing Enterprises in the Ole Blue number 3.
Swanson told 22News that the team has not slowed down during the offseason. The team has three cars as they are preparing one of them where they could run some Tri-Track Open Modified Racing series races this year. He is planning to run the two cars on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
"Those guys have taught me a lot this winter. Every day has been basically a classroom day. Learning new things and bettering myself as someone that works on my racecars and drives them as well. Really excited for the Whelen Modified Tour season and looking forward to be back full time and looking forward to going down to Myrtle Beach," said Swanson.
Last August at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Swanson filled in for Rowan Pennink who was driving the car at the time as Pennink was going to become a dad. Pennink announced his retirement a couple of weeks later. Swanson never thought it would turn into something more. Looking back on it, Swanson feels like he is dreaming about it that he doesn't want to get pinched and woken up from.
"To think and look back on the year with the family car. We never finished outside the top 10. We've really had a stellar year for the family team with us not running full time and we definitely achieved all the goals we had besides the win with the family car," said Swanson
When Swanson got the phone call that Pennink was going to be a dad for the first time. The crew members on the team wanted Swanson to fill in for Pennink. Swanson will say it all the time that he did not know what to think. In his debut with the team, Swanson finished second in the event in which a team he has never worked with before and almost beating one of the best drivers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2018 champion Justin Bonsignore.
The night Swanson finished second at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. It felt like a win to him. The night the team had where they were fast in practice all day. He didn't think they were outside the top 5 in practice all day. He qualified in seventh that night for the 150 lap race and tied his best qualifying record and to go out and race in the top 5 all night during the 150 lap race. He came in for tires and a little contact put up in the marbles on the restart. and put way back where he thought he was in last place or the last car on the lead lap and to never get a caution and to drive up to second place on the same tire cycle Justin Bonsignore was on. Swanson felt he had a fast race car that night to where the car was capable of winning the event. The misfortune didn't happen and still cannot put that night into his own words. It's just because it meant so much to Swanson to have such a good run in an iconic car and to do it in his first start made it feel more special to do it for the Pennink family at the time and all the BRE guys that put so much time and effort into making the cars what they are made the night so special.
Although it's been a short time with the team, they feel like family to Swanson.
"The whole BRE Enterprises team is a family. That's the atmosphere I like to be around. It's just really good to be back full time this year," said Swanson
Swanson did learn cutting back on his schedule on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour that in the long run, he would get a full-time ride with one of the most iconic teams in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
"It was a big learning curve year just because the cars weren't down at Spfaco anymore. They weren't getting maintained down there. It wasn't like I just kind of went there to clean the cars loaded them up and went to the race track. It was me, my father, and my brothers and Spfaco still helped us but when it came down to it. I wasn't in the shop every day and my brothers weren't coming down after work and my father wasn't coming down to the shop after work. That car wasn't going to the race track so it was a lot more I don't want to say stressful but it was a lot more dependent on myself and my family to get that car to the race track not every week but when we had to race. That car had to be ready and had to be 100 percent and that was one of the reasons we decided to do part-time was because we wanted to make sure we were capable of doing it. Wanted to make sure we had the resources was available to us to do it before we decided to go back full time," said Swanson.
For Swanson to go back to a team who has a major success for over 60 years it feels really good and makes him feel confident as a driver. We're going to have a fast race car everywhere they go this year.
The tracks Swanson looks forward to going to on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule are Loudon and Thompson because it's where he has had the most success.
Swanson told 22News, "There the places where I feel like we unload whether it was with my family car or the 3 car and I felt the most confident as a driver and I felt the most confident in our race car but this year I am looking forward to going to South Boston for the first time and going to Wall Stadium. It felt like an odd coincidence that I ran my first Turkey Derby there last year for Ricky Kluth and we get the news while we were in New Jersey that the tour is coming next year. That kind of allowed me to open my notebook as a driver and just take notes on what I felt my strong suits were. What I needed to work on for when we go back with the tour this year. It's going to be cool because Wall does have a tour division there so I think you'll see a situation like Riverhead where their weekly guys come out of the woodwork to run the Whelen Modified Tour trying to make a name for themselves. I think that's going to be cool and I am also looking forward to going to Stafford just because I know as a driver I need to work on Stafford. Stafford really hasn't been one of my strong suits. I do have a win there in an SK Light. An SK Light compared to a Whelen Modified Tour races completely different. It's one of those places that can really make or break our schedule just because it's one of the first tracks we go to. We go there in the middle of the season where the points battle really starts to heat up and then we go there for our second to last race. The tracks that can really make or break your season are the ones I am most looking forward to going to."
The Musket 250 will make a return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in which it will be the longest race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Swanson is really looking forward to the race this year. Last year, he felt he had a good car but got caught up in a mess early on in the race. He can honestly say as a driver that a lot of it was his fault where he put himself in positions where he didn't need to be in especially that early in such a long race. He's going back to Loudon this year with the same attitude where he is excited to head back.
After watching the 250 laps and seeing the different strategies that people placed with their race teams and race cars. Swanson felt it was a good race and felt New Hampshire Motor Speedway had a great crowd. Swanson was quite impressed with standing on top of a hauler after unfortunately crashing in the event and just seeing the energy from the crowd and the crowd of people that were there to watch the modifieds. Swanson felt it showed the diehard fans that the modifieds do have. He is looking forward to going back with the BRE team this season.
Swanson will also be driving a 350 Super for Bobby Webber, Jr. It means a lot to Swanson that Bobby Webber, Jr is giving him the opportunity to drive one of his 350 Supers. The first time Swanson drove a 350 Super for Webber was during the SBM 125 weekend in 2016. Swanson feels that they are fun race cars and like almost driving a go-kart because they have a lot of downforce. Swanson will get a chance to drive the car at Star, Lee, and Hudson.
The goals for the 2019 season for Swanson are to chase wins and be able to contend for a championship and for him and the team to do their best and put in a 100 percent effort everywhere they go.
The 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will kick off this Saturday at Myrtle Beach Speedway.