Talladega: Chase Mattioli preview

Chase Mattioli Geared up for Talladega Debut CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 22, 2009) -- Chase Mattioli will make his Talladega Superspeedway debut during this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX Talladega 250. Additionally, Mattioli will make his first...

Chase Mattioli Geared up for Talladega Debut

CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 22, 2009) -- Chase Mattioli will make his Talladega Superspeedway debut during this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX Talladega 250. Additionally, Mattioli will make his first appearance in a Toyota, driving the No. 04 for Bobby Hamilton Racing. Racing for what has quickly become the dominant manufacturer in 2009, his association with Toyota has amplified Mattioli's expectation for success at Talladega.

"This has been quite a season for expectations," said Mattioli. "When we got to Daytona for testing in December, we we're second quick on the first day and I've never been that quick out of the box so that was a big motivator for the whole team. When we came back to race, the motor was just off. Now that we're running a Toyota, with a Triad motor, I think we've got a lot to look forward to at Talladega."

Having seen the domination by not only Toyota, but specifically Triad Racing Technologies at Daytona, team owner Bobby Hamilton Jr. decided the time was right to swap his program over to the manufacturer.

"At Daytona, I think it was pretty obvious the Toyotas had the edge," said Hamilton Jr. "I knew that's where we needed to be so I asked the opinion of one of my good friends in racing and he told me if you want the best power, go see the guys up at Triad."

Mattioli is equally as complementary of the Triad horsepower and feels that extra spring in his step knowing he will have the appropriate muscle under the hood to battle the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

"I was really excited when Bobby Jr. told me we'd have a Triad motor at Talladega," said Mattioli. "In racing, you know there are only a few motor packages that are consistently battling for wins and finishing up front and to know that we have that this weekend is a huge relief."

Overall, Mattioli has six previous starts in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. His best finish is a 12th place effort which he earned at Salem Speedway in 2008. This is the driver's second start for the team, which fielded an entry in the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway.

"Chase did a great job at Daytona," said Hamilton Jr. "He has a real feel for the draft."

Circumstances may have put Mattioli in the back for the start of the race, but the young driver was quick to advance through the field.

"We changed motors so we had to start at the back, but within 17 laps he was inside the top-15," explained Hamilton Jr. "He was like a little bull dog coming up through there so we asked him to fall back a bit and he did a good job being smart. He got caught up in a wreck late in the race, but there really wasn't anything he could do so I still felt like he did a great job."

Hamilton Jr. definitely has an eye for talent and the insight to know what it takes to run up front. From the chassis to the motor, Hamilton Jr. feels really good about the team's total package heading into this weekend.

"This car is as slick as a raindrop and it's going to be fast," said Hamilton Jr. "We got really lucky to have a Triad motor and I think the motor deal combined with the equipment we've got and with the way Chase picked up on the draft, I just can't wait to see how he does this weekend."

Giving Mattioli an edge on pit road will be the Rensi -- Hamilton over-the-wall crew. Hamilton Jr. recruited the team to assist on pit road, knowing that every position counts when racing to win.

"It's like the saying goes, 'you can't win a race on pit road but you can definitely lose one', so we wanted to make sure we had solid pit stops this weekend," said Hamilton Jr.

Mattioli arrives in Talladega after a whirlwind week as a hard working college student. The driver of the No. 04 Liquid Fence Toyota is a racecar driver by weekend and a student at Fordham University by week. The so-called double life Mattioli leads, is made possible by his father Joe Mattioli.

"If it wasn't for my dad, I couldn't be doing this," said Mattioli. "Because of him, I can focus on school during the week and know that he's taking care of all our race weekend plans. Because we don't live in the Charlotte area, we're somewhat out of the loop but I love it because at school I feel like I'm just a typical college student. Then I can head to the track and put on my racecar driver hat and go."

In addition to this weekend's Talladega race, Mattioli will compete in eight additional ARCA events in 2009.

-credit: cmPR

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Series ARCA
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Chase Mattioli