Pocono's Chase Mattioli Adds More Flavor to Hantz Group 200 at Toledo Speedway TOLEDO OH (5-15-08) -- Twice each season the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to the home of the renowned Mattioli family -- AKA Pocono Raceway. This year, the Mattiolis...
Pocono's Chase Mattioli Adds More Flavor to Hantz Group 200 at Toledo Speedway
TOLEDO OH (5-15-08) -- Twice each season the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to the home of the renowned Mattioli family -- AKA Pocono Raceway. This year, the Mattiolis are headed to the home of the ARCA RE/MAX Series -- AKA Toledo Speedway; at least one of them is.
Eighteen-year-old Chase Mattioli, the grandson of Pocono patriarchs' Dr. Joe and Rose Mattioli, has filed an entry for Sunday's Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
Like a lot of teenagers these days, he's into video games, TV, concerts, snowboarding and just plain goofing around. But he's also into racecars. And with a last name like Mattioli, he certainly fits the mold.
"I was seven years old when I started racing at the Lehigh Valley quarter midget track," said Mattioli. "The first time I got behind the wheel, I was petrified. I only got to make one turn before I crashed head on into the wall. Funny thing is, it was at that moment I knew I wanted to be a racecar driver."
And like most up and coming drivers, regardless of last names, he's working his way through the ranks. From quarter midgets to Legends Cars to dirt modifieds to SCCA road course racing to the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Mattioli is putting in his time in the driver's seat. ARCA RE/MAX Series-wise, he's off to a commendable start with a solid 12th place finish at Salem where the Long Pond, Pennsylvania driver made his one and only series start back in mid-April.
Mattioli is preparing to try again -- this time at Toledo Speedway in this Sunday's Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
"Outside of a picture on the website, I've never seen the place, but I'm really excited, especially since we finished 12th at Salem.
"I've done about 300 laps at Toledo on the ARCA SIM game so that's helped some. And we're going to test at Hickory this Thursday. I've also got AP tests (college preparatory exams) on Wednesday and Friday, so it's going to be a really busy week for me."
Mattioli will be driving the no. 14 Pro Tech & Associates Ford out of Andy Hillenburg's shop. Veteran crew chief Dave McClure, who worked with Chad McCumbee during his ARCA tenure, will be the crew chief on the car at Toledo.
"Andy's (Hillenburg) got me feeling great about everything; I just can't wait to go."
Beyond Toledo, Mattioli's ARCA RE/MAX Series plans include attempts at Pocono Raceway June 7th and August 2nd as well as the road course event at the New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 28th. In addition, selected NASCAR Camping World East Series races are included on Mattioli's 2008 racing calendar.
"This year is basically all about learning. We want to win, but we certainly don't expect it. It's about starting and finishing races. We managed to dodge all the wrecks at Salem; hopefully Toledo goes the same way -- we'll see what happens. I've got a great crew behind me -- you never know."
In addition to a solid start in racing, Mattioli's an Honor student and maintains a 3.9 GPA and is preparing to graduate from Scranton Preparatory High School this spring with plans to attend Fordham University this fall.
Even with racing as a primary passion, Mattioli seems to have his priorities in order.
"My family is by far the most important thing in my life. They've always been fantastic and always supported me above and beyond everything I do. My dad has helped me get to places I never thought possible in my racing career -- helping me steer towards a great ride in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
"Another thing my family has impressed upon me is a strong responsibility to help others in the community and the world. Last summer, I went to the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota. Spent about 10 days there with a bunch of my classmates working with children from the Lakota tribe. These poor kids suffer from extreme poverty and broken homes, which has led many of them to drugs. When we were there, we were able to refurbish the community center and put on a carnival day for the little kids. It was a really great experience, and I'd like to do more of it."
Above and beyond all that, Mattioli wants to race, and, believe or not, is the first from the renowned Mattioli family to pursue a professional driving career.
"Being the first one in the Mattioli family to pursue a racing career, I feel like I have a great responsibility to live up to."
That responsibility continues this weekend when the Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care rolls off on the Toledo Speedway oval Sunday afternoon, May 18th. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will join the festivities with the Champion Credit Union 50 lap feature event Saturday, May 17th, the same day the ARCA RE/MAX Series cars practice and set the starting field in SIM Factory Pole Qualifying. The Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care is scheduled to roll off Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm ET.
In addition, the 4th Annual Fan Fest will accompany the ARCA double-header weekend Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with interactive attractions, race car haulers and much more.