Matt Plumb has his sights set on championship Despite move to front-wheel drive, and penalty weight in the car, Plumb can take the Speed World Challenge championship this weekend, but the young racer has a lot on his mind as he and his wife are...
Matt Plumb has his sights set on championship
Despite move to front-wheel drive, and penalty weight in the car, Plumb can take the Speed World Challenge championship this weekend, but the young racer has a lot on his mind as he and his wife are expecting their first baby any day...
(12 October 2004)--Matt Plumb of Newport, Rhode Island, is looking forward to returning to Laguna Seca in Monterey, California for the final round of SCCA Speed World Challenge competition on October 16th to make a final push for the championship. Plumb is third in the standings on the strength of his two wins this season, and still holds a mathematical chance to take the championship in his RealTime-prepared Acura TSX in the Touring Division.
Plumb scored Speed World Challenge Rookie of the Year honors in 2003 in a BMW despite only competing in 8 of 10 events in addition to missing two others due to mechanical difficulties. Plumb has adapted quickly to his new ride this season to take two wins and two pole positions to place himself in the thick of the championship battle even though he'd never raced a front wheel car before this season.
"Moving to a front-wheel drive car this season has made for an interesting challenge," said Plumb. "I had to learn how to get the most out of the Acura and it required some changes to my approach and technique but I think I have adapted pretty quickly and I am hoping to win at Laguna."
The Speed World Challenge features standing start, and another distinction is that unlike other series, the winners are punished. Sure, they get to spray the champagne, and cash the check, but the next race, they also have to carry "reward weight," which can mean carrying an extra 75 pounds in the racecar the next race weekend. Plumb has impressed this season to score so many strong finishes despite having to overcome the weight penalty.
"Its certainly an interesting twist to the racing- to have the car loaded up with lead, but it's been a challenge for me all season," said Plumb. "It is basically like throwing an anchor out the window during acceleration and having a trailer attached to your bumper under braking!"
If he does take the win at Laguna, he won't need anyone to tell him how to get to victory circle, as he's driven himself there before, taking the pole and leading every lap for a dominant win in the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series, the ultra-competitive open-wheel development series that has spawned racers like Formula One racer and Indy 500 Champ Juan Montoya, as well as Champ Car stars A.J. Allmendinger, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The championship isn't the only thing on Plumb's mind, though, has his wife is expecting the couple's first baby any day. Plumb is excited about his impending fatherhood, but is hopeful that he will be able to make the race at Laguna.
"I am not sure what's stressing me out more-becoming a father, or the idea of missing the last race of the season and not getting to make a run at the championship!" said Plumb. "This is a very exciting time for me and my wife, and I just hope I get to see both the birth of my child and the checkered flag at Laguna!"
The SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships will be decided Sunday, Oct. 17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Both the SPEED GT Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships are up for grabs, and the drama will unfold live on SPEED Channel at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern), 1:00 p.m. locally.