Sielsky Looking Forard To Racing In Hometown This Weekend Chicago Native Returns Home as ASA Series Visits CMS Mooresville, NC (July 5, 2001)- American Speed Association Rookie of the Year Candidate Matt Sielsky is making his return to the ...
Sielsky Looking Forard To Racing In Hometown This Weekend
Chicago Native Returns Home as ASA Series Visits CMS
Mooresville, NC (July 5, 2001)- American Speed Association Rookie of the Year Candidate Matt Sielsky is making his return to the "Windy City" as he participates in this weekend's Chicago 200 at Chicago Motor Speedway. For Sielsky, it will be exciting, as the 23-year-old driver will be returning to the city where he spent all of his time growing up during his childhood. It will be his first opportunity to race near his hometown on such a professional level.
"I am looking forward to this race weekend and have been all season long," said Sielsky, who grew up in Northbrook, a north-side suburb of "Chi-Town." "I am looking forward to seeing all of my friends and family and then race in my hometown with ASA. A lot of my family and friends haven't been able to see me race, so this will be a great opportunity to bring everyone together. I really enjoy being the hometown boy and letting everyone know what a great city Chicago is."
For many years, Chicago was far from the hotbed of racing as other Midwest cities such as Indianapolis were considered the "hotbed of racing." For Sielsky, one hometown CART Indy Car team and some encouragement from his father was all it took for him to make racing his first passion and something he knew he wanted to chase.
"It was all about the Newman-Haas team that was based right there in Chicago," said Sielsky, who is fourth in the 2001 ASA rookie point standings. "It was when they had both Paul Tracy and Michael Andretti driving for them. Their shop was just across the street from a place my family and I used to always eat at. I would go over there and just stare in the windows and look at all the cars. Eventually, it led to my getting a job for them, doing little things such as inventory and sweeping out the shop. It was so exciting and it just sparked my love for racing."
"I was never into football or basketball or baseball, although I am a Chicago sports fan! But as long as I can remember, it has been all about racing for me. Eventually, my dad took me to go go-kart racing at a couple of schools and I was totally hooked. That is all I wanted to do and I started racing go-karts."
To this day, Sielsky says he maintains a great relationship with both Carl Haas and Paul Tracy. Both often call Sieksly to see how his racing career, even though now digressed toward full-bodied stock cars, is treating him and what they can do to help.
"I still talk to both Carl (Hass) and Paul (Tracy). In fact, Paul is one of my best friends. We were teammates when I drove for Team Green (in open-wheel style racecars) there for a while, so we are pretty close. Looking back on it, it is amazing how things end up running full circle."
Sieksly moved from his go-karts to the open wheel ranks, the path that would eventually lead him to the "Yard of Bricks" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He spent time in the Formula Ford 2000 series as well as the Toyota-Atlantic Series.
Eventually though, his career brought him to the ASA ACDelco Series, where he is competing for rookie of the year honors in the 2001 season. Through 10 events on the 20 race schedule, Sielsky sits 12th in the drivers points with a season best finish of ninth at Concord Motorsport Park.
Sielsky has been fortunate to take up residence in the stock car breeding ground of North Carolina. But Sielsky is first to admit he never forgets where his roots are. "Chicago is my town. It is the greatest city around. It has everything, from a great nightlife to all kinds of great tourist attractions. I can remember spending so much time at the Sears Tower and other great Chicago landmarks. It is just a great place to come from and I can't wait to take the track by storm."