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Matt Long Walked Away Victorious at the NDRA Late Model Race in Lancaster

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Matt Long earns his first victory of the season at Lancaster Speedway
Matt Long earns his first victory of the season at Lancaster Speedway
After battling Ron Parker to the very end, Matt Long had to settle for second place when the checkered flag deemed the race over at Gastonia, North Carolina, on Friday, June, 17, leaving him hungry for a win. With that fierce battle behind them, Matt and the Circle K Team pulled into Lancaster, South Carolina on the following night with fire in their eyes. Immediately grabbing the lead in the feature, Matt never looked back, and when the dust had settled, the driver had earned his first victory of the season.
K&N sponsored Matt Long and the Circle K Team Car
K&N sponsored Matt Long and the Circle K ThirstBuster Race Team


"It felt good to get our first win of the season," explained Matt. "We had a great year last year, and had been struggling a little bit during the beginning of this season. We've been running okay, but just haven't been able to get a win. It felt great to get that monkey off of our back."

When asked the importance of the win, Matt was quick to answer. "It was real important. It gets everybody motivated," he said referring to himself, his team and sponsors. "I think it has already begun to have a positive effect on the remainder of the season. We've run way better since then. We ran well up to that point, but it helped us get a little extra momentum and things going our way."
Matt Long's Dirt Late Model Car
Matt Long's Dirt Late Model Car


According to Matt, the key to success on that particular night was qualifying. He has somewhat struggled on tracks this season where they have converted to one-lap qualifying. "Basically, the key to winning the race was laying down a lap that was conservative, yet aggressive, and being able to start on the front row," shared Long.

Although finishing second on the night previous to his win, the race was an obvious motivator, and with the win at Lancaster under their belts, Matt and his team are anticipating continued success throughout the remainder of the season.

According to Long, with an excess of 20 races already behind them, the key to finishing the remainder of 2011 on a positive note depends a great deal upon proper maintenance of their car. "Now is the time when things start breaking, and you start seeing a lot of guys experiencing mechanical failures" shared the driver. "We've already run more than twenty races, so keeping up with our maintenance is very important. We need to continue inching along here, as we have since back in May when we started running a lot better. We just need t stay on top of things; stay focused and continue doing the things we've done all year."

Speaking of a maintenance program, Matt stressed the importance of keeping the internal parts of their engine well-lubed and dust free. "We use K&N Filters everywhere we can," stated Matt. "We clean and spray them every race. The importance of filters is sometimes underestimated in dirt racing. There's so much dirt and dust out there, and filters are so important. I've been using K&N Filters since I started racing, six years ago," explained Matt. "The guy who rebuilds my engines said everything looks brand new when he breaks them down. I've never had to put bearings in a motor and don't think you could ask for anything better."

As the man behind the steering wheel, Matt Long is credited as the sole victor by a portion of his fans upon crossing the finishing line first, but the driver is quick to credit his crew as a very important and necessary component of success as well.

As does his crew, Matt also appreciates, and has an acute understanding of the importance of his sponsors and fans. "I appreciate all of the fans," he said. "I'm not from this area originally, but they've adopted me into this circuit, and we have a good following down here. That makes it a lot of fun, and at the same time, it also makes everything that much more important for my sponsors. We try to do a good job for them, and I want to thank and tell them that I'm really looking forward to the remainder of the year. I think there are good things to come here."

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