After having one of the fastest cars in hot laps, Matt Long and his Circle K Pop Racing Team went into their heat at the I-77 Speedway in Chester, South Carolina with anticipations of success. Setting the fastest time in the time trials, Long and his crew were elated at the fact that they had earned the pole position for the feature. Referring to the pole position as an advantage, the driver said, "The track was really rough, and kind of one-laned. It would have been very hard to pass."
Matt Long and Long Racing have experienced success early in 2012 and are anticipating a successful season.
Lining up alongside Steve Banal and Ron Parker, Long knew he had his work cut out for him. At the waving of the green flag he managed to immediately take the lead, but Parker had no intentions of making Long's road to victory easy. In fact, quickly taking the second place position, the driver and Matt Long ran practically door to door throughout a portion of the race. Although Parker challenged him, Long managed to hold the driver off lap after lap until eventually changing his line and taking a comfortable lead. With his competitors left behind and battling for second place, Matt Long took the checkered flag and earned the top spot on the podium.
"The key to success during this particular event was set-up," recalled Long. "The car was free enough to handle the bumps, and fast enough to get me on the front row. I was challenged in the middle stages of the race, but then changed my line and won comfortably. It was really important to get a win this early in the season," he continued. "Usually, we are a slow starting team, and this year has been the opposite; only one finish outside the top four. Winning this early builds excitement and confidence for both me and my team."
Matt Long recently earned a win at the I-77 Speedway in Chester, South Carolina.
When asked if he had a busy season scheduled for 2012, Long said, "Yes, I have more work responsibilities this year. That puts pressure on the 2012 racing schedule to make sure that I get qualified for year-end championships in both of the national series I run, Fastrack, and NDRA."
With a rigorous schedule ahead of him, Matt Long is even more aware of the importance of his team. "Without my crew chief, Jim Cook, and the other guys that help us out, I wouldn't make it to the track for the thirty-five to fifty events that we run a year. It wouldn't be possible. I have a great team, and that makes all the difference," he ensured. Referring to the key to success throughout 2012, Long continued, "Consistency, and learning as we go."
Matt long and his crew are also perfectly aware that a strong maintenance program is essential if they plan to experience success during their upcoming races. "Maintenance is a top priority, shared the driver. "You can't win races if you don't finish. We pride ourselves on maintenance."
With the importance of keeping their car in tip-top running condition, Matt Long and team Circle K Polar Pop Racing depend upon K&N products to keep the internal components of their engines well-lubed and contaminant-free. "We use the K&N 14" X 5" air cleaner, and the appropriate pre-charger/outwear," explained the driver. Listing other K&N products that they depend upon he continued, "crankcase breathers, breathers for fuel cell, rear end, transmissions, filter cleaner and filter oil. We also use a K&N oil filter on the F350 Superduty."
K&N products are awesome," stated the driver. "Very important. Running on dirt tracks means lots and lots of dust. The inside of my motors, transmissions, and rear ends is second to none at the end of the year. There are a lot of new filter companies trying to break into the dirt scene with different philosophies, and they have all failed in one way or another. K&N products and their support are second to none. Hard to fix or improve on K&N products, their results speak for themselves."
When asked what fans could expect from Matt Long Racing in 2012 he said, "I think they're going to be surprised. If the start of the year is an indicator, this could be an unprecedented year for Long Racing."
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