No one can say Steve Matusek doesn’t mind trying something new.
The veteran Pro Mod standout tried something new this past weekend making his debut in Pro Stock at the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.
Matusek was driving a Ford Mustang out of Richard Freeman’s Elite Motorsports stable.
Matusek qualified No. 5 with a 6.956-second time at 197.65 mph, but that didn’t translate to first round for him Sunday. Matusek cut a great light at .002, but had severe tire shake right off the starting line and he pushed the clutch in. Line, a three-time world champion, clocked a 6.978-second elapsed time for the win.
Despite the loss, Matusek was excited about driving in the Pro Stock ranks. Matusek is the 449th driver to qualify for an NHRA Pro Stock field.
“This was a lot of fun, and it is a learning experience,” Matusek said. “Pro Mod is about survival and Pro Stock is about perfection. I really like being part of a formula in order to get a car from A to B and making a difference on winning and losing.”
Prior to competing at Bandimere Speedway, Matusek made three runs in a Pro Stock car in Tulsa, Okla., and that was to get his license.
“I’m involved with Richard (Freeman) and their company with the Pro Mod deal and he ran that Mustang earlier in Chicago and I’m just addicted to Mustangs. I saw an opportunity to get in the car for the Western Swing and we put the deal together and here we are.”
The Mile-High Nationals were the start of the three-race Western Swing. The final two stops are at Sonoma, Calif. (July 26-28) and Seattle, Wash. (Aug. 2-4).
“I’m running the whole (Western) Swing because I have some sponsors,” Matusek said. “I have a great car and a great team and I’m just excited to be part of it.”
After the Swing, Matusek is keeping the door open in Pro Stock.
“You never know,” said Matusek when asked if he would compete again Pro Stock after Seattle. “We will see how the Swing turns out and we will talk after that. Initially I thought I would just do the Swing, but this is a fun car to drive let me tell you. It’s a lot of fun.”
Because of his Pro Stock commitments in the coming weeks, Matusek said he doesn’t know if he will compete in the World Series of Pro Mod event Aug. 9-10 at Bandimere Speedway.
“I’m not sure we’re going to be able to make it there (to the World Series of Pro Mod event),” Matusek said. “We have had a lot of carnage this year. We have had a lot of problems with the engines and unfortunately the Western Swing and amount of people it takes from Elite in order to manage that, they are all here and these are the same guys who do the engines for the Pro Mod cars. Getting them done and done right and coming up to Denver to have a chance to do that doesn’t look good. I would love to do it, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look good.”
Matusek raced in the World Series of Pro Mod the first two years of the event.
“We got to the semis the first year and won first round last year,” Matusek said. “We would love to come back and do it again. It’s a great event. I just don’t think I will have an engine.”
Matusek also drives a Ford Mustang in Pro Mod.
“Richard is smart, he dangles the Mustangs in front of me and I’m like a fish, like a guppy with a hook in my mouth,” he said. “I’m having a great time doing Pro Stock. I love coming out here and having no pressure and having fun with it. It’s a lot of fun. I like the people. I like the class and we will see where it goes.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019