- Last Updated on 08:46 AM 01/16/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Matt Bowling was the picture of consistency during the 2012 season at South Boston Speedway. That is why Bowling won his first career track championship and stands as South Boston Speedway’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division champion.
Bowling, who at age 18 stands as South Boston Speedway’s youngest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division champion, scored 13 top-five finishes and finished no worse than eighth in any of his 19 starts at the .4-mile oval last season.
“I just didn’t take any unnecessary risks,” Bowling explained Saturday prior to receiving the more than $10,000 in prize money and awards he earned in winning the track championship.
“We had a good car. Sellers Racing had well-prepared cars for us every weekend. We didn’t have anything crazy happen to take us out of a race. That’s what got it done.”
Bowling got his 2012 season off to a solid start, scoring four top-three finishes that included his first career NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division victory in his first five starts. That combination propelled him to a 23-point lead in the track point standings after the first five races.
From there, unwavering consistency kept Bowling on top of the standings. The only thing that was missing was more wins.
“You always want more, but sometimes you have to take what you’ve got and be happy with it,” Bowling remarked.
“In the end, consistency wins championships. I was very happy with what we did this year. It was a good year.”
Ironically, winning the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship was not initially on Bowling’s radar.
“Actually, we set out to go for the track championship at Motor Mile Speedway, but we started running so well at South Boston Speedway we had to go for it,” Bowling explained.
“It all worked out well. I’m happy to be a part of this.”
The young Ridgeway resident said he felt he had the right pieces of the puzzle in place to win a championship when the 2012 season started.
“I felt like we were going in the right direction with everything,” he pointed out.
“We came out of the box and had a really good run. I thought we had a shot to win the first race, and a little inexperience got me there. I knew from that point we had a pretty good shot at winning the championship.”
Bowling said being South Boston Speedway’s youngest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division champion is a huge honor.
“It’s definitely a big accomplishment for us,” Bowling pointed out.
“It’s pretty awesome. A lot of history has been made at this track, and a lot of great drivers have come through here and have moved up through the ranks and have become some of the sport’s biggest names. I hope I can move on up with them and continue the success we’ve had.”
As far as the upcoming 2013 season is concerned, Bowling has almost everything in place.
“I think we’ve got everything set up right, and I feel confident in myself that I can get the job done if we’ve got everything right,” he said.
“I’ve just got to figure out where we’re going to race this year. I think we can go get it done just about everywhere.”