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When Dave Mathis towed into US 131 for last weekend’s Lane Automotive Series doubleheader, he didn’t do so looking for best appearing car recognition.  And, since he lives in nearby Otsego, a long distance award also was out of the question.  Nope, Dave came to race and despite a little problem with the weather which brought an early end to Saturday’s program, he raced well enough over the two days to be named the Gary Hunt US 131 Racer of the Week.

Why?  Well, when you win 10 rounds in 48 hours in a class as tough as Top ET, that’s more than just “pretty good.”  After reaching the quarterfinals on Saturday, Mathis gave himself an early 50th birthday present by winning on Sunday at the wheel of a new, still unpainted dragster built by Bowen Race Cars in Montrose. 

When he commissioned the car, Dave opted for function over frills with emphasis on a four-link, dual shock suspension and a bulletproof rear end.  The engine?  Like everything else, it’s not the biggest or the most tricked out (it still has cast iron heads), but it sure is dependable. 

Of course, Dave wouldn’t have had a chance to cut a .009 light in the final round if not for final round opponent Randy Piechocki of Caledonia who, when Dave’s crew detected a fuel leak, opted to wait until a loose fitting could be tightened down, then lost the race by mere inches.  “My hat is off to Randy,” Dave said.  “For his awesome sportsmanship, he has my vote for Sportsman of the Year.”  Dave, on the other hand, has Randy’s vote for Racer of the Week.

Congratulations, Dave, from Gary Hunt and everyone else at US 131 Motorsports Park.


Gary Hunt is starting his ninth season as the track announcer at US 131 Motorsports Park, a track on which he used to race in the brackets and Stock Eliminator.  His experience as a race car driver of some repute (he won seven points championships) has served him well behind the mike and while he often misses the thrill of competition, his “desk job” is not without its benefits.  “It’s given me the best seat in the house, which is always climate controlled,” he said.  “I never break any parts, don’t have to wait in line and I leave with a little bit of money every week.”