By Jordan Dodson
Many NASCAR fans start their Sunday mornings off by watching RaceDay on SPEED. That is where many people will recognize Matt Clark as he joins John Roberts, Larry McReynolds, Kenny Wallace and Kyle Petty for pre-race coverage during the NASCAR season.
Matt Clark brings a lot of experience to the RaceDay crew. Clark spent ten years as a jackman, pit crew coach and manager. Clark has also participated in over 70 wins with Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing. A highlight of Matt Clark’s career was leading the No. 31 pit crew to the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew Challenge championship. These are just some of the highlights in Clark’s career.
I have had the opportunity to meet Matt Clark, as well as, ask him a few questions. Through his answers, I learned what it takes to make a team successful, special moments in his career and how he got to where he is today. He brings a different view than most expect, but a view that cannot be overlooked.
Check out what he had to say:
Q: What drove your interest to get involved in NASCAR?
A: My dad was a street racer who ran hard before he had a wife & kids. He saw his share of close calls, wrecks & even the death of a close friend. He purposed that his kids would get an education & play stick & ball sports…but somehow I found my way into the sport.
Q: Being a part of over 70 Sprint Cup wins, what win(s) stands out to you the most?
A: I have some great memories.. JJ’s first win..JG Bristol night race..but I’d have to say JJ’s win at ATL the week after the plane crash has to be the most memorable due to the emotional circumstances.
Q: As you worked with different pit crews through the years, what was the biggest change you experienced in which pit crews prepared for races during the week?
A: Biggest issue these days is that there is no margin for error..there are so many good teams and they work on pit stops. Also, it’s difficult for these cars to pass so track position is everything. There are basically three areas to get track position..qualifying, restarts & pit stops. These guys are on the jagged edge every stop.. It’s like a qualifying run each time the car hits the box.
Q: Through your experiences of working with Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing, what qualities or values makes an organization successful?
A: This sport is about people and resources. When you put the right people in the right positions and then give them the resources they need, good things will happen.
Q: How did you make the transition from working with a NASCAR team to covering the sport on SPEED and what led you to that decision?
A: Steve Byrnes was instrumental in my transition from the team side to the TV side. I’d done a few spots for Race Hub over the summer of 2011. When I was released from RCR in the fall, Steve asked if I’d consider doing Hub once a week and the rest is history.