Youth racing: Tyler “Mad Dog” Matheny wins Rookie of the Year in Red Bluff Outlaw Winter Series
It has been only a year since Tyler Matheny, 10, started driving Outlaw winged karts, but he’s already turning heads and winning awards.
After a standout season racing in the box stock division in the Red Bluff Outlaw Winter Series where he finished eighth in the points standing, Matheny was named Rookie of the Year.
For Matheny, a Nevada City School of the Arts student who runs track and plays the piano, mandolin and fiddle, the kart is his office and when he’s behind the wheel, it’s all business. And, business is good.
“Just the speed, how fast it goes,” the young driver said of his affinity for racing. “No fear, just go, swing it into the turn and hope you don’t flip and don’t spin.”
While Matheny said he is friends with many of his fellow drivers, once in the driver’s seat there are no smiles until he crosses the finish line.
Matheny’s no fear, all-business approach has made him very successful on the circuit.
“He’s real smart and listens really well,” said Matheny’s father Don. “He’s fearless and he’s quick. He’s a good driver. He has never caused a wreck and he’s won awards for that. He’s a good driver, it’s a treat to watch him go.”
Don said he is happy to support his son’s racing exploits.
“This story really is about a young boy realizing his dreams,” said Don. “It’s a great story of determination.”
Tyler is technically sound and despises losing, which makes him a formidable driver and also earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”
During a race earlier in the indoor season, Matheny was wrecked by another kart and forced to the back of the pack. Angered by the situation, but not ready to concede the race, Tyler charged though the field, maneuvering his way to a fifth place finish and earning the new nickname.
Tyler has taken to the sport and hopes to continue for years to come, he said. Something that his father, who spends eight hours a week working on the kart and a handsome sum of money maintaining it, fully supports.
“I will follow him as long as he wants to keep with it, and as long as he shows skill,” said Don. “He’s showed nothing that says he can’t do it.”
With the indoor season in the rear view mirror, Tyler is now gearing up for the outdoor racing season, which gets going April 4.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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