On the Radar: Sam Matthews
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Sam Matthews
Hometown: Clifford, Ontario
School and Grade: Grade 9 St.James Catholic Highschool Guelph
Bike: KTM 250 2-stroke
Race Club: MMRS
Classes: 250 Junior, Open Junior, 450 Junior
How did you get started in racing?
I saw a video when I was 4 years old and I wanted to race. My mom said NO even though I had been on my PW50 since I was 2. On my 5th birthday, my mom surprised me with all the gear to start racing. Everyone who came all bought me something and I started racing that spring. I have been hooked on motocross ever since.
What is your favourite track and why?
I don’t really have a favourite track. I really love how all tracks offer something unique to the track itself and hey, any day I get to race my dirt bike is a pretty darn good day, if you ask me.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
Hands down, Ryan Dungey. He’s so smooth and he makes riding a dirt bike look effortless. He’s a champ both on and off the racetrack. It’s pretty great the stuff that he is accomplishing and doing for our sport.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
When I was younger I got to met Cole Thompson and race on two of the tracks he designed down in Sarnia. It was great that even back then he cared about the “little guys” and took time out for all of us.
Who is your hero?
My dad (Big John). Without him I wouldn’t be racing. He’s the best step-dad a kid could ever ask for. He gets us to the tracks, works on my bikes until they are perfect and spends countless hours working just to pay for it all. A HUGE thank you is just not enough to express to him how grateful I am for everything he does for us both on and off the track.
What are your goals for this season, and what is it going to take to reach them?
My goal for this season is to go to Walton. I’ve never tried to go before and this year, after 10 years of racing, I finally have the opportunity. It’s going to be tough, the competition in the Junior class is intense. But I’m willing to train as much as I can with my trainer, Kyle Stephens, and work hard to achieve my goal and I can’t wait for August to see what will happen and to compete on a National level.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Last year, I won the 6ft Trophy Series for MMRS in all 3 of the classes I competed in – Open C, 250 C and Schoolboy 1. The Schoolboy 1 was a great battle between my friend, Christian Sparks #90, and I and it came right down to the last race weekend, last moto of the day to see who would take the win for the class. I also competed in Round 3 and 4 of the Motopark Cup this year and did really well winning 8 of the 12 motos in the Juniors classes.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I LOVE it all. Heading out Friday night to spend the weekend at the track, seeing all my friends who race and the ones who don’t too. Smelling the fresh dirt watered and prepped for racing, 2-stroke smoke in the morning, waiting for the gate to drop and the battles to begin. There is so much to LOVE about our sport, racing will forever be in my blood.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I train as much as I can for my school’s Cross Country and Track team. My coach keeps us pretty busy with that. When I’m not doing that I work at my Nana and Poppa’s farm and my job at The 15 practice track too, and if their is anytime left I just hang with my friends having fun.
Who would you like to thank?
My step dad, Big John, for all he does, my mom who always bakes and has treats for everyone and takes thousands of photos and videos for all the racers. My brother for standing out in all the elements and flagging the races for us motoccrossers. My nana and poppa for always cheering me on and all the support they give to me. To my sponsors Valard, FlybyUMotorsports, Delta Power Equipment, RPMotorsports, Team Motocamp, Willow Creek Farms, Hot ShotMX, and Red Fox Racing, whom without your support I would not be where I am today. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank anyone else who has cheered for me and helped me in any way – I appreciate it all.