Dominant, consistent Szecsodi races to first IMCA Dirt Works Eastern Region title

Matt Szecsodi found the perfect combination of domination and consistency in winning the Dirt Works Eastern Region for IMCA Modifieds. Pictured at right is IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

CLIO, Mich. – Domination at one track and consistency at another made Matt Szecsodi a regional champion.

Szecsodi won nine of 13 starts at Silver Bullet Speedway and complemented one win with six-second place finishes at Tri-City Motor Speedway, earning track championships at both venues.

That combination paved the way to the top spot in point standings in the Dirt Works Eastern Region for IMCA Modifieds.

“It really feels good. It’s an honor to be crowned champion of the region,” said the Clio, Mich., driver, 13th nationally, “and I hope I can represent it well.”

Szecsodi’s first regional title came in his 20th year racing and 10th competing exclusively on dirt.

“We had finished second to A.J. Ward in the region last year and thought it would be great to try again,” he said. “We wanted to focus on our local tracks but all the rainouts had us sweating. We had 40-plus starts last year and they were all in Michigan. We had 33 starts this year and that included a couple trips to New York to make sure we got our nights in.”

His consistency paired with car maintenance and quality of competition in the regional championship quest.

“We didn’t have as many wins as last season but we had a lot of seconds and a lot of top five’s,” he noted.

“We took good care of the car. Our only DNF was at the Dutch Hoag Memorial at Outlaw Speedway (after the end of the point season) and that was the result of flat tires in two separate incidents,” Szecsodi explained. “The guys we race with weekly at Silver Bullet and Tri-City are competitive and respectful. They are a very good level of competition and have contributed to our success.”

He repeated as track champion at Silver Bullet, a track where he says it helps to take an asphalt-like approach, while mixing it up at Tri-City with many of the state’s top runners.

Brothers Tanner Pray and Chaz Pray also race IMCA Modifieds. Szecsodi was the runner-up when Tanner raced to his career-first win in the division on May 24 at Auburn.

“That was awesome,” Szecsodi said. “I was probably more excited than he was. It was quite the cool moment.”

Starts 33                   Wins 10              Additional Top Five’s 16

HIS CREW: Car owner Adam Poage, wife Toni and daughter Brenalyn, Jaydon Brodnex, mother Teresa Pray, brothers Tanner Pray and Chaz Pray, grandmother Mary Lou Szecsodi, cousins Scott Smith and Tyler Smith, and Tyler Lewis.

HIS SPONSORS: Brinn Racing Transmission of Bay City; Smith Starter and Alternator and Pray Family Care Home, both of Clio; Top Speed Motorsports and Moose Graphics, both of Mount Morris; Great Lakes Smoothie Company of Swartz Creek; and Harris Auto Racing of Boone, Iowa.