This past season, Matt Haufe put together an incredible campaign, including nine straight victories in a row, en route to winning the Trailers Plus Eastern Ontario Legends Series Championship. Though beyond that, he impressed even beyond that – taking home the World Asphalt Pro Championship, as well.
As part of the Catching up with…. series, Haufe spoke about the year and more.
SHORT TRACK MUSINGS: What does it mean to you to win not only the Legends Championship up here, but the Pro Division Championship as well?
MATT HAUFE: To win The Trailers Plus Eastern Ontario Legends Championship is incredible and means a lot to me because it is one of the most difficult series championship to win. You have to race some of the fastest and experienced drivers in North America. Some of the other challenges of competing for this championship is that the Trailers Plus Eastern Ontario Legends Series is a traveling one – four different tracks and some 700 km from home to the furthest track. You have to stay on your game every weekend and never waver.
The World Asphalt Pro Championship is the pinnacle of Legends racing. Since I first started racing legends in 2009, it was a dream to win a National Championship however it always seemed out of reach living in Canada and not having the ability to run full race seasons in the USA. It’s exciting for not only myself but my fellow racers in the Eastern Ontario Legends Series, bringing legitimacy to our series and putting it on the map that drivers from Canada, with our short race seasons, can be as fast and compete with our American brothers and sisters.
STM: You won quite a few races this season. Which of those wins stands out for you?
MH: This year has been a very special one and to try and narrow it down to just one race is a tough one. The most memorable racing moment this race season was a long moment starting at the end of 2016, winning the Autumn Colors Classic, and stretching into 2017 I would go on the longest winning streak of my life, winning 9 races in a row.
STM: What was it like going down and competing at the Las Vegas Nationals?
MH: Pretty incredible, US Legend Cars puts on a great show. Over 122 divers made the trip to The Bullring Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Our team hauled 50 hours to get to there. The experience was a mix of emotion from excitement, stress, nerve-wracking, pressure to preform, frustration and happiness. I showed up to a track I have never been to with the best of the best to compete against in a race for all the chips.
STM: How did you get your start in racing?
MH: When I was 10 years old I wanted to race karts. My parents told me they would buy me one if I could save one thousand dollars towards the venture; they would pitch in the rest. That summer I started a grass cutting business and saved the thousand dollars. The following winter my dad and I purchased a couple of karts and racing has become an intricate part of our family’s lives.
STM: What would be your advice to someone wanting to get into Legends racing?
MH: The advice I would give to someone getting into Legends would be to not under estimate how challenging it is to drive a legend car and how steep the learning curve can be. There will be plenty of challenges to overcome and not to give up for there is a lot of fun to be had racing with the Eastern Ontario Legends Family.