By Cory Wyman ’16
During the first weekend in October while most students attend the Homecoming Dance Matt McMurry ’16 was in Texas for a race in the USF2000 series.
Driving a race car.
McMurry currently races cars in the IMSA Lites and USF 2000 series, and has been racing since age four, after his father encouraged him to start.
His father, Chris McMurry, used to race in the American Le Mans Series, so McMurry has it in his blood.
After racing go-karts for many years, McMurry went to a school called Skip Barber, which is a racing school and has a racing series of its own.
From then on, McMurry went to race “with big person cars,” according to Joe Welty ’16, a friend of McMurry’s since fifth grade.
While he is still too young to drive by himself on city streets, he said he races in the USF2000 open wheel car, which goes 140 mph, and the IMSA Lites prototype car, which goes 155-160 mph, his preferred car being the latter of the two.
The Lites prototype is “faster, it has more horsepower, and more grip, so it’s just faster in general,” McMurry said.
In the USF2000 series, there are 12 races held throughout North America each season. Points are awarded based on a driver’s finish place for each race. At the end of the season, the driver with the most accumulated points receives a scholarship to participate in the next level of racing, Pro Mazda.
The first time McMurry said he finished on the podium was at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., while racing in Skip Barber.
During his time in the Skip Barber racing school, he said he had many races, but this was the first time that he had ever placed so well.
He said he had another good experience at Road America the first time he raced in IMSA lites, where he finished fifth out of 25.
But McMurry said his fondest racing memory was of his time spent on the track Mont Tremblant in Canada.
“I had a race with a couple guys that had been doing the series for a long time, so I could trust them, that they wouldn’t do anything stupid … We could all race really hard, we were all right next to each other, bumper-to-bumper, and we could just trust each other that we weren’t going to run each other off the road,” McMurry said. “And so that was just a really fun race.”