Matt is originally from Owen Sound but currently lives in Barrie, he has been an employee at the racetrack for about 13 years off and on. Matt has done pretty much everything at the racetrack from line up to scanning late model tires and now he is the head starter. This is Matt’s third season in the starting stand, the first season he was the assistant starter, and last year was his first year being head starter on his own. He has been around racing all his life and it is something that he likes to call “his happy place” surrounded by all his race friends and family, he describes working at the track as being like his second home.
Matt states that being a starter is not the easiest job as you must be always on your feet and always keep your eye on the track, but he loves his job as he describes the starter stand as the best seat in the house. Matt’s least favorite part of his job is having to throw a black flag and disqualify someone or having to throw a red flag because of an emergency on the track. It is also hard when you must throw the black flag or the black flag with the orange circle at a driver as then he runs the risk of having drivers upset with him. I then asked Matt if he could describe what each flag is for us. They are listed below:
Red Flag- Means you need to stop where you are as we have a wreck on the track or something bad has happened.
Black Flag- Means you have done something bad (driving rough or not listening to the starter) and you have been disqualified
Black Flag with Orange Dot- Means that you have a mechanical failure/concern (ie smoke)
Blue Flag with Yellow Stripe- Means move over, you have lead cars/faster cars coming up behind you
Yellow Flag- Means caution on the track, which means you slow down and drive with caution
White & Checkered flag rolled up-means 2 laps to go
White Flag- 1 lap to go
Checkered Flag-means the race is over
Green flag- means that the race has started
lack flag with grey stripe- Means you have broken out/surpassed the lap time set for that race and must safely slow down and fall back 3 positions.
When I asked Matt if he would ever get behind the wheel of a car, he did say that he would love to have a chance to try one just to see how it is. Each perspective of the track is unique and amazing! Matt’s favourite thing about Sauble Speedway is that has great staff and facility and that it is just down the road from the beach he also encourages all the fans to come on out and support local racing this summer!