Team Kendall Racer of the Month - June 2012 - Matthew Mills
While most teenagers spend their time playing video games and going to movies with their friends, 15-year-old Matthew Mills can usually be found on the racetrack. "I used to visit our local track with my dad when I was younger, and I knew this was something I wanted to do after watching the other racers compete," said Mills, named June's Team Kendall Racer of the Month after receiving the most votes following an exciting competition on the Kendall Motor Oil Facebook Page.
While relatively new to racing, Mills has earned enough points to keep him in the top ten at his local track, Midvale Speedway in New Philadelphia, Ohio, throughout his season - a thrilling accomplishment.
"I met Matthew after his dad approached me about a sponsorship, and I could tell right away he was dedicated and passionate about the sport," noted Marketer Robert Holmes of Rice Oil Co., in Akron, Ohio. "I'm happy to support him and hope he continues to excel in his racing career."
That career he started four years ago when he entered the Jr. Champ division with his 2008 Rage Senior Champ Kart. After a stellar year, he grabbed the Rookie of the Year title; and proving his talent was more than beginner's luck, Mills continued to win the majority of his races over the next three seasons. "The fact that I've been able to win as much as I have is awesome because it proves that hard work really does pay off in the end," he shared.
"This year, Mills made the decision to move into the Economy Modifieds division, where he drives his 1997 Left-Hander Asphalt Chassis with a 602 Crate Motor. Before every race, he and his dad work together to make sure the car is in top condition - checking the tires, fueling the engine with Kendall GT-1® High Performance Motor Oil with Liquid Titanium® protection additive and going on practice runs.
"My dad is really supportive of me," Mills smiled. "We spend a lot of time trying to improve my driving skills to compete against the older guys in my division."
Mills' fourth racing season, and first year with Team Kendall, began in April. Since then, he's been working hard to remain in the top ten and prove himself out on the track. Young racers often face a lot of adversity trying to balance racing, academics and the pressures of their peers but Mills embraces the challenge.
"I'd say the biggest challenge is earning respect from the older racers," he pointed out. "There's only one other teenager in my division, and it's tough finding confidence on the trace when most of our competitors have more experience. That's what I love most about racing, though - the challenge."
Congratulations and best of luck to Mills as he continues facing and overcoming these challenges.