February 12, 2010 – By Craig Revelle, Finish Line Web Design
’09 Super DIRT Week Sportsman Champion Matt Billings began the new year embarking on a journey of opportunity. Making the 14-hour drive to North Carolina and the hub of auto racing, Billings attended the Race 101 press conference the last Friday in January to formally announce that he was selected as one of 15 scholarship winners from Race 101’s Racing School.
The school is based out of Denver, North Carolina and all 15 scholarship winners attended the press conference that was streamed live online for anyone that was interested in watching it. Each member was introduced individually, and then later brought in to answer questions from the media. Following the press conference, Billings and the 14 other scholarship recipients were available for a photo shoot with the Race101 car.
Saturday, Billings and his new classmates attended the Performance Plus Marketing Summit where they heard from several guest speakers, which included John Bickford, stepfather of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, Boston Reid, who was a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports a few years ago and Rick Benjamin, who has broadcasted Motorsports for many years throughout the United States. The group also heard from Michael Burch, who is the vice-president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., a company that owns several of NASCAR’s premiere tracks.
RACE 101 stands for Research, Analyze, Consult, and Educate 1 on 1. The yearly Scholarship Program is the primary program for Race 101. It focuses on working with specially selected young drivers (ages 13-28) from the US and Canada through an application process similar to a college or university. The program lasts over the course of a year, with proven teaching and coaching methods that give the students one on one time with instructors, classroom time, track time, hands-on experience as well as homework assignments.
“It was a very eye-opening experience for me to be down there, and learning from some of the best people in motorsports,” Billings said. “I’m definitely looking forward to going back down to North Carolina at the end of February and again at the end of March.”
In the meantime, Billings will be taking part in web-based seminars as part of the curriculum for the Race 101 program. Once a week, the class will get together online and learn various aspects of racing, on and off the track.
The Billings team is working hard in their Brockville, Ontario shop preparing their 2009 Bicknell for their rookie season in the DIRTcar 358-Modified division.
“I really have to thank my sponsors for helping me get this far in racing, and for everything they have done for me,” Billings added. “Billings Automotive, Pastime Motors, Stealth Racewear, Babe Design, Brockville Motors and Turnone high performance steering systems have helped me tremendously, and I can’t thank them enough.”
For more information on Matt Billings and the Billings Racing Team, please visit the website at www.mattbillings74.com.