Vaughan exceeds expectations to make Sportsman history

Matt Vaughan of Fletchers Lake brought home the 2017 Affordable Fuels & Metro Home Heating Sportsman championship. Here he accepts the banner and trophy from Affordbale Fuels owner Steve Williams during Scotia Speedworld’s recently held year-end awards banquet, held at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro. (Healey photo)

FLETCHERS LAKE: Matt Vaughan just expected to use the 2017 Affordable Fuels & Metro Home Heating sportsman season as a learning one. Instead, he did more than that.

The driver of the no. 08 hot rod that hit the track at Scotia Speedworld during its CARSTAR Weekly Racing Series every Friday night between May and late September captured the Sportsman division championship in historic fashion—his rookie campaign, a feat that has never been done before until this season.

“We bought the car and didn’t really have any expectations,” said Vaughan, who had previously raced in the PULSE Heavy Duty Trucks. “We just put it together and hoped to go out there and learn, have a learning year.

“Everything started to fall in place and we ended up winning it. I still can’t believe it.”

The championship season was made possible because of sponsors like Aerotec Engines—who happens to be his employer—; Fall River Chiropractor; John Langille and his mom at All East Mechanical; Dartmouth Metals; Fast Track Machining; Overall Collision; Silco Plastic; and Darren Wallage at Blair’s Custom Metals.

He has no dreams of going up to the next level to the Pro Stock Tour, but sticking with Sportsman.

Vaughan, who calls Fletchers Lake home, said he raced with a lot of good racers in the Sportsman, including fellow championship contender Jordan Veinotte the driver of the no. 11.

“I didn’t expect to have the type of success I had to this extent,” he said. “At the end of the year , I almost said I didn’t want to be in that position to fight for a championship because once you’re in it, you’re in it.

“We just kept going for it and put in a lot more work than what I wanted to, but it was worth it in the end.”