Driver Spotlight: Matthew Barnard
Matthew Barnard, driver of the #357, dreamed of racing since the day he was born. All of his toys had to have wheels. His father was an avid race fan, so Matthew experienced NASCAR races as a young boy.
Matthew's first time in a legend car was November 2013. He was asked to join the BAMF Racing Team as a Young Lion. Owner DeWayne Irwin hired Matthew in January 2014. Matthew won his initial first-place trophy on June 7, 2014, at Texas Motor Speedway before the Indy Car race. He went on to win the TMS Summer Stampede Championship for his division, clinching the title Aug. 9, 2014. Matthew currently ranks in the top 10 for national points in his division.
Matthew credits his accomplishments to the guidance of crew chiefs Jarod Carpenter and Michael Dabney Jr. His willingness to listen and learn from his peers has made a big impact on Matthew's racing.
Matthew does not hesitate cramming his 6-foot, 3-inch body into his Legend car for a day of racing. His time in his car is valuable to him, and he knows he must keep his grades up at school to be able to continue this sport. Matthew, 15, is a freshman at the Key School in Fort Worth, Texas, maintaining an A/B average.
When he was 9, Matthew lost his father, Ken, to congestive heart failure. But he lives with his biggest cheerleader - his mother, Cheryl. His twin sisters are freshmen in college, giving Matthew plenty of quiet time at home.
Matthew's challenge now is to find sponsorships for his car, allowing him to travel with the BAMF Team. His home track is Texas Motor Speedway, but he travels to Houston, Monroe, La., and Kyle, Texas, for races. Matthew will compete in the Legends Asphalt Nationals on October 16-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Matthew's goal is to be the best he can be, hoping to prove nice guys can finish first.