Highland: Sports

Local teen brings home two championships from Daytona Bike Week

Triad junior Matthew Guenther of Saint Jacob had a big outraced a lot of competitors to win home two half-mile motorcycle races while also posting several other impressive finishes during five days of racing at Daytona Bike Week that began on March 10.
Triad junior Matthew Guenther of Saint Jacob had a big outraced a lot of competitors to win home two half-mile motorcycle races while also posting several other impressive finishes during five days of racing at Daytona Bike Week that began on March 10. For the News Leader

Local teen Matthew Guenther of Saint Jacob had a big Daytona Bike Week earlier this month as he outraced a lot of competitors to bring home two half-mile motorcycle races and a slew of other commendable finishes.

Guenther, 17, kicked off Daytona Bike Week on March 10 in Savannah, Georgia. This started his five days of motorcycle flat track/dirt track racing. During the five days of competitive racing, Guenther raced two days on the half mile at Ogelthorpe Raceway in Savannah, Georgia, two days on the half mile at Volusia Speedway Park in DeLeon Springs, Florida, and one day on the short track at Volusia Speedway Park. The five days of racing included two days of All Star Races and three days of AMA Daytona Bike Week Flat Track Series.

Guenther, a junior at Triad High School, knew going into these five days the talent he was up against would be tough. Not only would he have to qualify for the main events, but he would be racing two classes daily. He would compete in the 450 MOD class and the 450 Open Singles class. On day one, the competition was tough as 43 riders fought it out to see which 12 would survive and advance to the main event.

During the five days, Guenther qualified for all of the main events for both classes. This led to his success during the week. His success included four fourth-place finishes on the half mile at Ogelthorpe; a third place and a eighth-place finish on the short track at Volusia; as well a second, third, and two first-place finishes on the half mile at Volusia.

As he went into his last day of competition, Guenther knew what he needed to do to secure the two championship spots. He gave himself a goal to win the races and he did just that. Not only did he win one half-mile race that day, he would win two. This secured the St. Jacob teen two Amateur AMA Daytona Bike Week Flat Track Series Championships, one in the 450 MOD class and the other in the 450 Open Singles class.

Guenther is the son of Jill and Keith Singleton of St. Jacob, and Matt Guenther of Collinsville.

Guenther’s next goal is to compete at the AMA Amateur Grand Nationals in DuQuoin in July.

None of his racing would be possible without the help of his sponsors. Big thank yous go out to his entire racing team and sponsors: Buddy Racing, Vans Motorsports, MSR, St. Jacob Car Wash, Quade Tire, Hess Machine, Performance Plus Builders, Wayne’s Custom Trailers, Lindow Contracting, Honkey Tonk Acres, Addicted 2 Adrenaline and Aggressive Graphics. A special thanks to Steve Nace Racing, Trollard Racing, Fat Boy Racing, Saathoff Racing and Featherstone Racing.

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