Column By: DYLAN TERRY / RPW – BEAVER FALLS, NY – Caprara…one of the most recognizable names in the world of auto racing in Upstate New York.
The Caprara family has been actively involved supporting the racing community by sponsoring numerous touring series, tracks, race teams, as well as even running their own cars throughout the years.
Just last year, Matt Caprara started running 358 modifieds and big-block modifieds for the first time. The youngest member of the family proved to be a very quick learner, as he was able to score a 358 victory at Can-Am Speedway on May 5th, which was only the second week of competition at “the nasty track of the north” last season.
During that night he was able to beat a few Super DIRTcar Series veterans whom were in attendance, as the likes of Tim Fuller, Billy Dunn, and Jordan McCreadie all shared the track with Caprara that evening. After the early season success, he continued racing against many of the best drivers in the northeast throughout the entirety of the season, honing his craft.
Matt ended up running the complete weekly big-block schedule at the Brewerton Speedway, while also making scattered starts at numerous other tracks when his schedule allowed. Now in 2024, Matt is looking forward to taking another step forward in his career, as he joins the Super DIRTcar Series full-time.
Matt looks to blossom into a nightly competitor amongst some of the best names in the business. Still somewhat new to the world of big block modified racing, Matt and the team know that they will endure some tough moments and competition throughout the season, however they are definitely motivated for the challenge and opportunity that racing with the Super DIRTcar Series provides.
“We decided to run the full SDCS schedule because we truly believe that if you want to get good at something, you have to stick with it.” said Caprara. “To be able to beat the Sheppard’s and the Williamson’s, you have to race with them as much as possible. The best option for us is to race against those guys on a nightly basis so we can learn and improve every time we hit the track.”
For his debut campaign with the SDCS, it seemed fitting that the team switched things up a little bit this season. In just a few mere weeks, Caprara will be behind the wheel of the FX Caprara Ford #11 Bicknell, differing from the #29 machine that he ran this past season.
There wasn’t really any motive behind the number change decision, aside from maybe gaining a little bit of luck. “We decided to change it up a little bit this season and my mom’s favorite number has always been 11,” said Matt. “We thought it may be super lucky, and we even seen a sign with #11 on it so we just figured it was meant to be.”
The number change won’t be the only thing that is “new” for the team in 2024. With the more demanding schedule that the SDCS presents, the team has also added a few new crew guys to help them prepare for the increase of bigger shows. Also added were a few new Bicknell chassis to their stable, as well as a few new marketing partners to the team.
Like Caprara, the Super DIRTcar Series itself also features some new changes for this summer. Some new tracks have been added to the schedule this season, and that could prove to be a wild card to some of the drivers that are relatively newer to the series like Matt. The most notable tracks on this list include the series debut at Thunder Mountain in NY, the Atomic Speedway in Ohio, the Selinsgrove and Big Diamond Speedways in Pennsylvania, and the SDCS return to New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey for the first time since 2014.
Matt heads into the season with no expectations in particular, but is determined to gain as much knowledge as possible throughout his initial tour with the series. “My goal every time I hit the racetrack is to win, but you know that doesn’t always happen” said Caprara. “I’d like to just keep improving throughout the season and stay as focused as possible. We are definitely excited to go to some new places and learn more and more every night out this summer”.
Be on the lookout for the youngster out of Clayton, NY to turn a few heads this season, as he continues to elevate his career to the next level. It will be a grind, but one that certainly could lead to great things in the future for Matt and the whole FX Caprara #11 team.
Matt would like to thank his all of his sponsors for this upcoming season. They include: FX Caprara Ford, Rusty Johnson Masonry, Unifirst, Northern Glass, Victory Fuel, Bay Brokerage, Wladis Law Firm, Doors Plus, Xtreme Auto Recovery, and Octane Custom Trailers.