Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Matt Riskey off to strong start in Limited Mods

GREENVILLE, Texas — Being successful in the sport of short track stock car racing is as much about consistency as it is about having big speed. Plenty of guys have come in, gone fast, won a few races, then promptly disappeared completely from the radar. Yet others stick around, racing hard every week. 

For 27-year-old Limited Modified driver Matthew Riskey, being consistent is not a problem. Your current points leader at Rocket Raceway Park has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in nine starts (at three different tracks) this year, and is now on the cusp of nailing down that first career feature win in this class. 

“A big reason for the strong start this year is my car owner,” Riskey said. “I drive for Mr. Jasen Loftice, and I’m fortunate that he is willing to provide us with everything we need to be competitive. If I tell him I need something to make us a little faster and try to keep up with these B-Mod guys, he gets it.

“He’s all on board, ready to help out with whatever we need. We’ve had a couple of second-place finishes, and a third-place run, but the past few weeks we’ve struggled just a little bit. We’re looking to pick that pace back up this weekend, and keep swinging for the fences until we get that first win.”  

Now in his 12th year on the ovals, Riskey paid his dues as he was coming up through the ranks. 

“My Dad started racing in the Bomber class back in the day,” he explained. “I was only about four or five years old; so I tell everybody I was born into this sport. We were at the track every Saturday night in my family. He ran Bombers for a few years, then jumped up into the Stock Cars.  

“That’s really where I kind of got into it. They built a Mini Stock for my brother; and when he moved up to Stock Cars, I took over the Mini Stock. So I raced that for a few years, then made the jump up to a SportMod. I was only 15 at the time, but had a blast in that car.” 

From there, his career path took a turn, and most insiders feel he’s right where he belongs in 2024. 

“I got my very first Stock Car when I was 17 or 18; ran it for a few years, then kind of cycled out of the sport a little while as I bought a house and we had our first child. But then one day Mr. Loftice came along, and asked if I’d be interested in wheeling one of his cars. My immediate answer was, yes sir.”  

No matter which of the three regular tracks he chooses, Riskey knows the competition will be intense. 

“This Limited Modified division is super tough across North Texas,” he said. “You have guys like Tyler Muirhead, and Skeet Amason, who has been racing a long time and is a very successful racer. We were kind of battling in the points with him there for a while. He’s always a contender every week. 

“You’ve got Shannon Hartline to contend with; he just rolled out his new car here a few weeks ago. He’s been running up front, and you know he will all year long. There are several others, but those guys are just a few prime examples. It’s never easy to get anywhere near the podium in this division.” 

When Riskey puts on his safety suit and gets ready to race, he straps into a very finely-built machine.

“The car I drive for Mr. Loftice is a 2018 Wicked Racecars chassis built by Donnie Shipp,” he explained. “Donnie is one of the best car builders out there, and is always super helpful when we need advice. It’s powered by a motor from Bullets Racing Engines, and is running very strong right now.”

Along with his years of experience and top-notch race car, Riskey has an ample supply of supporters. 

“First off, I need to thank my car owner, Jasen Loftice with J and G Services; along with Gold Star Financing; Bullets Racing Engines; Collin County Fence Supply; Snap-On Tools by Shane Hartline; Rt2 Racing; Hangover Motorsports; Superior Glass & Mirror, and Landon Capps Designs. 

“I also want to thank my wife, Mariah; son Cade, The Norris Family, and my Mom and Dad. And I can’t forget to give special recognition to Laney Linkugel and Katelyn Taylor for the awesome winning design/theme for the race car this year. I’m blessed to have my family and friends behind my efforts.”

With the halfway flag about to wave over the 2024 season (as hard as that is to believe), Riskey knows what he wants to accomplish before all is said and done. 

“We’re looking to pick up that first win this year, hopefully it’s coming pretty soon,” he added. “I’m very proud of how consistent we’ve been, but it’d be nice to hold that checkered flag once or twice. Since we’re leading the points at Rocket, we’re hoping to secure a championship there. 

“And we’re actually trying to shoot for a title over at Hunt County, as well. It’s a lot to ask, but we’re up for the challenge. We’re just having a blast at the track, and look forward to parking it in Victory Lane.” 

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer
Photo by Stacy Kolar/Southern Sass