By Shawn Brouse
For The Daily Item
Matt Boland of Dover, he's a travelin' man.
Boland has spent the last decade competing in 358 sprints, traveling up and down the road to midstate ovals with limited success at best.
The last two seasons have seen Boland break through, however, for his first and second career wins, both at Lincoln Speedway. But if his name sounds familiar to Selinsgrove Speedway fans, it's no wonder.
Boland spent a good portion of 2010, over half the season in fact, touring Selinsgrove. He likes to try out all the tracks.
"I was just looking for something a little different and I went up there (Selinsgrove) a couple times and I wasn't really expecting to stay as long as I did last year, but we were like sixth in points after a quarter of the season but at some point we just pulled away," the 44-year old pilot said.
"It was partially financial; the tow home was a problem for me because they don't let you leave until all the races are done."
Boland has been noticeably improving the last few seasons. At Selinsgrove last year Boland notched a pair of ninths and an eighth, but still found himself running competitively at the front of the field at times.
"To tell you the truth, we were pretty strong the year before that and maybe not as many people noticed," he says of his fortunes in recent years. "I started revalving my own shocks, and when they're working, they're really working. But I experiment a lot, too."
He's been getting a lot of help from fellow 358 drivers, like champion Cory Haas and Billy Johns.
"If I could find a ride up there (Selinsgrove), somebody else's car that I didn't have to tow home, I'd be up there every week," Boland admits. "I do really like that place, I like the speed of it, but I also like Lincoln, too. I've won there twice and I get around pretty well."
As for 2011, he's not too sure, just yet.
"Plans are really up in the air this year. I'm going to get a late start and not be out right away," he said. "As far as where we're going to race, I think I'm going to move all over this year, including Trail-Way. I'm just looking for something different. I'm getting a little bored on the straightaways at Williams Grove.
"I build my own engines too and I feel they're second to nobody. If I could find a team to bring an engine to, I'd run anywhere and everywhere."
"I'm just looking for more fun."
As it should be.