by: Erica Bryant Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Matt Murphy, 13, loves racing. He loves taking turns at speeds of 100 mph.
“I just love going two wide in the corner and passing people,” he said.
It’s a passion his grandfather, a former driver, introduced him to at age 5.
Since then he’s raced junior dragster and NASCAR bandolero.
“You’re getting taller than Michael Jordan,” said mentor Tiger Tom Pistone. “I remember the day I met you.”
Pistone said Matt was just 8 years old at the time.
“What a great driver he was,” Pistone said. “I saw him smoking all those guys out there. I said, ‘God almighty, where’d he come from?’”
Pistone advised Matt to keep moving up, which he has done. He’s now racing late model with his own Matt Murphy Motorsports.
Through his community service effort called Project Share, he said he helps homeless youth and their families.
“We do two events - a back-to-school health and image fair and coat, hat and scarf drive in the winter months,” Murphy said.
Murphy's dream is to one day join the big names in NASCAR. His favorite driver is Brad Keslowski.
Pistone said he sees promise for Matt in a sport driven not only by speed, but multimillion-dollar sponsorships.
“Somebody's going to pick him up because he's got the looks, the talent and the ability,” Pistone said.
Either way or no matter what, it's a drive Matt said he can't shake.
“Every time I get to the racetrack, it's like wow I’m blessed to be here. I’m like let's have some fun, let's get it done,” he said.
For more information about Matt Murphy, click here.