By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
For this week’s edition of Climbing the Ladder, Seth Eggert sat down with ThorSport Racing driver Myatt Snider. Snider is a 23-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver.
Snider drives the No. 13 Century Container / Liberty Tax Service / Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford F-150. He is currently 10th in the Championship Standings and second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings, six points behind fellow rookie Dalton Sargeant.
Seth Eggert: What made you join the industry that your father and broadcaster, Marty Snider, works in?
Myatt Snider: “Well, I grew up surrounded by it, watching on TV. You’re there, basically a part of it, but not because you live the life of a family member in racing. So, it makes you interested and intrigued as to what you’re place in that could be. So, I’ve always enjoyed racing. It’s the one sport that I’ve actually enjoyed thoroughly in my life because it’s a lot of fun.”
“It’s awesome for my Dad, while growing up to have him as part of the sport. Now that I’m a part of it, it will be especially unique when we get to that point to where he might have to interview me.”
SE: How did you convince your parents to let you race? Was it difficult?
MS:“Well it started out as simple racing. When I was a kid, up until I was about 15, it was just something I would do after school. When I turned 15, it started getting a little more serious, I started taking it a little more seriously. I basically started getting really good at it. I started running full-time, running as many Bandlero races as I could. I moved up to Legends the next year, I did that for a couple of years, then late models, ARCA, and now Trucks.”
SE: Where and when was your first race? What was the result?
MS: “It was the fifth-mile here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I don’t remember the result.”
SE: Who would you consider your mentor?
MS: “I’ve been lucky to have quite a few growing up. I’ve always been surrounded by good people, who have gone through the same thing as me, coming up through the sport honestly. And they are in a good place in their respective fields. In Bandleros it was Mike and Corey Gordon, in Legends cars it was Mark Green and Tyler Green, in Late Models it was Jeff and Jamie Cottle, in ARCA it was Chad Bryant and Paul Andrews, and now in Trucks, I’ve had Kyle Busch and the whole ThorSport team. I’ve just been surrounded by good people and I’m trying to make the most of it.”
SE: What or who inspires or motivates you?
MS: “Well, I just have a really competitive side. I want to win. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so I want everything to be perfect. When I can go out on the track and dominate a race, it makes me the happiest person there can be.”
SE: Is there a specific track that you would like to win at in the Truck Series?
MS: “Well, here (Charlotte) is a good place to start, it’s the home track. I feel like we’ll have a good shot at Texas (Motor Speedway) because I have a lot of experience there. I’ve ran both races since they repaved, so I feel like I’m going to go in there prepared. I think we have a really good mile-and-a-half program, so I think we’ll keep on doing well.”
SE: You’re one of a select few who have won in their first career start in ARCA Racing Series competition, which came at Toledo Speedway. What does that win mean to you?
MS: “It was awesome. I was quite a great day. The funny thing was that I went there and tested, and I didn’t do as well as I thought I would have. I struggled to figure the place out. Finally, we get to a practice day there and we have a lot more speed, I’m starting to figure it out more, ended up qualifying third. I kind of just ran in the tracks of Chase Briscoe, learning that whole day, and then when the opportunity came on a restart, I took it and never looked back. To be able to do that was awesome. To join that elite club is awesome.”
SE: You also won the first-ever Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway. What did that mean to you?
MS: “It was an awesome day. We pretty much dominated that race. I lead 80 out of 100 laps. I was able to just get out ahead of everybody and stay in front. The fact that we were able to put together such a great effort, the whole weekend, we had another car running fifth the whole time, is awesome. It was a really good team motivator. The fact that they have a sword is probably one of the coolest trophies out there. It was just a great weekend, and I’m looking to repeat that this year.”
SE: Was it intimidating to have the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch as your team owner last year?
MS: “No. He was helpful when he could be and had time to be in the shops. I appreciate all of the advice I got from him. Now that I’m a ThorSport, my job is to compete against him and show him that I paid attention.”
SE: How much do you lean on your teammates, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton for advice?
MS: “I lean on them a lot. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Matt is obviously a veteran of the sport, Ben is always tenacious behind the wheel, and Grant always has good technical insight, and he’s a great plate racer too. Just being able to lean on all of those guys is just a complete circle of knowledge.”
SE: Can you describe the transition from competing part-time, sharing the truck with others, to competing full-time?
MS: “It’s been an adjustment for sure. I think running with ThorSport is the best that it could possibly be. The whole organization has been great, Duke and Rhonda Thorson. I’m just happy about where I am. I don’t know if I can be in any better of a position. It has been a transition, but I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else.”
SE: Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to have your shop based in Ohio compared to the majority of other teams being based in the Charlotte, N.C. area?
MS: “There’s pros and cons to each of it. We have access to certain things that other people don’t, and other people have access to things that we don’t. It presents the opportunity to be in your own area, have your own thing. I think it’s awesome what they’ve done with it.”
SE: You have driven the two-seater for the CARS Tour, giving fans a ride-along experience. What was that experience like and would you want to do it more often?
MS: “The CARS Tour is a smaller series, it’s not a National Touring Series. They’re still trying to put on the best show that they can. They’re trying to keep fan interaction up and do everything that they possibly can. So, the fact that they did that, repurposed an old Pro Cup car to be a two-seater ride, and the fact that they did that for fans is awesome. I think it’s great.”
SE: You are a student at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. What are you majoring in?
MS: “Mechanical Engineering.”
SE: How do you balance your college classes with your racing schedule?
MS: “It’s all about scheduling. It can get very hectic at times, especially when you have these streaks of three races in a row. Thankfully we’re off now. The more you can schedule your classes and your racing, the better you can do it.
SE: What does the future hold for you, where will you be one year from now?
MS:“Well, I’d like to get to the final four this year, and hopefully end up on top at Homestead. But, I’m pretty happy with where I am at ThorSport right now.”