Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and absence from racing definitely deepens the desire to get back at it more than ever. When former NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle racer Matt Fint sat out for six seasons, his return to NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock in 2020 helped quell a craving, but not completely. Now, for 2021, Fint will be making the move to NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock instead.
Fint has been campaigning his ’98 Mustang Cobra since 2010 and built the most recent version of it in ’14 before he went dark. His 2020 comeback was a good one, though, as Fint finished sixth overall in the season championship points chase for NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock—his first full year in true heads-up racing.
“I had set some money aside to buy an enclosed trailer and rebuild my Factory Stock engine,” explained Fint of his off-season savings plan that quickly changed its course when his best friend, mentor, and “second dad” Jacob Lamb offered a suggestion. “Jacob kept telling me to just get a sealed engine and run Coyote Stock and be done with it. I don’t know if I need to thank him or be mad at him!”
Fint made the easy decision two weeks prior to Christmas, then overnighted a check to Tim Matherly at MV Performance to order up a new Gen 3 Coyote engine. The holiday came and went, and the weekend immediately after, Fint hit the road with his fiancée, Sarah, and his youngest daughter. The group departed their home in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and headed down to Matherly’s shop in Athens, Georgia, before proceeding to Bart Tobener’s Tobener Motorsports in Winder, Georgia.
“We did, like, 850 miles in 40 hours and I had four hours of sleep,” laughed Fint of the racing road trip.
With his new bullet ready to rock, Fint got busy over the off season converting his SN95 to NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock trim. To do so, he pulled over 300-pounds of weight out of the car and is having his cage, built by Jeremy Lines, certified for 8.50s. He’s also ditching his 8.8-inch rearend in favor of a 9-inch that’s been built by Lamb, with an AJE Suspension housing and Moser axles.
“Jacob [Lamb] and I are building everything so that our cars are identical,” Fint explained of the plan to be able to share parts and correlate data. “We have the same back space wheels, but Jacob’s are a Chevy pattern, so I converted my car to that, front and rear, too.”
True to form for the Coyote Stock class, Fint will run a G-Force G101-A manual transmission for his stick shift ‘Stang, but he doesn’t plan to change out his clutch.
“I’m still running the original Spec pressure plate that’s been in my car since ’09, although Kentucky Clutch resurfaced the disc for me,” noted the racer of his “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. “Everyone’s got high-dollar clutches and adjustable pedestals, but this is working for me and I’m comfortable with it.”
For suspension, Fint has UPR Products lower control arms in the rear and a set of “Lamb Fab” uppers. The front suspension makes use of an AJE Suspension K-member and a set of old D&D Performance A-arms, while 10-way adjustable Strange Engineering struts are bolted to the front shock towers and a set of Vikings reside out back.
Built at home in a two-car attached garage at his parents’ house, Fint’s car is the epitome of sportsman racing and grassroots efforts.
“The only people that have ever touched it are me, my dad, Jacob, and Jeremy who did the cage,” said Fint. “It’s been built on jack stands, no lift, and has never been to a professional shop.”
Lamb has not only been a huge part of Fint’s racing efforts, but also his life in general. The men have been friends for years, and Fint even gave Lamb a new RaceQuip Vesta20 carbon helmet when he asked him to be the best man in his upcoming wedding to Sarah on June 5.
“He may or may not have cried a little when he gave me a hug,” laughed Fint, who is so grateful to have Lamb by his side.
Thanks to help from Lamb, as well as his father/crew chief, Billy Fint, who is the backbone of Fint’s program and does a ton of custom work for both him and Lamb as well as other friends including fellow Mod Muscle racer Adam Cox who Fint considers family, Fint is looking forward to his first NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock season with the crazy class.
“Also, thanks to my mom, Amy, for putting up with our late nights and us stealing the stove plug to run the welder. And, of course, my daughters, Kopelynn, Elsie, and Natalie, for not seeing me at times while I’m working on the car even though we want to be together every second,” added Fint.
Fint still needs to get his licensing paperwork in order, but he’s hoping to make it to the NMRA Spring Break Shootout in Florida in early March. It might be a bit of a scheduling struggle, though, as he recently accepted an exciting new position at Kentucky Whiskey Bottling and he’s absolutely loving the opportunities that the new career is offering him.
To date, he’s run a personal best of 10.34 (with Lamb’s borrowed engine between the frame rails) and collected a 60-foot time of 1.39-seconds. He knows he’ll be able to improve upon both numbers in a big way once he gets going, and is grateful for the second chance at racing to be able to do so.