“Wise beyond his years” is one phrase used to describe Teen Mazda Challenge competitor Matthew Dirks, and it fits — there are times during the phone call that it’s easy to forget the voice on the other end of the line is just a 15-year-old young man who recently completed his freshman year at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, Colorado.
It’s not so much what Dirks says, but how he says it — with a confidence, a matter-of-factness, that is confident and certain. Like he knows what is going to happen next, and, for better or worse, is comfortable with it.
Dirks grew up at the racetrack — his father, David, is a longtime club racer and his mother, Michelle, has spent her time behind the wheel as well — and started racing a go kart at 10 years old. That didn’t last long.
“I turned 13, and my dad and I went out and bought a car,” Dirks said of his introduction to Spec Miata. “We took it to a go kart track, and that was the first time I drove it. I got my comp license in 2016, and got into the racing part of it.”
With a NASA Rocky Mountain Region Spec Miata championship in 2017, his first full season of racing at 14 years old, and a second place in the Teen Mazda Challenge championship, the talent is undeniable.