Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa

With Non-Wing Shoe Greg Porte

Many thanks Greg for allowing me to interview you!
Greg: Thanks for having me Gary.

How long have you been racing?
Greg: 15 years.

You raced Micro-Midgets.....
Greg: Yes, I started racing Micros in 1990 and raced Micros through 1997 at Lemoore, Hanford and Visalia, Ca. and a few other Northern California tracks.

Your first year, you earned Rookie Of The Year honors!
Greg: Yes, I won the rookie of the year for the 250cc Micros at Lemoore Midget Raceway.

How did the jump to Sprint Cars come about?
Greg: A friend Gary Mattice and his brother bought a Sprint Car. His brother Dave was going to drive, but he saw a bad flip at Kings Speedway in Hanford, and decided it wasn't for him. Then they offered me to go in as a partner and drive the car.

As a driver what adjustments did you have to make from racing the Micros to the wicked power of a Sprint Car?
Greg: When I raced Micros we ran wings. I always tried to drive my car pretty straight. When I switched to the non-wing Sprint it was really hard to teach myself to pitch the car three quarters of the way down the straight and back the car in. At first it always felt like I was going to spin out, until I got used to it.

You're a pretty good shoe, I feel you would be successful racing with or without the wing. Any reason why you choose to run without the wing?
Greg: I've always been a non-wing Sprint fan, and with the Bandits being a real competitive class and pretty close to home, I decided that would be the class for me.

You're the 2003 Bandit Sprint Car Champion!
Greg: I have never chased points and I have never been able to race all of the point shows until '03. I guess my driving style favors a points racer because I pay my own bills, and if I crash it, I may not be racing the following weekend. So I guess you could say I am conservatively aggressive. My good friend Aaron Altaffer and myself went into the final main event in Santa Maria Speedway tied for the point lead and I finished one position ahead of him and won the points Championship.

It says a lot about you, those guys are tough!
Greg: No doubt, and they keep getting tougher every year, so if you want to run up front you have to keep improving your program.

You didn't race much last year....
Greg: No, a friend had Tom Reitz build a brand new engine for me and then Mr. Swindell changed the engine rule a month before the season, after he told me that it would be legal. I had to thrash to get my old engine freshened up, and the first night we broke a exhaust valve and wiped out the heads so I was done for the year.

Where will we see GMP Motorsports Sprint Car this year?
Greg: I will be splitting time with the Bandits and SCRA 360's.

Hanford is an amazingly fast joint, can you explain the feeling of backing the car in there......
Greg: I really like Hanford. You carry a lot of speed down the straights and the corners are pretty dark with no walls. So when the guy you are passing backs out of the gas, you just drive in a little further and get on the cushion and get your elbows up.

Santa Maria on the other hand is a joint where you need to get the elbows up real high and keep them up. No time to fall out of the saddle there.....
Greg: Yes it is, even though you are going faster top speed wise at Hanford, Santa Maria feels faster because you are always busy, and you don't get any time to rest.

Any advice for the aspiring Sprint Car driver?
Greg: Find a good sponsor or money tree and a very understanding woman!

Is their anyone you would like to thank?
Greg: Definitely all of my sponsors and my crew guy's for helping out because there is no way I could have all of this fun without them, and of course all of the great Sprint Car fans for coming out and supporting all of us racers.

I wish you the best this season, and thanks again for letting us fans get to know you a little bit better....
Greg: Thank you Gary, stop by the trailer and visit after the races.

You got it Greg!

To contact Gary






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