A Joliet Junior College graduate is following his childhood dreams working with one of the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) top teams.
Matt Sackman started with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) in 2013 as a clutch assistant/tire specialist on Antron Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster.
He was promoted to cylinder head specialist in 2018. ackman has certificates in mechanical production technology, machine tool metalworking, computer numerical control, dimensional metrology and blue print reading from JJC.
As a cylinder head specialist, Sackman works with NHRA Top Fuel cars. A Top Fuel dragster is the fastest accelerating car in the world, with some reaching 335 miles per hour.
For Sackman, a typical weekend at the racetrack includes six to eight runs. That means servicing 12 to 16 cylinder heads the following week.
He also has his commercial driver’s license (CDL), which allows him to transport the race car to each event aboard a truck.
Recently he earned his Top Fuel license as a driver. Brown’s team drives about 40,000 miles a year. When Sackman has off weekends he likes to race his family’s 6-second 230 mph NHRA Top Dragster.
He recently participated in Route 66 Raceway’s Burn Down at Sundown event, winning the race for the second year in a row.
When Sackman was 9 years old he started racing in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League with his brother Zach.
During high school Sackman attended the Grundy Area Vocational Center (GAVC), earning dual credit for some of the welding classes that he took and easing the transition to JJC.
Eventually, Sackman would like to compete in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit and join DSR’s team as a driver.