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Thu, Aug 18, 2005

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Newton brothers ride rocky road
Thu, Aug 18, 2005

Andy and Matt Bushore ride in a recent road rally race in Wellsboro, Pa. The two brothers who grew up in Newton began road rally racing last year. Photo by Robert Plafta of Plaftaphoto.com

NDN Sports Writer

A pair of brothers from Newton not only live life in the fast lane, they also spend time in the debris-filled, muddy and sometimes icy lane.

Andy and Matt Bushore began competing as road rally racers throughout the country last year. Just a year into the circuit, the two are still learning the ropes, but have finished as high as second in their entry level class at races in Wellsboro, Pa., and Paris, Texas.

Matt, 31, who now lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., serves as the driver and Andy acts as the co-driver, or navigator on the team, known as the Bent Mettle Racing Team.

The two are now preparing to take their rally car, a 1985 Volkswagen Jetta, to a big race Aug. 26-27 in Bemidji, Minn., as part of their Rally America racing circuit.

Matt said the racing has more to do with pushing yourself to your limits and less to do with the other cars on the course.

"It's kind of like you are racing yourself," Matt said. "You have to know how hard to push yourself."

Pushing himself and testing his limits gets the juices flowing, according to Andy.

"It's definitely an adrenaline thing," he said.

Andy, 29, said the two have to work together to keep the car on the road.

"We pretty much have got to be synched up. I call out every turn and we've got to get our timing down," Andy Bushore said.

The worst wreck the two have been in together came in February in Atlanta, Mich. Their Jetta veered off an icy road and hit a tree stump which ripped off the front right wheel.

"There's that sickening thud we heard and everything went black," Matt Bushore said of the wreck. "Sort of like when you break your arm."

The good news is the two weren't injured, but the bad news is they were out of the race.

Tree stumps aren't the only thing that can bog down a rally car.

"The first race I rode in, we went through a lot of mud and water and it basically felt like going through a swamp," Andy said. "We've had other races where we go through a bunch of rocks and logs and trees."

The two now hope to get more experience so they can graduate to higher levels of rally racing.

"We'd like to move up to a faster car once we get a little more experience and some more sponsors," Andy said.

Both brothers noted the racing has strengthened their bond as they rely on each other to keep each other safe on the course.

"We've always done a lot of stuff like that together," Matt said.

For more information on their racing team, visit http://www.bentmettle.com/ .

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2005 Newton Daily News
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