by Sheri Duff
Dillon Machavern is a champion. Actually he’s a champion twice over. After only one year of competitive auto racing, Machavern is the 2012 Endurance Championship Race (ECR) Champion and the Tarheel Cup Pro Series Champion. And that’s not all. In addition to his championships, he finished the Carolina Cup Pro Series season in second place, the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship (SARRC) in sixth place, and the IT National Tour season second in points without competing in the finale.
“Dillon dominated the entire season showing poise, experience, maturity, and sheer race-craft which, when seen at all, is normally shown by much older drivers,” commented Bob Thorton of Race Engineering, Machavern’s engine builder, on the ECR season.
Born on May 24, 1995, Machavern has lived his entire life in Charlotte. His family includes parents Patrice and David, older brother Ryan, a student at Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and a Bernese mountain dog named Copper.
“I grew up watching my dad race cars. He raced for 30 years and was a Rolex Series Champion,” said Machavern, who credits his father for his interest in the sport. “As for me, I started go kart racing at 14. Then I moved on to shifter car racing, a more aggressive form of racing than go karts. Once I could drive I spent five days in Florida to earn my racing license. I officially began car racing in July 2011.”
Since that time Machavern has competed in 41 races, across all racing series. He finished in first place eight times and had 18 additional podium finishes for a total of 26. He also had six finishes in the Top-5, three finishes in the Top-10, and only four Did Not Finish.
“Dillon is an extremely young and talented individual considering his age and that he’s only been racing cars for one season,” said Machavern’s professional racing coach, Tom Long. “He is self-motivated to succeed and is always seeking that competitive edge. Dillon’s determination and skill will take him far.”
Coach Long offers private one-on-one instruction tailored for Machavern. “I use video, data acquisition, and live radio communication during track sessions to give immediate feedback that he is able to integrate right away.” And it’s working. Machavern already won and set a new track record for Spec Miata’s during the first race of the 2013 ECR racing series at Virginia International Raceway on Oct. 21.
Understandably it is for his auto racing accomplishments that Machavern is most proud. “My greatest achievement is winning my first full year of racing,” he insisted. “That was a really big deal.”
His plans for next year are a big deal, too. “I plan to go to college. Right now I am applying to High Point University, UNC-Greensboro, Quinnipiac, and a few others,” he offered. He has carefully considered his choices to accommodate his car racing schedule. “I’m thinking of doing the ECR and SARRC race series and adding the Trans Am Pro and the Grand Am Pro series next year. I think I can do both school and racing,” he informed. It would be difficult to disagree. After all, Machavern is already on the fast track to success.