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There was a point late in Power Rangers in which one of the titular characters inadvertantly pilots his giant robot into a yellow Camaro, crushing it and shouting ‘sorry Bumblebee’ before hastily returning to battle.

I don’t know if it was intentional, but director Dean Israelite basically offered a metaphorical ‘fuck you’ to Michael Bay while saying “let me show you how to actually make a good movie based off a popular franchise.”

That’s exactly what Power Rangers, which opened in theaters on Thursday, accomplished in two hours — something Bay’s Transformers reboot has failed to do over the course of an entire decade.

Power Rangers has a tremendous amount of heart, even more so that its source material, that half-hour kid’s beat-em-up TV show of the same name that’s aired in various forms since 1993. This movie is based off the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which nearly every twentysomething watched during their formative years.

Power Rangers was pure unadulterated fan service, but knew exactly what kind of movie it wanted to be and stayed true to that vision all the through. In fact, Power Rangers might be the most effective Hollywood reboot of a cult sci-fi property ever made. View full article »


This is admittedly an exercise of vanity but this is my blog so sue me.

Anyone who knows me well can vouch for the notion that I’m absolutely in love with what I do for a living. I sincerely believe that I make some degree of difference, be it furthering the national discourse, providing insight or outright entertaining my fellow motorsport friends. With that in mind, I like to go back from time-to-time and select a handful of stories or columns that I’m especially proud of.

This particular list focuses on 2016 and serves as a best of collection.

This was a challenging season to cover as a freelancer. I spent it writing for Autoweek, RACER, USA Today, Popular Speed, and my personal Short Track Scene project — many of these at the same time.

It was also a politically-complicated year with my exile from Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and the Snowball Derby credential controversy. I pride myself on uncovering topics that are worthy of discussion and debate — something that gets me in trouble occasionally.

But this is the truest definition of the job, is it not?

We’re here to inform our readers, keep those with power honest, and provide a voice for anyone whom feels silenced. In that regard, I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished this year. I’ve defended my journalistic convictions, provided a national spotlight to short track drivers that wouldn’t get it otherwise and gave everyone in the sport an item or two to think about along the way.

And the season ended with my full-time promotion to Autoweek’s editorial team. Not too bad for a guy that some said was an embarrassment to his profession in October! I’m honest with you guys and I love motorsports with all my heart and soul.

I hope that comes through in my writing. Here are the 10 stories from 2016 that I feel best reflect my personal passion for racing and journalism.
As always, never apologize for living. View full article »

FB_IMG_1470299233531As a journalist, I don’t like making things about myself. By definition, we’re supposed to be in the background, simply monitoring and observing the things that we cover and report on. Some of that has changed in the modern 24 hour news cycle and social media era but I still want to abide by those long-standing principals.

Despite this, I’m making tonight about me just a little bit. I’ve got something to say.

In the aftermath of getting denied credentials for the Slinger Nationals last week, I had two colleagues suggest that I’m way too critical of something that I’m supposed to be ‘promoting’ by working within the industry.

I take umbrage with this on two fundamental levels. View full article »

20150623_184758CHICAGO — Last night was probably the coolest moment of my non-professional life.

Certainly, my job allows me to opportunities to go to a lot of places (and do a lot of things) that I have wanted to see since I was a kid racing karts and bandoleros throughout the Deep South. I’ve been to the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and even covered the inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas back in 2012.

But those who have known me the longest know that baseball, not motorsports, was my first true love.

I grew up in racing family.

My dad raced. My pawpaw raced. I raced.

So racing felt like something we simply did more than something that was a true passion. It wasn’t until I took some time away from racing in high school that I realized how much it meant to me and eventually found my way back as a journalist.

Anyways, when I was a kid, I was all about Chicago Cubs baseball. View full article »

dragon-ball-z-2015ATLANTA :: Were that many people clamoring for more Dragon Ball?

The answer is apparently a resounding yes as there is a new movie coming out called Dragon Ball Z: The Resurrection of F. For those unaware, the F represents the unavoidable return of Frieza — the most iconic villain in the history of the most popular anime franchise to ever hit the United States.

Despite the fanfare surrounding the return of Dragon Ball, I’m pretty skeptical about this movie. Since the announcement several days ago, I’ve had multiple friends ask me if I’m excited for more kamehameha waves and spirit bombs and the answer is an indifferent ‘meh.’

Like any twentysomething, I owe all of my otaku fandom to the likes of Pokemon, Digimon, Gundam, Outlaw Star and Dragonball — a well-rounded diet of action, comedy, drama and irreverence. As a result, Dragon Ball still has a special place in my heart.

My cat is named Gotenks after all. View full article »

Super Bowl XLIX Prediction

Boomer-20121104202656MOBILE, Ala. — I haven’t watched as much football as I would have liked to this season. My Saints were godawful and my weekends were kind of occupied with the “Fraternal Order of Go Fast.”

I have watched the NFL Playoffs this winter but take the following prediction with a grain of salt — because let’s face it — no one pays me for my football opinions, right?

For Super Bowl XLVIII, I picked the Broncos over the Seahawks, believing that the cagey veteran quarterback, Peyton Manning, would use every trick in the book to outsmart the youthful, energetic exuberance of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and the “Legion of Boom.”

I was wrong. View full article »

MapMALCOLM, Ala. — I have been lucky enough to see a decent number of race tracks in my first 26 years of existence. Working in NASCAR, IndyCar and short track racing over the past few seasons has only increased that number. With that said, I still have so many bucket list venues to kick off my personal list and hopefully 2015 will allow me to do so.

You’ll notice that the vast majority of these tracks are pavement and road courses. I grew up in a Southern dirt track family and raced dirt myself before pursuing journalism. (My parents started taking me to the track to watch Dad race months following my birth.) I removed myself from dirt more and more as I got older. That changed a little bit last year as I started following the National Dirt Racing League, which folded as quickly as it started.

But the NDRL did start a flirtation with Dirt Late Models so maybe I could find myself at a Lucas Oil or World of Outlaws event next season.

Regardless, here is a list of every track I have ever attended from 1988-2014. View full article »

VPSATSUMA, Ala. — Most of you guys reading this know my backstory and how hard I’ve worked to make it in motorsports journalism. It’s not easy and has required much sacrifice.

One of those sacrifices has been my quickly eroding social life. Think about it: I worked 20 Sprint Cup weekends, 10 IndyCar weekends and countless short track events in 2014. Woe is me, right? (sarcasm) Trust me, I’m not asking for pity. I know that I have the coolest job in the world but there are certain things that I have given up in trying to make this work.

That’s what made last night so unique and special. View full article »

christmas_ferrari_10-10SATSUMA, Ala. — It has become customary to wish your social media friends and followers a Merry Christmas on this day each year. I feel like we’ve started to do it because that is what everyone else does and it starts to lose a little bit of meaning after a while.

That’s not to say I think we’re becoming insincere or anything like that. I just want to take this opportunity and go above and beyond the standard practice, if I may.

Because the truth is that, if you’re reading this right now, I think you and I have an invaluable relationship and I hope you truly have a marvelous Christmas!

I am so grateful for your friendship and support and I couldn’t do what I do without you! It’s because you follow me on Twitter, read my articles and share them to your friends that I’m able to be at a race track each and every weekend and write the stories that I put out.

By far the best aspect of this past season is that I was able to attend a lot more NASCAR events. In fact, I was able to work 20 Sprint Cup weekends, 9 IndyCar events and countless short track races over the past 12 months.

This is by far the coolest gig in the world and it’s allowed me to interact and meet many of you in person at Tweetups throughout the course of the year and that’s the best part of the job.

You guys are ‘my people’ and I think it’s so cool that we have a forum to talk about racing the way we do each and every weekend. So long story short, if I didn’t see you in person at least once this past season, I hope we are able to chat at some point in 2015.

I’m super grateful to know each of you in whatever capacity that I do and I wish you the merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year.


Matt Weaver

Tidus_and_Yuna_in_zanarkandSATSUMA, Ala. — When I was much younger, I vowed that I would never become a stubborn adult who was not open to change and the progressive evolution of his various interests.

Time has largely shown me to be a man of my word, especially with the mass of change that has come to NASCAR over the past decade with the Chase for the Championship, knockout qualifying and the overall evolution of Stock Car Racing.

I’m a proponent of change, believing that a product that doesn’t keep up with the times is at risk of getting lost to it. With that in mind, I’m saddened to admit that the state of Japanese Role Playing Video Games (JRPG) has passed me by, something I recently discovered by playing Final Fantasy XIII and the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X back-to-back over the past six months.

JRPGs were a major otaku passion of mine during my teenage years, a hobby that I’ve tried to maintain as an adult.

As a teenager, I took for granted the golden era of JRPGs, growing up with the releases of titles like Final Fantasy 7-10, Super Mario RPG, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Cross and Xenosaga. What’s the common theme between each of these games?

If you’re still reading by this point of the blog post, you’re likely interested in the genre and know that the answer is a turn-based battle system, where you and your opponent take turns attacking, casting spells or healing your fellow party members. View full article »