ENSENADA, Mexico – RPM Racing, located in Bristol, Va., which has fielded at least five vehicles each race since it started racing in the SCORE World Desert Championship in 2006, has taken a sabbatical from racing while team co-owner and principal driver Justin Matney recovers from heart surgery and Valley Fever.
Clyde Stacy, who co-owns RPM Racing with Matney, has reported that the heart operation was successful and Matney is now resting and rehabbing at home since Feb. 13 while he recovers from surgery conducted on Feb. 5 at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Matney, 34, was scheduled and had mitral heart valve surgery and then the clinic also removed a mass from his lung that turned out to be the result of Valley Fever that is caused by breathing the dust during extensive racing in the Southwestern United States and Baja California, Mexico.
Doctors anticipate a full-recovery period of approximately six months for Matney.
“We anticipate a return to a full schedule of SCORE desert racing in 2021, and look forward to racing for championships in several different classes next year,” said Matney. “The thoughts and prayers of the desert racing community are greatly appreciated. RPM is targeting a return to the SCORE World Desert Championship for this year’s wild and wonderful SCORE Baja 1,000 peninsula run.”
“We are so relieved and pleased that Justin’s surgery went so well and all of us with SCORE family wish him a complete and quick recovery,” said Jose A. Grijalva, SCORE president and race director. “While RPM has been an amazing and integral part of SCORE racing for over a decade, health and family always come first.”
“Justin and Clyde have also been strong supporters of racers, providing the best equipment and team to support several promising drivers over the years that have been a part of their team at various times. We look forward to the return of RPM Racing when the timing is right.”
Matney has won six SCORE class championships, highlighted by a SCORE-record three titles in 2011 when he won titles in Class 8, Class 11 and Stock Mini. His season class titles were won in 2009, 2011 (3), 2012 and 2014. His most recent class championship was in 2014 when he won two races en route to capturing the unlimited Class 1 season title.