Matt “The Defibrillator” Starr
Born: Plymouth, Indiana
Resides: Mount Vernon, Ohio
Children: Katie and Eric
Grandchildren: Emma and Brad
Hobbies: Hunting and Fishing
Starr was born February 29 to Glenn and Linda Starr of Plymouth, Indiana. An original Hoosier, Starr of course played basketball, worked the hay fields of Northern Indiana, and went on to play Intercollegiate football at Manchester University. Having enough of football, Starr went on to graduate school at Kent State University to study Sport Psychology and worked with college and professional athletes. This is where he began to entertain his dream of racing. At first, he tried his luck with horse jockeying but was ridiculed by his freakish size and his inability to get horse owners to even give him a look. So, drag racing was his fallback plan.
“I always liked horse racing, but we didn’t have a horse and used the next best thing - tractors.
“[Also], we didn’t have street racing where I grew up,” said Starr. “We had tractor racing in the fields. It got pretty ugly. So ugly that afterwards, Mom made us walk alongside as the tractor went through the automatic car wash.”
Starr won his first Tractor Race in 1989 at the Yellow River Racetrack in Indiana. He then took a 30 year break from his career only to return to the Grudge Race in Mount Vernon, Ohio, this spring. Despite his hiatus, Starr likes his chances.
“Yeah, it’s been awhile since I’ve been behind the wheel competitively,” said Starr. “But, it’s got to be like riding a bike - only faster.”