In a very emotional victory, Tim Russell took the checkered flag Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway in the Pete Orr Memorial 100 after sustaining damage in a spin in practice.
“We had another really fast car,” said Russell. “We actually had an eventful day. We got in somebody’s oil in practice and backed in the fence. We had to replace the bumper cover and the steel bumper and weld all that back together. That happened about two hours before qualifying, which wasn’t something I had really been looking forward to."
“But we got it all fixed and went out there and qualified fourth and luckily the car was driving fine, since I didn’t hit anything else on the suspension. So after we got all of that fixed we were ready to race. The redraw put us on the pole and we took the lead coming off turn two and never looked back. The car was awesome.”
For Russell, Saturday night’s win meant more than most other wins because Pete Orr won many races in the car owned by Russell’s father and the two families grew up together.
“It was a really good feeling to win the Pete Orr Memorial,” said Russell. “It was the first time we’ve won that. Pete drove for my dad for a while and his son Bobby and I grew up together. That whole family is just great. Bobby and I are kind of like brothers, I’m still really close to both Bobby and [his brother] Charlie. Charlie works on Jeff Burton’s Cup team now; he’s a shock specialist – so I talk to him a lot. It meant a lot and I got a lot of text messages after the race, a lot of people raced with Pete and that work with us now, so it meant a lot to everybody on our team.”
After Orr’s passing in 2002, New Smyrna Speedway decided to honor him by renaming his favorite race, the Orange Blossom - which he won four times, the Pete Orr Memorial. Despite many victories at the Florida half-mile, Russell had never been to victory lane in the event in the past.
“Finally getting this win is pretty cool,” said Russell. “We’ve been going after that one for three or four years now. We’ve been close a couple times, finished second and third and had a couple problems and then we finally got that. We can finally get and mark that off our list and go accomplish some other stuff we’ve got on our list now.”
Next up for Russell will be the Florida United Promoter’s Late Model event at Columbia Motorsports Park on April 2nd.
For more information on Tim Russell check out his website at timrussellonline.com or contact 51 Sports at www.51sports.net.