Tim Russell’s resume has been impressive since the first day he got into a Late Model. It has included race wins and championships as virtually every record on the east coast of Florida has gone home to the Russell Racing shop with the second generation driver.
The one major prize that had eluded him though was the overall championship at the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Wrecks, blown engines and many other gremlins cost him the title over the last four seasons. 2011 might have turned out the same with strong talent from all end of the country coming into Russell's wheel house. However in 2011 it felt different, no matter what went down on the race track Russell managed to find a way to keep his number 36 atop the points and with a fourth-place finish on Saturday night he scored the overall championship in the Super Late Model division.
"I owe this one all to my team," said Russell in an emotional victory lane after the 100 lapper. "We’ve got one of the best teams out there. We’ve been working hard for many years to win this and finally we brought a title back to Russell Racing. My Dad’s won it and Pete Orr won it when he drove for my Russell Racing, so this is a pretty cool accomplishment."
Russell scored two wins and had seven top-five finishes heading into the final night for the Super Late Models. Where wrecks and blown engines had cost him in the past this time, it looked as if they were home free as other suffered the gremlins that coast Russell in years past. However, after time trials for the main event Russell and the crew pulled the car from the impound area to work on it and elected to start at the rear with a race win and championship on the line.
"We were only 14th fastest so we figured we should work on it because it's not good enough to win the race," said Russell after qualifying. "We'll see what we can do to make it go faster."
The car was faster, but Russell found himself tangled up in a 12-car wreck just inside the 10th lap. The 36 suffered minor damage, but the crew made half a dozen pit stops to get it back to where it could race. Russell slowly picked his way up the leader board and clinched the championship when fellow competitor Ryan Moore went behind the wall.
"I was just sitting there riding, going half-throttling it at the beginning," explained Russell. "I saw the wreck happen and got whoa’ed-up, but the guy behind me must’ve been driving off his hood and piled us into it. Fortunately, we didn’t get anything torn up, but the (steering) rack plate is down about an inch. I just was wheeling it as hard as I could. I can’t thank the guys enough for fixing it as quick and as well as they did. I’d like to thank All Cabling Security and Fire for stepping up for us this week. Without them, none of this would be possible."
At the end of the week Russell scored eight top-five finishes to score the championship at the 45th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car racing. Now Russell looks to win the Pete Orr Memorial 100 win in March, which would mean as much to him and his crew as any of the big wins they have had over years.
"Winning the Pete Orr would be cool," said Russell. "Pete drove for the family so it would be extra special and that's our next goal at New Smyrna Speedway."
The Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom 100 will take place on Saturday, March 26th at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Tim Russell will be going for his third win of the 2011 season.
For more information on Tim Russell check out his website at timrussellonline.com or contact Mike Twist at (207) 499-2565 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org