Tim Russell has dominated the Florida Late Model racing scene in recent seasons. With the on-track success have come multiple championships. But, there were still a few racetracks and a series still on his “hit list” in 2011. That’s why he set his focus on the Florida United Promoters Late Model Series this season.
With all the challenges of some tight Florida bullrings and full fields of young and veteran Late Model drivers, Russell managed to win the series’ championship after four wins and five second-place finishes.
"We stated the year saying we were just going to go out there and run this series and not points race," said Russell. "We said that, but it was a back and forth battle in the last few weeks. We just kept to finishing strong, let the points take care of themselves and got the championship."
Citrus County Speedway (FL) was the site for the 12th and final race of the 2011 season on Saturday, November 5th. Russell came into the event with a 29-point lead and needed to finish in front or near Jeff Scofield to win the title. Scofield ended up being a no-show for the final race so the title was clinched when Russell took the green. He went on to finish sixth after starting eighth.
"It was surprising to see that Jeff didn't make the trip with the championship on the line," said Russell. "However, he took the opportunity to prepare for the Governor's Cup (November 19th at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida), so we were able to be at ease about the championship. We had won the two previous races at Citrus County, so winning a third would have been awesome, but we just missed it and it's pretty hard to pass there."
The run to the title for Russell found him in victory lane four times and finishing second five times. His other two finishes that counted for the championship were sixth-place runs. There was one dropped race and Russell's was from Auburndale, where he was taken out by a lapped car while leading. Russell's wins came at Auburndale Speedway, Columbia Motorsports Park, Citrus County Speedway and again at Columbia.
For Russell, this is his second championship of 2011 after he won the Super Late Model title at New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car racing in February. Russell has also won championships in the Sunbelt Super Late Model Series in 2007 and 2008. He also won the Florida Triple Crown Super Late Model titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Russell will now gear up for the season ending 46th Annual Governor's Cup 200 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) on November 18th and 19th. Russell will be looking for his second win in the race after taking the honor in 2009 and became only the second father-son combination, with his father David, who have tasted victory in the Gov Cup.
For more information on Tim Russell check out his website at timrussellonline.com or contact Elgin Traylor at Elgin@51sports.net