TIMOTHY PETERS: Darlington Raceway advance


No. 17 GearWrench Toyota Tundra

Darlington Raceway

American Muscle

Too Tough To Tame 200

March 12, 2011

Peters at Darlington … The 30-year-old veteran from Providence, N.C. had a stellar weekend at the famed Darlington Raceway in 2010. Peters won his third career pole in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, led 47 laps and finished second in the first truck series race at the 1.366-mile track since 2004.

It’s about consistency … Peters sits fifth in the Camping World Truck Series points standings, even though he’s without a top-10 finish. Peters finished 11th at Daytona and 12th at Phoenix, but ran better in both events than the finish implies.

Tidbits about Timothy … Peters sports a colorful helmet bearing the term “Viper” on it. Who is Viper? Viper is Cdr. Mike Metcalf, the chief instructor at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School in the movie Top Gun, as played by actor Tom Skerritt. “I like the movie Top Gun,” Peters says. “There are some Top Gun-themed helmets out there. I want to be the teacher, not the student.”

Driver diary … Look for a diary about Peters and his 2011 season appearing soon on www.rubbingsracing.com.

Peters carries GearWrench colors for Darlington… GearWrench is a registered trademark of Apex Tool Group, one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world based in Sparks, Md. The GearWrench line of tools continues the Apex tradition of developing innovative hand tool technologies and manufacturing those tools to the highest standards. Since launching the original patented 50 ratcheting wrench, GearWrench has continuously led with breakthroughs in pass-thru ratchets, sockets, screw/nut drivers, pliers, and specialty tools. Over 70 million GearWrench products have been “Professionally Tested” all over the world. GearWrench also is the presenting sponsor of TruckSeries.com.

Timothy Peters Quotes

A lot of guys hate Darlington, but you really like the place. Why?

“I don’t know, probably because we just ran so well last year. It’s definitely a unique place. Last year was my only time driving it. It just came to me. I guess my driving style fits that track. It’s just fun. It’s high speed with a little short-track racing involved in it. It’s cool to run 180 mph up against the fence.”

Being from the South, I’m sure you knew all about Darlington and its history. But you still weren’t intimidated the first time you drove there, right?

“Oh, no. We got to do the tire test in March of last year. That was the biggest help, for my confidence, to learn the race track. If you’ve never been there before, it’s going to be intimidating when you first hit the track. It’s difficult at first. It’s a real momentum race track. Once I got my Darlington Stripe out of the way during the tire test, it seemed like it went very smooth after that.”

People say you have to race the track at Darlington and not the completion. Is that as true there as anywhere else?

“Oh, yeah. That’s very true. One thing that I learned last year racing with those guys is that if I’m on the inside and faster than the guy I’m passing, hopefully, he’s going to give me a little room getting into (Turn) 1, and vice versa. If I’m on the outside, I’d do the same thing – or else you’re going to end up in the fence in the middle of 1 and 2. It’s definitely a deal where if you race the race track, you’ll come away with a good finish. As soon as you take your concentration off of that, you’ll end up behind the wall.”

You’re fifth in points but you don’t have a top-10 yet. How important is Darlington to getting some momentum going?

“We want to get out of there and keep those solid finishes going. Daytona was Daytona; it was good to get out of there and miss the big one. Phoenix, when the second hand hit midnight after Phoenix, I did my best to try to forget about it and take my thoughts and concentrate on Darlington, knowing that we’ve got three really good race tracks coming up for me. We want to get out of there with a top-10 finish, hopefully a top-five, and maybe even a shot at the win. I’m really comfortable with my surroundings. I really like Butch and the whole team and what they’re doing. One thing I like about Butch is he stays calm, and that trickles down. He stays calm, I stay calm, and everybody else stays calm, and they do their job. We’ve got GearWrench on board this weekend. We’re in their home territory. Hopefully we can improve by one spot.”

Crew chief Butch Hylton Quotes

How much of an advantage is it to have a driver who loves Darlington?

“It’s big. It sure beats a guy you have to give a kick in his pants to. Some guys just seem to have a knack for getting around Darlington, and Timothy is one of those guys. And let’s not forget how difficult a place Darlington is. Some drivers race their whole careers and never get that place right, but that’s not Timothy. We can get right to working on fine-tuning the setup as soon as we hit the track there. We don’t have to worry whether the driver knows how to get around that place.”

Timothy credits you for helping keep everyone on the team calm during a race.

“Well, I appreciate that, but this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s clearly not all about me. We all have to be in this together, from our team owner Tom DeLoach to Timothy to the guys on the crew. We all have to stay calm during races, and I think we’ve all learned how to do that. There’s no sense in going overboard every time something bad happens, and believe me, bad things will happen in this sport. You have to react well to them, handle adversity and move on. It’s really that simple.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.


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