In 2015, some 16-year-old kid from Mooresville, North Carolina impressed the late model scene when he won the inaugural CARS Tour Super Late Model championship. Cole Timm never finished outside of the top ten that season and even collected a win the first race out at Southern National Motorsports Park. Two years and a lot of change later, the young driver now has his eyes set on a Short Track U.S. Nationals title.
Even after winning a the championship in 2015, Timm didn’t run the full season in 2016. He made just eight CARS Tour starts, but even still he was able to collect five top-10 finishes and a win at Tri-County Motor Speedway (NC).
Close to half of his starts last season were behind the wheel of Super Late Model out of the David Gilliland Racing stable, including his win at Tri-County. The 2017 season has Timm at the track twice as much, but not behind the wheel of a race car. This season Timm has joined the David Gilliland Racing team working in the shop and traveling on the road as a crew member.
“You know it’s a different perspective and its kind of hard to take sometimes because I like to race and because driving is the thing I want to do as a career and what I want to do all the time. Not being able to do it kind of stings a little bit but its also nice to not totally be away from racing and be able to go to the race track and work on the race cars and be able to learn from the guys at DGR,” Timm told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Although he’s cut his race schedule way back, Timm said he sees the positive side to working in the shop.
“They are all so smart and very talented at what they do so to be able to be over there and learn from them and have them guide me on things that I haven’t been taught before is really cool.”
So far this season the 18-year-old driver has made two starts. One was a last minute Speedweeks (FL) start , and the season opener for the CARS Tour at Concord Speedway (NC). Working at the shop has limited time for his own testing, so Timm will be forgoing any testing before hitting the high-banks next weekend for the Short Track U.S Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I was there at the first test helping a Pro Late Model and it seems like everyone picked up the track really well. If it looked like people were struggling I might be a little more scared or more nervous but just the fact that it looked like everyone picked up on it fairly easily and quickly means I don’t think we will have too big of a problem.”
Timm is registered in the Super Late Model division for the Short Track U.S. Nationals and will be making his first laps during the first practice session the weekend of the race. Knowing how many cars are entered and the lack of track time available, Timm has set his expectations accordingly.
“You know obviously with so many cars being there and I don’t think we are going to get as much track time as people think we are; it’s going to be a little challenging. We are just going to go and do what we can do and try and make the show and if we make it we are going to do what we can do and get the best finish we can get.”
For many drivers, both young and old, the opportunity to race at the “Last Great Coliseum” is something many drivers can only dream to do. And for Cole Timm to get to be a part of the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals is something the young driver is excited to be a part of.
“Its going to be awesome for us to get to go to Bristol I had never actually been to the infield until a few weeks ago at the first test and you don’t really realize the amount of banking or the prestige of that race track until you’re inside and see the whole perspective of it. Its really cool. It’s going to mean a lot to me and I’m sure it means a lot to all the competitors. Its something I have been looking forward to since they announced it. We are just going to go and see what we can do.”
Drivers will get their final opportunity to test at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend for the second open test. Speed51.com will bring you all the updates with live coverage through Trackside Now.
For those who can’t make it to the Short Track U.S. Nationals event but want to see Cole Timm tackle Thunder Valley, Speed51.com will have a live pay-per-view broadcast of both days of action. Fans can purchase an “Early-bird” special rate of just $44.99 by clicking here. The inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals will take place May 19-21.
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Contributor – Twitter: @HannahNewhouse