For years the name Russell has been a big part of racing on the East Coast of Florida.  From David Russell and his teammate Pete Orr to the modern day runs by David’s son, Tim Russell, the Russell Racing shop has cranked out winner after winner.

In the more recent years the focus has switched to the TRI Driver Development program, which has seen success at every corner.  Recently another driver, Tyler Thomas from Owasso, Oklahoma, scored his first asphalt win with TRI at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).  It was only the second asphalt start for Thomas, who runs dirt midgets on a regular basis.

“To win only the second time out is really special to me,” said Thomas.  “It was a goal of mine to have success early, but they were able to make comfortable which in turn made me confident to run well and that carried over to our second race.”

Thomas has been impressed with how quickly he has been able to adapt and how easy it has been to work with the TRI team.

” It’s been amazing to see how they have been able to set the car up to my style and how they know how to give me what I want right away,” added Thomas.

Tim Russell leads up the program as he’s cut back his racing schedule to run limited events in order to allow for more time with his driver development program. Before Thomas’ recent success, TRI has gone to victory lane with NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson, Devin McLeod, and Joey Mucciacciaro.

“It’s a whole team effort to have success with the younger drivers,” said Tim Russell.  “We know they are talented and we have to advance that talent on the asphalt side and so far we’ve had lots of success with our drivers.”

“Very quickly I can just jump in a car to help out or see what the driver is talking about and that’s a plus,” added Russell.  “We use that as a communication tool when we test to make sure the driver has the feel they want for the race.”

There are several more dates planned for Thomas and TRI to work together this season.  It was also recently announced that Sheldon Creed will return with TRI for Speedweeks 2015.  Interested driving parties should visit for more information.

Key TRI Stats:

Kyle Larson won his first two asphalt Super Late Model starts with TRI at the Pete Orr Memorial and opening night of the New Smyrna World Series.

TRI won their first start with Devin McLeod in Pro Late Model action. McLeod went on to win four out of six races that year.  McLeod finished ninth in World Series points after one win.

TRI won their second start with Tyler Thomas in Pro Late Model action.

TRI was victorious in their second start with Joey Mucciacciaro in Pro Late Model action.  Mucciacciaro went on to finish seventh in points during the World Series.

TRI finished fifth in their first 100-lap event with driver Sheldon Creed at the 2014 New Smyrna World Series.

– By Elgin Traylor, Operations Manager – Twitter: @ElginTraylor.  Photo credits:  Track Provided

Driver Development Success Keeps Rolling in for TRI