The third time was the charm for the DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Tour, as after two failed attempts to get their season opener in at Shawano Speedway, the sun was out and the series’ season opener was a go at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, WI for the Rumble by the River 40.
The race saw a surprise winner, as Jake Timm led wire-to-wire for the win in his Late Model debut. It was a popular win for the 22-year-old driver, who hails from just across the Mississippi River in Winona, MN. He considers Mississippi Thunder his home track, having raced in the B-Mods and the USRA Modifieds at the track for 10 years.
He put on a show in lapped traffic, slicing and dicing his way past cars and holding off challenges from Brett Swedberg and Jimmy Mars for his first Late Model win.
“A lot of them came kind of easy there in the middle,” Timm told Speed51.com. "I was up a lane and I was just kind of able to drive right by them, but some of them I had to slide up in front of and get a little dicey with. It was fun.”
Timm would earn the pole for the night’s feature after a last lap, turn four pass of Jesse Glenz in his heat race. After starting fifth in his heat race, he earned the most passing points out of thirty drivers entered for the night’s action.
He took off from the pole at the drop of the green flag and went unchallenged for the majority of the race. He was momentarily pressured by second-place starter Swedberg near the halfway point, but was able to use lapped traffic to regain any ground lost.
Timm’s scariest moment came with 10 laps to go after making contact with the outside wall in turns three and four. The contact would allow the second and third place cars to get within two or three car lengths, but he was able to drive away once again to take the win.
Timm was in disbelief in victory lane. He came into the night not having a single Late Model start in his career. He didn’t think he would end the night on the throne, let alone leading wire-to-wire and finishing ahead of former Dirt Late Model Dream and North-South 100 winner Jimmy Mars.
“It was amazing," said Timm. "I didn’t expect to win this race, that’s for sure. I gotta thank everyone that makes this possible. My dad, my family, my crew, and all my great sponsors. “It’s still sinking in. I still can’t believe it.”
Mars, Lance Matthees, Swedberg, and two-time defending series champion Nick Anvelink rounded out the top five.
The next stop for the DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Tour will be at Outagamie Speedway in Seymour, WI on May 24 for the first race of the triple crown held at the track.
Race fans who missed Friday's Dirt Kings Tour event can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51's live broadcast of the event by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo