The 19-year-old Timmons, of Windham, won the 45-lap Pro Series feature event at Beech Ridge on Saturday night for his first win in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model division. Timmons started fifth, rolled to the lead early and then opened up a big advantage to win going away from the rest of the 23-car field.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Timmons, who is ninth in the overall Pro Series standings, second among rookies. “Part of me was like, ‘It’s about time.’ I knew we had a good enough car to do it. On the other hand, I never would have thought we could do this so soon. I remember being seven years old and sitting in the stands watching Larry Gelinas, Alan Tardiff, David Oliver and those guys win races and championships – and now I went out there and won against them.
“It’s a really cool feeling.”
The victory came after a series of tribulations for the rookie in his first full season of full-bodied stock cars after three seasons running Legends cars in New England.
After a pair of Top-5 finishes and three straight Top-10s to open 2012, Timmons’ season hit a small speed bump. He’d been collected in a couple of on-track incidents and had encountered some handling issues over the last month. The Mulkern Racing No. 48 Southern Maine Motors/Timmons Machine & Fabrication Chevrolet crew – led by Timmons’ father, Bobby Timmons Jr. – had contemplated making changes to the setup under the car.
Timmons, though, feared making drastic changes and losing a handle on what worked.
“Honestly, it was me,” he said. “I was too scared of the big adjustments. This week, after the month we’d had, I was like, ‘I’m done. Whatever you guys make for changes, I’m OK with it.’ I didn’t even want to know what they’d done – I just figured I would drive it no matter if it was good or bad. So, my dad did what he thought we needed, and it was a lot better.”
Turns out, change was exactly what the No. 48 needed.
“All the changes we made throughout the day were changes we talked about throughout the season but hadn’t done,” Timmons said. “Finally, we did it and they all seemed to line up in the right direction. We nailed it. We hit it just right.”
The circumstances lined up for Timmons, too. He started fifth in the 45-lap feature last week, but he won’t have it that easy in the future. Beech Ridge rules dictate he will start last this week as the most recent event winner, and as he continues to climb in the overall point standings, he’ll start further and further back each week.
But he’s not worried about that. With a great team behind him and a car that seems to have escaped the summer doldrums, Timmons is focused on what’s ahead.
“There are so many variables in this,” he said. “Speed and setup-wise, I think we’re capable of winning again. If you look at the lap times last week, we were probably the better car. We were fast, and the car was really good passing other people.
“Honestly, at this point, I pretty much just want to keep the nose clean – it’s frustrating hanging body panels on it all the time. It’s still our first full season at this, and I didn’t have any expectations coming into the year. I just wanted to get seat time, and I never though we’d win so soon, especially as competitive as it is at Beech Ridge. But it’s been unbelievable, too, driving for Mulkern Racing – with Scott and Vickie (Mulkern), you couldn’t ask for two better people. We’ve known them for a long time, and they called Saturday night right after the race.
“Obviously, everybody’s really happy right now.”