After Two Months Off, Russell Falls Right Back in Line 22-Year-Old Hasn't Raced Since Speedweeks, Returns with a Third-Place Finish LONGWOOD, FL (May 4, 2005) -- Like any addicted racer, Tim Russell has been itching to get back...
After Two Months Off, Russell Falls Right Back in Line
22-Year-Old Hasn't Raced Since Speedweeks, Returns with a Third-Place Finish
LONGWOOD, FL (May 4, 2005) -- Like any addicted racer, Tim Russell has been itching to get back in the seat of his racecars after taking a near two-month long break. So when the Goodyear Challenge Late Model Series returned to USA International Speedway on Saturday night, Russell was anxious to get going. He returned to the cockpit of a brand new Late Model, the same one that he and his Russell Racing team have been preparing during the last two months.
The long wait paid off. Russell had a dominating car during the weekend. He qualified second, started eighth after the redraw and worked his way up to third before running out of laps in the 100-lap race.
"It was awesome to get back in the car," said Russell. "I got right back in the swing of things. We went and tested with the car and I knew it was going to be good. It went well and we were just shaking it down and getting myself up to speed. It was neat to come right out of the trailer (at Lakeland) and be the quickset car by a tenth (of a second). That showed that all of the hard work in the shop over the last couple of months has paid off.
"This is the first race for this car, so we didn't want to push the issue. We wanted to come back with the car looking good and with minimal work to do to it, so we just settled for third. I don't know if we had anything for the leader. We might have been able to get to them, but I don't know if we could have got past him. The car still has some more left in it and I still have some left in me.
"Since we didn't tear anything up, we've got a month now to get on the Super Late Model and get it running and finished up."
The last couple months have been all work and no fun for Russell. After a solid Speedweeks in February at New Smyrna Speedway, one that ended prematurely after a hard crash, the 22-year-old and his team went to work building a brand new Late Model and Super Late Model from the ground up. They wanted to prepare for what will be a busy summer.
The Lakeland (FL) race was the first running of the #36 Rinnai/Dave Brewer Custom Homes Late Model.
"The weekend went pretty good. We were one of the fastest cars in practice on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. We qualified second and they drew a nine pill, so we started eighth. We had a good car. It was a solid race and we didn't put a scratch on the new car.
"We had a real long green run. There were a couple of cars that were dumping some oil, which made the track a little slick, so that hurt our progress forward. I think we had enough to get by second place, but he was doing a good job holding us off.
"We are going to get ready for the next race, the end of the month with the two-barrel car. In the meantime, we'll keep working on the Super Late Model and getting it finished and ready to go this summer."
Russell's next race is tentatively scheduled for May 27th at Orlando Speedworld, which is a Goodyear Challenge Series race.