Friday, October 23, 2020

Windham driver a formidable force on racetracks in 2020

Bobby Timmons III of Windham competes
in a Super modified race at Star Speedway
in Epping, New Hampshire. He is a third-
generation auto racer who is making his
mark on the racing scene in New England.
Timmons won the 350 Super modified race at
Thompson Motor Speedway Motorsports
Park in Connecticut over the Columbus
Day weekend.
By Ed Pierce

As far back as Bobby Timmons III can recall, he’s had a need for speed and 2020 has proven to be an unqualified success for the 27-year-old driver from Windham.

A third-generation racer, Timmons, 27, launched his career while competing in go-karts at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough after watching his father, Bobby Timmons, Jr. and his grandfather, Bobby Timmons, race Super modified automobiles at racetrack in both Maine and New Hampshire. His devotion to living up to their legacy has led to numerous racing victories, including taking the checkered flag in September’s Star Classic at the Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire and winning the 350 Super modified race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut over the Columbus Day weekend.

“I admire my dad and his work ethic toward racing cars and life in general,” Timmons said. “Growing up I was a fan of local guys that were friends with my dad, Scott Mulkern, Gary Drew, and Larry Gelinas. I was also a big fan of Ben Rowe. On the NASCAR end of things, I was huge Kevin Harvick fan. He filled in for Earnhardt after he died and was a rookie the same year that I was a rookie in go-karts.” 

Currently Timmons competes in two different super modified cars, which are a class of open wheel race cars that compete on paved short tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“The car I drive predominantly is a 350-super modified. It has a 350-cubic inch Chevrolet small block engine that produces a little over 400 horsepower and 10-inch wide tires,” Timmons said. “The other car I have is an ISMA (International Super Modified Association) super modified. That car has a 468-
cubic inch Chevrolet big block that makes around 800 horsepower and has tires that range from 13- to 18-inches wide. They are considered the fastest short track racecars in the country.” 

During the season, Timmons races weekly at Star Speedway in New Hampshire on a one quarter-mile banked track. Races are typically 35 to 60-laps in length. In winning in his final race of the year in Connecticut, Timmons raced on a 5/8 of a mile track with the most banking out of any racetrack in New England. This summer he also raced in three ISMA events and in the past has raced in the Oxford 250 in Maine.

“The challenge of trying to make a car go faster than everyone else in the garage and on the track, the friends I've made along the way, and the shear aspect of driving a car that fast are the best things about  the sport for me,” Timmons said. “At the last ISMA race I competed in, we were reaching speeds of 150 mph.”

A 2011 graduate of Windham High School, Timmons says that the worst part of auto racing for drivers is the money it takes just to be there, let alone to be competitive

“We are very fortunate to be able to build a lot of the things we need to race in-house, but the costs of everything that we can't build or the things that we have to have continue to go up in price every year,” he said. “We have a couple of small sponsors that help us out with the weekly costs of new tires or fuel,
but my dad and I fund the majority of it out of our own pockets.”

He’s worked for his father since he was 12 and is a machinist and a welder at his father’s shop, Timmons Machine & Fabrication Inc. of Windham, when not racing Super modified cars.

“My dad built his first super modified when he was 19-years-old,” Timmons said. “Buying equipment and tools to do so is what eventually led to him starting his own business in 1985 that we have still going today. But it’s an entire family affair for us. My dad works on the cars with me. My mom and sister are at just about every race to support me. My sister’s husband helps us out and races go karts himself. My last remaining grandparent, my grandmother on my dad’s side, is my biggest fan and never misses a race. She owns the ISMA big block super that I race.”

His advice for others wanting to become a racer is to just enjoy the experience and have fun.

“Racing has given me a lot of great moments in my life and I've made plenty of lifelong friends from it,” Timmons said. “I just want to keep having fun.” <

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