A little less than two years ago, Tim Russell captured what he feels is one short track racing’s crown jewels –a title at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Last season, Russell sat on top of the pit box and watched one of racing’s brightest young stars wheel his car to victory lane.
After sitting out the 2012 World Series to help coach Kyle Larson in his car, Russell is armed with a new sponsor and new energy and is ready to try to take another week-long title.
“Hopefully we can get some momentum rolling for the week,” Russell said. “The key to a good run is to make sure you finish every night, and get as much as you can. Hopefully by the end of the week we will have couple of wins and have the points shake out from there”
Late in the 2012 season, Barn Light Electric came aboard Russell’s No. 36 Super Late Model. The sponsorship allowed Russell the opportunity to get behind the wheel, and to continue to build his growing driver development program.
Devin McLeod captured the 2012 Pro Late Model Championship while driving for Russell. The team is also welcoming Connecticut native and Legends Car graduate Joey “Mooch” Mucciacciaro in 2013. Mucciacciaro will compete for the Pro Late Model title as well as McLeod with Tim Russell Driver Development.
“We were approached by Mike Calinoff about putting a program together for him (Mucciacciaro), and we were able to work some things out,” said Russell. “I look forward to working with him. He is a good, young kid and has had a lot of success in his prior racing. We also have a program with Devin running a Pro Late Model. He is coming off an awesome season last year, his first year in late models. He won four out of five races, the rookie of the year and the championship at New Smyrna last year. Hopefully we can keep building on his accomplishments.”
Russell said he still sits back from time to time and reflects on last year’s Speedweeks events and Kyle Larson’s first stock car win. Larson then turned the early season success with Russell’s team into a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012.
Though he wasn’t driving, Russell’s accomplishments with Larson have already gone down as some of the biggest moments of his career.
“We are pretty much already saying ‘wow’ about him already,” said Russell of Larson. “The kid is just incredible. He has gone from Super Late Models, to a K&N East car, to midgets, to sprint car and even a NASCAR truck. He won in everything except the trucks, and he damn near won there. I keep in touch with him every couple of weeks, and look forward to seeing him the Sprint Cup Series one day.
“I will be able to tell folks that he drove my car to his first win for the rest of my life.”
Russell is geared up for a run at both the World Series Super Late Model title as a driver, and the Pro Late Model trophy as an owner.
“We have a busy month coming up, but I really want another Speedweeks title in the Super. Hopefully with a little luck and two guys going for the Pro Late Model title, we can knock out some wins and compete for the championship in that.”