NASCAR Media Conference
August 24, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Welcome in advance of Friday's EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. Our guest is Timothy Peters, driver of the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and Timothy is joining us today from the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. Timothy is currently third in the series points standings, only 39 points out of second place. He won the season-opening race at Daytona and has two poles this season. He has an impressive six consecutive Top-10 finishes and 3 total Top-10s in 16 races this season.
Timothy heading into Chicagoland, you have the six Top-10 finishes; just talk about your outlook this weekend.
TIMOTHY PETERS: Just I just hope we can keep our momentum going. Definitely here of late we have been on top of our game, Nashville, Darlington, Bristol and be able to click off good finishes. Chicago is a place that I have always enjoyed in the past, going in there and testing for the teams that I've driven for and we had a good run there last year.
So definitely the momentum is on our side. I hope that we can go in there and capitalize on it for sure.
Q. A couple psychological balance questions for you. The first one, for this championship, you're racing with Todd Bodine, former champion, but a guy that doesn't say how good of friends you are and how much he enjoys racing with you. How do you find the balance between racing so hard against a good friends and then picking up whatever tips you can and applying them to beat him?
TIMOTHY PETERS: You know, Todd and I this year, have become good friends and I've learned a lot from him in the past. Definitely at Daytona earlier this year, you know, he's definitely taught me a lot during that race, and that helped me beat him.
Saying that, you know, obviously our friendship, I think if you ask him, he would probably say the same thing. We respect each other on the racetrack but when it comes down to -- for the win, either one of us will do whatever it takes.
You know, obviously with the championship, he's leading it, it's his to lose I feel like. You know, here of late, we have been on fire. Hopefully we can gain on him but definitely to beat him, you know, never want to wish any bad luck, but he's going to have to have some bad luck right now. They are on their game.
Q. The second question, from the driver's seat, you have had your own team where you with are scrambling to put sponsorship on the side of it and keep racing. You're with an established team now but the sponsorship hunt has been a struggle and yet you guys are still able to race at the front. Just from the driver's seat, talk about what that whole struggle has been and how positive of a thing it is for your team to be competitive given the struggles they are facing?
TIMOTHY PETERS: You know, going back and being a part of my own team, I feel like it's gotten me to where I am now. Tom DeLoach gave me an awesome opportunity and gave me that phone call to come over and join Red Horse Racing.
As far as the sponsorship goes, I think right now it's just surviving the storm. Tom is a great man and he gives us all of the resources that we need, and you know, I'm fortunate and very thankful that I have an owner that's willing to spends this money to go to the racetrack and let me drive his race truck, because knowing the economy the way it is, it's hard to find sponsors that want to come in and sponsor teams right now.
So I guess I have to put it as surrounding yourself with great people, and so far, everything is just a dream come true for me.
Q. The Bristol race was tough particularly towards the end, I was curious to know in this long stretch of races whether there might be any carryover in Chicago and what you think about next year's schedule since it's been out for about a week now.
TIMOTHY PETERS: Bristol is Bristol and it's behind us. We are going into Chicago. Obviously you don't forget what goes on in the past going forward in the future. I'm just very thankful that we established a Top-10 finish and was able to maintain or gain some points on the guys that we needed to beat.
You know, the rest of this year has been a blast. The way we are running carries momentum into each event. For me, the schedule that's came out, I think it's awesome to go to the same tracks but at a different time of the year, I can't wait. It's just going to be interesting to see what the 25th race is going to be.
Q. Like many in the top levels of NASCAR, you've had ups and downs, climbing those steep hills, does that get easier with experience, or is it just like, hey, here comes another hill, I've got to climb it.
TIMOTHY PETERS: I don't think it comes any easier. Definitely I've had struggles in the past that I've been sent down in racing, but one thing that it's taught me is to respect it and appreciate it a lot more.
And going forward in the future, I don't think it's any easier because of the experience. I've been fortunate enough the last two years to run the best that I've ever ran in my racing career, so I would like to think that maybe it's gave me a little bit of longevity, but still, when you get to that hill, it's still pretty hard to climb.
Q. And also, you mentioned momentum, is that the most important factor that you have going for you this season, and how does that compare with your ability to adjust and your team's ability to adjust?
TIMOTHY PETERS: Well, definitely, we have it on our side. From the word go when we went and did a test in January at New Smyrna and Jeff Hensley came on board, and it's just been an awesome roller coaster ride. We clicked right off the bat. We gelled, communicated really well, and that led, going into Daytona -- but you know, when Jeff came on board, our preparation went up; Daytona is a proven example of that. We were a contender all night long, and we were in the right place at the right time. That just kind of set the bar with the team and myself, knowing that when we unload at the racetrack, each and every week, that we are a contender to win.
We started off strong and then kind of leveled off, and now we are coming back strong again. So definitely momentum breeds momentum, and if we keep running the way we are, hopefully victory lane isn't out of the question down the road.
Q. How important do you feel like is your performance at Chicagoland going to be as far as just trying to, you know, as far as your future and everything, being one at Daytona you won Martinsville and you had a good run time on the intermediate at Darlington. Do you feel like you need to show what you can do at intermediate tracks to get a ride either in Nationwide or in Cup in the future?
TIMOTHY PETERS: I definitely think running well at the mile-and-a-half places definitely are going to help my career and my future. But you know, just be honest with you, the mile-and-a-half tracks that we have been to this year, we have ran well at. So I just basically go out there and try to do the best that I can each and every week and hope that it gets recognized.
But you know, I'm in a great spot right now. So just looking forward to getting the best results possible.
Q. Last month at Pocono, they entered the multi-truck qualifying, and at Chicago they are bringing it back; are you looking forward to the monster truck qualifying again?
TIMOTHY PETERS: I think it's going to be really cool. For the first time at Pocono I thought it went really well, I just found out this weekend before I came on that they are going to do it again. Wayne Auton and everybody at NASCAR has our best interests; and to bring the fans in, something different is what the series needs, and it's just cool to be a part of it.
Q. We had the latest international guy making his debut in the Truck Series at Bristol, and you guys are racing for the championship, have more experience maybe with the exception of Austin Dillon, but you have a lot of newcomers coming in. Considering you're not a real veteran yet but you're certainly not a newcomer, what's your role as far as mentoring these new people, educating them? Do you wait for them to come to you? Do you go out of your way to tell them some things? How do you take that whole thing?
TIMOTHY PETERS: Well, you know, Miguel Paludo did a great job at Bristol this past week. Actually Miguel back in January tested with us down at New Smyrna, a great guy and really good friend.
You know, as far as myself and Dillon with helping anyone, you know, I'm still learning as I go. But, you know, I guess I've just been brought up the old-fashioned way. If I was to walk over to somebody that probably don't know me, even though I've been in the sport for a little while, I kind of look at that as your head is a little too big, maybe bragging on yourself but if they come to me, I'm more than happy to help them with what I know.
But you know, in my book, it's kind of a funny feeling just to go to somebody that probably hasn't came to you yet and start telling them how to drive their own truck.
Q. Do you seek other adventure off the track, speaking of off the track, or is racing, is that a play field for you all year round?
TIMOTHY PETERS: For the most part, I'm 100% dedicated to my racing. I don't really watch sports much. I don't have a favorite football/basketball/baseball team. I do like to watch football; as long as it's a good game, it's okay to watch.
I guess for the most part, when I'm able to, I like to go fishing. It's pretty relaxing and you can sit out there and you know sometimes you're by yourself and you're with some of your friends.
But, you know, I'm at the shop. I try to be at the shop every day. And I just eat, sleep and breathe my racing.
THE MODERATOR: Timothy, thanks for joining us today on our NASCAR CAM teleconference. Best of luck this weekend in Chicago.
TIMOTHY PETERS: Thank you. Appreciate you having me on.
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