by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
You never quite know who may show up to Attica Raceway Park on a Friday night, and April 29th was no exception. California standout Ryan Timms, former ASCS Champion and Outlaw Rookie of the Year Wayne Johnson, and son of the legendary Joey Saldana, Reece Saldana all made surprise visits to Attica, all looking to make an impression on the AFCS regulars.
Once preliminary action was complete it was Kyle Capodice and the California hotshoe Ryan Timms that led the field to green of the 30 lap feature. Timms jumped to the early advantage on the top over Capodice and Tyler Gunn, and used the clear track to build his lead to 1.660 seconds before the yellow came out on lap three for Ricky Peterson with a flat tire.
On what would be the one and only restart, Timms jumped to the lead once again, as Gunn passed Capodice for second. By lap six, Timms found himself in front by 1.408 seconds, and built it to 2.142 seconds on lap nine, as he approached lapped traffic, which changed the race.
No longer having the benefit of a clear and clean track in front of him, Timms had to learn on the fly and figure out how to navigate the always tough lapped traffic of Attica. While Timms was negotiating traffic, Trey Jacobs had caught up to Gunn for the third spot on lap 12, and they started battling for what would be almost the rest of the race. At the halfway point, Timms was mired in heavy traffic, but still held a 1.883 second lead over the battling Gunn and Jacobs, with Cole Macedo and DJ Foos not far behind.
Gunn and Jacobs continued to cut into Timms’ lead, and they had it down to 1.103 seconds on lap 18. On lap 19, Macedo threw his hat into the ring for the second spot. He and Jacobs made contact, which shuffled Jacobs back to fourth momentarily, and allowed Timms to expand his lead back to 1.877 seconds. After another quick shuffle, Jacobs found himself back in second, and set his sights on the 15 year old Timms.
“I was able to get by Gunn and get into second, and then we got to racing in lapped traffic and Tyler and Cole got by. Cole and I banged wheels and damn-near crashed going down the front stretch. I knew that if I slowed down and hit the bottom, I could really get off the corner. I was able to do that for a couple laps, get clear of Macedo and Gunn, and tracked down Timms,” Jacobs said.
With six laps remaining, Timms had a 1.410 second lead over Jacobs, who was rolling the bottom like he has done so well in the past. The bottom was the place to be, as Jacobs cut over a half second out of Timms’ lead with five to go. The gap kept shrinking: .569 seconds with four to go, then .492 seconds, then with two laps left, Jacobs and Timms were side-by-side for the lead at the line
“I thought we were going to run out of laps,” Jacobs admitted. “He [Timms] started running the bottom a little bit, but moved up just enough for me to push it in underneath him and squeeze by.”
Jacobs was on the bottom and was able to slide Timms in turns one and two to take the lead. Timms was able to fight back, and they were side-by-side once again as they took the white flag. Jacobs was just too good on the bottom, though, and the defending Attica champion was able to bag his first win of the season in dramatic fashion over Timms and Macedo.
“I wasn’t really waiting,” Jacobs said. “That kid [Ryan Timms] was going like hell. I was moving all around the race track, trying to find what worked best and I really got to rolling the bottom. Lapped traffic made it tough and I think he [Timms] was slowing down a little as the race went on and we just kept getting better. Luckily, we were able to get by and roll the infield tires.”
Coming into Friday night, Jacobs had two top ten finishes on the season, an eighth and a ninth. He was looking to get a shot in the arm early on this season to get the momentum rolling:
“It’s nice to get one here. It took me until July or August last year to get one here,” said the race winner.
“It’s a big relief, because we’ve been struggling honestly, to get this thing going in the AMains. We threw something at it tonight and I think we finally found something that works we’ll just keep building on it,” concluded Jacobs.
We can’t go without saying, what a race for Ryan Timms in his Attica debut. Leading 28 laps at Attica is a tough feat for even the most seasoned veterans, but doing it in your debut is special. Here’s what Timms had to say after his impressive runner-up finish:
“I got the lead right off the rip, and then we had the caution with three laps in, and I was feeling pretty good. We got to lapped traffic and it started getting really, really dusty. I couldn’t really see the cushion getting into turn three. The lapped cars were all pretty close, and it was hard getting through lapped traffic. I was running the top the whole time, and Trey Jacobs got underneath me on the bottom. I tried to make it stick on the last lap on the top, but he was just fast on the bottom. I’m definitely not mad about second and leading all those laps here.”