by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
Sometimes, things just have a way of working out. Tonight’s story starts on a tragic day; August 18th, 2022. Just over two weeks ago, Trevor Baker was out doing what he loved as a mobile home mover. His family business. Trevor was killed in a highway accident that morning. As the morning turned into afternoon and evening, tributes flooded social media. I never got to know T-Rev. Reading through these tributes taught me a lot about him. That Thursday morning, the world was a little less bright.
Some of that brightness came back Friday night at Attica Raceway Park.
When Tim Shaffer and the Bryan Grove Racing team unloaded, they unloaded a T-Rev Performance #45 car in tribute to the fallen racer. That car unloaded fast. Shaffer was quicktime overall in hotlaps/qualifying with a 12.45 second lap time, the only car in the 12.4 second bracket. This put Shaffer in a good position for the feature, as he just had to finish in the top four of his heat to be in the feature redraw. Shaffer would finish third in his heat, and redrew the 2. Outside pole. Sometimes, things just have a way of working out.
DJ Foos joined Shaffer on the front row, Foos was looking for his first 410 win of 2022 and is coming off of back-to-back third place runs the last two weeks in Attica. Shaffer used the top to his advantage as the green flag flew, and took the lead coming out of turns one and two over Foos, who then had his hands full with third-starting Jordan Ryan.
As Foos and Ryan battled, Shaffer snuck away to a 1.386 second lead that grew to 1.512 seconds by lap five. The following lap, Foos solidified himself in the second spot and would begin his chase of the Aliquippa native. Lap seven saw Shaffer’s lead cut down to .985 seconds, and down to .619 seconds on lap eight as he got to lapped traffic. As Shaffer navigated lapped traffic, Jordan Ryan had caught back up to Foos and was challenging for the second spot again. Ryan commandeered the second spot from Foos on lap 10, and began to cut into Shaffer’s 1.230 second lead.
Shaffer began to struggle with lapped traffic on a fast track, and Ryan was tracking down the veteran. The lead went from 1.101 seconds on lap 13 to .302 seconds on lap 15. Ryan was there, hungry for a first 410 win at Attica. Tim Shaffer kept ripping the top in turns one and two, as Jordan Ryan was using the middle and bottom to gain ground. On lap 18, Ryan made his move for the lead, darting under Shaffer in turns one and two in lapped traffic. Then, the caution came out. Pass negated. Shaffer would take the lead back, and have clean air in front of him for the final 12 laps.
“Obviously I could see him [Jordan Ryan], I could feel the heat. I knew he was running lower. To be honest, when you have the lapped traffic running the top, it’s so dirty. It’s like there’s a film of dust and you can’t see where you’re going. I started eating it up, and I could hear him breathing on me,” said Shaffer.
Shaffer nailed the restart, as the rest of the top five stacked up a little, allowing Shaffer to get out to a .846 second lead, which grew to 1.305 seconds by lap 23. Shaffer kept pulling away, but would have some light traffic to deal with as Foos was bound and determined to take the second spot back. The second-place battle allowed Shaffer to build his lead, and for the 20th time in his illustrious career, Tim Shaffer was the first to see the checkered flag at Attica Raceway Park. He led all 30 laps and won by 1.982 seconds over DJ Foos.
“They watered the track and it kind of favored us. The car started going away and I wasn’t getting the wing back quick enough. I was struggling with some lapped cars until the yellow came out, and that basically saved us. I was able to get my wing back and my car got better,” said Shaffer.
“It was an honor for me to do it,” said Shaffer. “To put that thing in victory lane was bad-ass.”