Tanner Thorson Bringing His Vision to Life in 2023
Jan 9, 2023
Now presenting Ryan Timms.
It's the Keith Kunz Motorsports house car, piloted by its lead driver, and now Timms has inherited the privilege and pressure associated with the No. 67.
And given the two-year run Kofoid just gave the entry, Timms knows he has big shoes to fill but can only be the best Ryan Timms possible and nothing else, something everyone believes will be more than enough in the USAC National Championship in 2023.
"I feel honored to drive for them," Timms told Racing America on Thursday. "I feel honored to represent the history of the 67 with all the great drivers that have passed through there. I have a lot to live up to in that car."
Drake, Larson, Abreu and Bell are all Chili Bowl winners and USAC champions. Kofoid has won 19 of the last 72 USAC Midget Series races en route to consecutive championships in 2021 and 2022.
But Timms, 16, carries with him a similar pedigree as Kofoid, having an accomplished Sprint Car resume before his Midget success, which the latter has started to come too. He has four national series wins in a Midget in addition to having won eight features across the country in a winged Sprint Car too. He is the youngest driver to ever podium in World of Outlaws competition.
That’s roughly what Kofoid was doing at the same age before jumping in the No. 67.
"When you’ve been racing Sprint Cars as long as I have, 410s or 360s, everything just slows down in the Midget," Timms said. "I don’t like the word easy because it’s not easy, but it comes easier to me behind the wheel with my Sprint Car experience.
"I think the Sprint Car definitely helps you master the Midget quicker and I think you’ve seen a lot of drivers start to pick up on this early in their careers."
Timms will continue to work with crew chief Jarrett Martin and both the driver and his team owner says the distinction of the 67 is largely ceremonial.
"It's honorary, being the house car driver, but they're all the same," Kunz said. "There's nothing different, same guys work on all the cars, but we have high hopes for Ryan.
"I think this year will be a learning experience like it is for everyone. It was for Buddy in his first year too. I think you'll see the same thing with Ryan. What you see with that car, is that's the driver that tends to set the tone for us, and he's the kind of racer that can do that once he gets more Midget starts under him."
And Timms is ready to get to work.
"I’m excited," Timms said. "Confident. It’s the best car with the best crew and they can push my talent to the max. What I want to see from myself is just progress this first year."
And that starts on Monday with his second Chili Bowl Midget Nationals qualifying attempt.
"We’ve got some big names to contend with," Timms said. "(Cannon) McIntosh. He’s really good. He’s a prelim winner. I do feel like with these guys, I can win a prelim night race. I really do. I am aiming for a podium on Monday, really want to lock in and would be really proud to win our way in."
History often repeats itself in the No. 67 after all.
Photo: Eddie Ochoa Jr.