Fishing for a title: Points leader Peters confident as trucks return
When NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters isn’t at a racetrack, there’s at least a pretty good chance you’ll find him at some watering hole with rod and reel in hand.
"I love to fish," said Peters, the Truck Series points leader heading to Martinsville Speedway for Saturday’s Kroger 250. "I’m really big into flat head cat fishing with my buddies. I always look forward to that. It’s either in a boat or on the side of a river bank. You can tell you’re truly fishing because when we all start telling lies, that’s when the fish starting biting."
Peters, a Truck Series veteran, is also fishing this year for his first championship in NASCAR’s No. 3 division after winning twice last season en route to a 10th-place points finish. Peters, who is in his sixth year with Mooresville, N.C.-based Red Horse Racing, finished a career-best runner-up in the standings in 2012.
Does the 33-year-old Providence, N.C., native believe this is the season he can go from from contender to champion?
"I really do. And I say that because of the chemistry that I have with my new crew chief, Marcus Richmond," said Peters, a seven-time truck race winner. "I met Marcus back in eighth grade, we graduated high school together and ever since, we’ve been friends."
Prior to teaming up at Red Horse Racing this year, Peters and Richmond were paired at Bobby Hamilton Racing for a brief period in 2006, but the two have enjoyed big success together over many years in the Late Model ranks where Peters continues to dabble.
"It took years to get back together but, man, we got back together and came out of the box like we did at Daytona," said Peters, who led on the final lap of last month’s season opener before being nipped at the finish line by Kyle Busch. "I’m optimistic and really looking forward to the trucks that he’s going to give me and the results that we’re going to get."
Since Peters’ superb outing at Daytona on Feb. 21, the trucks have been idle. But Peters has no reason to believe the lull in the action will blunt his momentum heading to Martinsville, a .526-mile oval where he has wins in both a Camping World Truck Series vehicle (fall 2009) and a Late Model Stock car (2005).
Peters, who lives about 30 minutes down the road from Martinsville in Danville, Va., also considers Martinsville a home race. And it doesn’t hurt that both and he and his crew chief know how to get to Victory Lane here, too.
"I’ve won the Late Model race there with Marcus," said Peters, who owns two of the famous grandfather clocks that Martinsville Speedway awards to race winners. "He’s always had a great package at Martinsville, not only when we were together, but for other teams and drivers that he’s worked for, so I’m confident in the package that he has going into that place, as well, and it makes my confidence level extremely high feeling the way I do, that we can bring the clock back home to Mooresville."
While Peters would prefer not to have to wait more than a month between the season’s first and second truck race, he hasn’t minded the time away, either.
"I wish that we were racing every week like the Cup guys do, but unfortunately that’s not in our cards for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, so you just have to take it as it comes and just try to keep yourself fresh from the time that we left Daytona to the time that we go to Martinsville," Peters said. "I’ve been spending time with my family. I’ve been also putting together a brand new Late Model Stock car with a good-looking Toyota Camry body on it to get ready to run at short tracks on the East Coast, starting off with South Boston and the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, so when I’m not at the racetrack, I’m at the racetrack."
Or somewhere fishing.