Tim Minor Is In Charge

September 2, 2013

Tim Minor and I go way back at Summit Point. I had the F/V lap record at Summit for years until they repaved the track in 2009. But in 2000 I established an altitude record that still stands. It was the kind of accident that you didn’t want your wife to see.

But Linda was right there at pit wall, as I launched over a spinning car coming out of Turn Ten onto the main straight. So, yeah, she saw it. Two and half end over ends is hard to hide. I nearly landed on her and I bounced on by, shredding parts and wheels in a cloud of dust. I landed, upside down, further down the along the pit wall. Linda said it looked like a coffin.

 I didn’t care what it looked like, I just wanted out. I could hear gas dripping on the headers making a soft steaming sound. I was elated when four white legs appeared alongside the car not too much later. They asked me how I was doing and I said I was fine and could they please roll the car over? It seemed to take forever because they were apparently awaiting word from a supervisor. Normally, I’ve have understood.

 My wife says she will never forget a tall loping figure bounding toward the fray, jumping over the pit wall and barking commands. Tim Minor was his usual take-charge direct self, responding to the situation. The car was rolled over and I squirmed out, located Linda and gave her a wave. I remember a lot of dirt and grass being jammed in my helmet shield, not a great look. The officials later gave Tim a raft of grief for doing what he did but he didn’t get any grief from Linda, or me.

Coaching Tim Minor to go fast is like feeding red meat to a lion. Like Kimi, he knows what to do. Still, I have had the honor of working with Tim and the Ski Motorsports team in their 2013 Championship season. I’ve learned as much from them as vice-versa.  

I report on segment times, lines and how the car looks at speed. It doesn’t hurt for them to know the segment times of their top competitors.   Eric Langbein and Tim Reedy have a solid and steady, professional approach to engineering the car. The car has failed to complete but one session all year, a practice session at Mid-Ohio. And when it is running, Minor drives it, a man in command. My hat is off to the entire Ski Motorsports Team. And thanks again, Tim, for taking charge

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