Column By: JIM CLARKE / PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY – CARLETON PLACE, ONT – Their passion for the sport is what fuels a local racer’s desire for competition. Huge sponsorship packages are rare and in most cases, it is the driver and a volunteer group of family and friends who prepare and help maintain the car.
Tim Kirby – who hails from Carleton Place, Ontario – spent the majority of his motorsports career racing in different divisions, including Street Stock and ACT Late Model at Capital City Speedway near Ottawa. That track’s closing in 2014 also marked the end of a chapter in the driver’s racing career. Kirby says he’s excited about running at Peterborough Speedway this year, but thinks being classified as a rookie at 57 years of age and with almost 20 seasons of experience is somewhat ironic.
“I never thought we’d be on a 7-year racing hiatus, but sometimes life just works out that way. The team and I actually started talking about making a comeback around a year ago but COVID put those plans on hold,” said the second generation racer whose father Bill raced Modifieds at Evans Mills Speedway during the 70’s. “On the positive side of things, the delay gave us more time to work on the car. Since we weren’t going to be in a position to run for points, making sure everything was ready for our first event after a lengthy break was more important.”
With multiple heat race and main event wins during his tenure in the sport, Tim Kirby – who chose his car number in tribute to Oswego Speedway racer Nolan Swift, his childhood hero – picks capturing the Pro Truck Series championship, along with the best appearing truck/pit crew award and winning a feature at the same track where his Dad raced as career highlights. While he’s looking at his return to racing with a day-to-day agenda, he’s confident that a combination of experience, some top-shelf equipment and hard work will lead to some positive results.
“I’m very lucky to have positive people like Rick Grahame, Dave Waite and my girlfriend Jennifer Robert pitching-in behind the scenes and at the track to keep our No. 10 ride rolling,” admitted the driver, who lists Kawartha Speedway and Evans Mills as the favourite tracks he has raced on. “Dan McHattie has been a wonderful resource to our team. I really have to thank him; not only for the amount of work he put into rebuilding the car to be ready for this year, but also for giving me the push I needed to keep pursuing the sport.”
Kirby also thanks his friends and family for their ongoing support and encouragement, with a special acknowledgement to sponsorship partners Grahame’s Bakery, Inland Canada and Sign Design. The team’s 2021 program is dedicated to the memory of Mike Lamothe, a good friend who loved racing and was very devoted to the No. 10 Late Model program.