Toyota development driver Ryan Timms became the youngest winner in USAC National Midget history when he recorded his first win at age 15 at Placerville Speedway in November 2021 after previously winning his first POWRi midget event earlier in the season at just 14. He has since gone on to register three more wins in USAC competition including two this season – his first full season in midgets. This week he will be shooting for his third straight USAC NOS Energy Drink Series podium finish and his fourth in the last five events including a win at Lawrenceburg Speedway on the last night of Indiana Midget Week. Timms also won the season opener at Belleville and has climbed up to seventh in the championship race after a tough stretch early in the season.
Ryan, what’s it been like to run full-time with Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) this year?
RT: I had a chance to work with KKM in a partial season last year and I get along with everyone really well. The chemistry is good. They always put a great car together for me, so at the end of the day it’s all up to me to get it done. I think we have what it takes to be a contender to win each race.
Does it seem a little crazy to think that at 16 you’re considered a contender to win each race?
RT: To some people it might seem that way, but I expect myself to be able to go and contend every night regardless of where we race. I’m in one of the best cars here. I’m with the best crew here. You can’t come to a team like Keith Kunz Motorsports and not expect that you can win.
And how has the transition to racing a full season in USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series been?
RT: We won the season opener in Belleville. We didn’t have the best of luck after that. We were right there, but then something always seemed to happen. If I’ve learned anything it’s that sometimes you just have to calm down and take what you can get and just make the least number of mistakes that you can.
And what are you looking for moving forward this season?
RT: The start of the season was shaky, but we’ve figured a couple things out now and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in our JBL Toyota. I think the rest of the season is going to be better. We’ve been pretty consistent the past four races or so (note: a win, a runner-up, a third and a ninth). I’m feeling really confident going into these upcoming races at Wayne County and Macon. I’m aiming to click off a couple of wins.
You haven’t been limited to midgets this season though, can you tell us about your schedule?
RT: I’ve been running in wing sprint cars quite a bit. Between midgets and sprint cars, I had 16 straight days of racing in June. It’s a little difficult to balance out the sprint car and midget, but I’m definitely getting more used to hopping in and out. They’re so different. The 410 helps me a lot in the midget because they’re so fast. But midgets you have to drive differently with no wing. There’s just a different feel for the cars, but I’m making progress every race. The number of races I’ve run in a sprint car compared to a midget is ridiculous.
When you aren’t on the track what do you do?
RT: I try to get to the Toyota Performance Center as much as I can. Unfortunately, I don’t get to TPC that often because I’m constantly on the road, but I make it out there every couple of weeks. They have a great training facility. They have a nutritionist, a fitness coach and weight room, recovery equipment. Everything you need is there. I wish I could get there more, but when I’m there it’s incredibly useful.
Toyota Racing PR