FOUNTAIN CITY — Big-time money draws big-time racers. And, if you’re Bob Timm, you’re banking on that hefty purse bringing in some rather big-time crowds.
Timm, who has quickly built Mississippi Thunder Speedway, a one-third mile high-banked oval, into one of the region’s must-be places, has a three-day B Modified show that will rival any in the country.
It starts tonight at the track, which is located just outside Fountain City, and runs through Saturday. If you live near the track, you know it really started Wednesday night as more than 90 B Mods showed up for a practice session for what is officially known as the Baehman Law B Mod Nationals.
It’s an event where the winner takes home $10,000 Saturday night.
“The last time I looked, we’ve got nine states covered in terms of where we have people registered from. From as far west as Montana, all the way down to Kansas, Missouri and north as far as North Dakota, South Dakota,” Timm said. “And we have a lot of drivers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska.”
This is the second year for the event, which consists of three separate race programs. Ten cars from tonight’s B Modified main earn a spot in Saturday’s 30-car field, as do 10 from Friday night’s main.
Another 10 drivers from from five separate B Modified B main (semifeature) races earn spots in Saturday’s big event. Each of the separate B Mod main races are basically a high-caliber, talent-laden battle by themselves.
“It is a battle every time you get on the track. You really have to fight for passing,” said Tucker Breitung, a driver from Prior Lake, Minn., who was practicing Wednesday night.
“You’ve got to be at the top of your game every time you go out on the track. You can’t mess up. It brings out the best in you and shows how good of a driver you are on each track condition, if you are lucky enough to get there (Saturday). There is some very good talent here. Nationally, the top five national guys are probably here.”
The purse for the Baehman Law B Mod Nationals is close to $60,000, Timm said, and with the A Modified show that is part of the overall event, the purse exceeds $80,000.
Don’t expect that to push the drivers past their skill level in what they can handle, however.
“It is pretty intense, but when you narrow it down to a 30-car field out of a 140, those guys know what they are doing. They race hard and there isn’t a lot of yellows,” Timm said. “There ain’t a lot of banging on each other.”
The B Mod main event, which will get under way about 8:30 Saturday night, features a unique twist in that the field will run 30 laps, then take a 5-minute “break” on the front stretch. Teams will have five minutes to do whatever they want to their car, then drivers will head out for another 30 laps.
“We get to that 30-lap pit stop, there are wrenches flying, people running and tires rolling all over the place,” Timm said. “Those guys (drivers) bring down three or four pit guys, they will put all four new tires on, fill it up with fuel, make adjustments, change shocks, whatever they feel they can do.”
It is a wild three-day run.
“It is a like a climax. I have been kind of waiting for this all year to see how well I can do,” Breitung said.